There’s little rest for Alex Bowman in busy offseason

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Throughout Alex Bowman’s life, dogs have been a constant. He grew up with dogs and has had at least one dog throughout most of his NASCAR career.

A home with two dogs — Roscoe, a Rottweiler/German Shepherd mix that Bowman rescued in 2013, and Finn, a black Labrador Retriever that Bowman has had since 2017 — keeps things hectic even in racing’s offseason.

“They’re definitely like my kids,” Bowman told NBC Sports. “At the house, they’re attached to me at the hip. They sleep in my bed so I get zero room, because Finn is not the smallest dog. They’re pretty awesome.”

As Bowman moves to the No. 48 Ally Chevrolet this coming season for Hendrick Motorsports, Ally also is helping with some of Bowman’s interests. Ally announced Thursday that it is donating $75,000 to the Humane Society of Charlotte.

The Humane Society of Charlotte expects to transfer more than 600 animals into their shelter in the next two months. Ally’s donation will allow the group to take in more animals from local transport partners, including animals with special medical or behavior needs.

The donation comes after a recent visit by Bowman to the Humane Society of Charlotte.

“As a fellow dog lover with a pack of three rescue pups at home, I was thrilled to learn that Alex shares my passion for animal welfare,” said Andrea Brimmer, chief marketing and public relations officer, Ally Financial, in a statement.

“Our donation kicks off our relationship with Alex by being strong advocates for improving the wellbeing of all of our loved ones, including pets.”

The donation is meaningful to Bowman because of his passion for dogs.

“Every partner kind of approaches things differently and some say, ‘Hey, we’re going to go do this or you’re going to go do this,’ ” Bowman said. “Ally is like, ‘Here’s some ideas, but what do you want to do?’”

With the beginning of the Cup season about two months away, Bowman has kept busy.

He recently did some drifting at a track in Florida.

“I have really never done it,” Bowman said. “During quarantine, kind of decided, ‘Hey, I’m bored, I’m going to build a drift car.’ So we did that. We went to (the Charlotte Motor Speedway) dragstrip and used their parking lot and shook it down there. (At Florida) this was really my first real time on a real track that’s not a parking lot, driving it. I had a lot of fun. It’s definitely a different ballgame and a big learning curve.

“I’d say that actually driving the drifting car, I figured out real quickly, but tandeming – where you are drifting with other guys and are inches from other guys – I think that’s kind of where it’s tricky, but it’s also so much fun. I had an absolute blast. I just want to go back and drive more.”

He’s also been busy with Alex Bowman Racing, preparing midget cars and a sprint car — for others — to race.

Bowman’s team will field midgets for C.J. Leary and Jake Swanson at next month’s Chili Bowl Nationals in Tulsa, Oklahoma.

Bowman also is preparing a 410 sprint car for Leary. The plan had been to run some races in January in Arizona, but those events were after the Chili Bowl. Running the Chili Bowl and then preparing the sprint car team for the trip to Arizona would have been too much. Instead, Bowman’s team will race in late January at two All-Star Circuit of Champions races in Sylvania, Georgia.

While preparation continues for those events, Bowman is staying in shape for the Cup season. He’s coming off a year where he finished sixth in the points and won at Auto Club Speedway.

He moves to the No. 48 car this season with Jimmie Johnson vacating that ride to run in the NTT IndyCar Series.

“The teams are heavy in the prep side,” Bowman said. “For me, I kind of got lazy for a couple of weeks as far as working out and stuff. The last two weeks, I’ve been back at it pretty hard. I’m currently sore, so I feel like Im working hard at least. This isn’t 100% all in on the prep side, but we’re getting there. It’s a really short offseason.”