The best finish of Alex Bowman‘s Sprint Cup career took a lot out of him.
The replacement driver for Dale Earnhardt Jr. ran the Hollywood Casino 400 at Kansas Speedway with what Earnhardt called a “stomach bug,” and managed put the No. 88 in seventh place.
Afterward, Bowman had to be taken to the infield medical center.
The seventh-place finish is Bowman’s best in 77 career Sprint Cup starts. He has two top 10s in his six races in the No. 88 as Earnhardt recovers from a concussion.
Bowman was one of three non-Chase drivers in the top 10. A.J. Allmendinger finished eighth. It’s his sixth of the year and his first since the August Bristol race.
“It felt like the best 1.5-mile race we put together there” Allmendinger said. “Good solid top-10 car all day. I made a mistake and sped on pit road (on Lap 117) and got us behind a little bit. Just kind of tough call there at the end. You don’t know how many people are going to pit and good track position and everybody behind me came. I was pretty happy to hold most of them off. I felt like we had about a fifth or sixth-place car and we finished eighth with it. Just a solid day. We need to keep doing work like this.”
Allmendinger has 44 top 10s in 294 Sprint Cup starts, with nine in the last two seasons.
Kasey Kahne finished 10th for his sixth top 10 in seven races. He has 12 top 10s this year, his most since 2013.
It’s no secret that Jimmie Johnson is off to a slow start in 2017.
The defending and seven-time NASCAR Cup champion has a starting average of 21.8 and a finishing average of 18.8 in the first five races of this season.
He has just one top-10 finish (ninth at Phoenix), along with 34th at Daytona, 19th at Atlanta, 11th at Las Vegas and 21st Sunday at Fontana.
And let’s not forget he’s 17th in the NASCAR Cup standings heading to one of his strongest tracks, Martinsville Speedway, this Sunday.
On Monday’s edition of NASCAR America, we discussed this: After such a slow start to the season, is there a cause for concern over Johnson’s performance?
On Monday’s edition of NASCAR America, NASCAR Hall of Famer Mark Martin shared his experience of racing in his home state of Arkansas, as well as the excitement he feels watching Kyle Larson compete in the Cup series.
Kyle Larson‘s spectacular weekend at Auto Club Speedway — winning both Saturday’s Xfinity Series race and Sunday’s Auto Club 400 NASCAR Cup event — left him feeling good.
But shortly upon exiting the facility, Larson and several others were involved in a fender-bender right outside the Speedway. Larson was a passenger, not the driver.
No one was injured, Larson tweeted.
But somehow, isn’t that strange fate?
Kyle Larson finally broke his streak of three straight runner-up finishes with his win in Sunday’s Auto Club 400 at Auto Club Speedway.
On Monday’s edition of NASCAR America, the crew discussed his win as well as his maturation as a driver.