NASCAR Chicago

Why Alex Bowman's NASCAR Chicago win means so much

NBC Universal, Inc.

For the first time in two years, Alex Bowman has captured a victory in NASCAR’s Cup Series, and his win in the Chicago Street Race is loaded with meaning.

Bowman fended off late charges from Joey Hand and Tyler Reddick to earn the victory, his first of the season and his first since the 2022 campaign.

Of course, the win comes with a trophy, bragging rights and a sweet check, but for Bowman, there is plenty of additional meaning, including an automatic berth in the NASCAR Cup Series’ playoffs.

Winners from the first 26 races of the season qualify for the playoffs automatically, and Bowman will punch his ticket when the postseason gets underway at Darlington later this year.

Chicago has a special place in Bowman’s heart for other reasons too. His first career victory in the Cup Series came in the city’s suburbs when he took down the Camping World 400 at Chicagoland Speedway in 2019. The race was also the last held at that track.

Finally, the win was not only the first win on a road circuit in Bowman’s career, but it also snapped an 80-race winless drought, according to NBC Sports.

Bowman, on wet weather tires, built up a sizable lead over Hand in the final laps of the race, but Reddick began flying up the track on slick tires, taking advantage of the drying conditions. He ended up scraping the wall on the last lap, and Bowman was able to cruise to victory in the race.

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