Thursday night was a fun night for Alex Bowman, who usually drives the No. 48 Chevrolet Camaro for Hendrick Motorsports in the NASCAR Cup Series. Bowman was competing in his first-ever 410 winged sprint car race at Circle City Raceway in Indianapolis, Indiana, and he competed admirably and even led some laps before finishing fifth in the 15-car field.
Despite his NASCAR team being tagged with an L1 penalty earlier in the day for an engine allocation violations, the 28-year old driver had plenty of reason to smile on Thursday night.
In qualifying, Bowman turned the fastest lap of the session, an 11.455-second lap. Proving he had the skill to turn quick laps by himself, but with limited dirt experience and having never competed in a 410 winged sprint car event before, driving with a crowd would present a little more of a challenge for Bowman.
In the 10-lap Heat 1, Bowman finished 4th in his No. 55 Ally machine, finishing behind Scotty Thiel, Critter Malone and Ricky Peterson.
Bowman would secure second starting spot for the 30-lap feature race. The Arizona-native would work his way to the lead, where he would lead about five or six laps before catching the rear of the field. It was in lapped traffic that Bowman’s shot at the win in his debut race evaporated.
“I felt really good, got the lead there and got to lapped traffic really quick. I just spent way too much time thinking about how to pass guys in lapped traffic with a narrow racetrack then thinking about actually racing cars,” Bowman told Davey Segal after the race. “I kind of jumped the curb one time and lost a two spots. Then I was fighting it really bad, I lost a couple of more spots. Felt like we were fast, I just gotta figure out how to race a litle bit and get through traffic.”
Even though he didn’t win, Bowman did open up some eyes by scoring a fifth-place finish in his debut winged sprint car event.
Here were the full results from Thursday’s 410 Winged Sprint Car Feature at Circle City Raceway:[ 1 ] 00 – Thomas Meseraull
[ 2 ] 22 – Ryan Broughton
[ 3 ] 2 – Ricky Peterson
[ 4 ] 7 – Critter Malone
[ 5 ] 55 – Alex Bowman
[ 6 ] 12 – Corbin Gurley
[ 7 ] 55M – McKenna Hasse
[ 8 ] 44 – Cory Bruns
[ 9 ] 59 – Bryan Nuckles
 73 – Scotty Thiel
 71M – Caden Englehart
 6P – Chris Phillips
 71 – Cale Stinson
 7M – Geoff Dodge
 27 – Justin Adams
After the 30-lap feature, Bowman gained even more respect for 410 winged sprint car drivers after a hard-fought race.
“Yeah, I can’t give these guys enough credit for what they do on a weekly basis,” Bowman said. “Winged sprint cars are hard to drive, especially at a small place like this. It’s a handful. Big curb. Track was really narrow tonight. Curb was in the middle of the race track.”
Here is the full post-race interview from Davey Segal with Alex Bowman:
He’s got 6 races left and is gaining an appreciation for the discipline lap by lap. pic.twitter.com/esOeB1uWny
— Davey Segal (@DaveyCenter) July 23, 2021
In the end, Bowman had fun, he was fast and he even made an incredible save, which was documented in a photo from CWP Media / Chad Warner Photography.
— CWP Media/Chad Warner Photography (@ChadCwp) July 23, 2021
Toby is the Founder, Editor and go-to man for TobyChristie.com. He is also the co-host of The Final Lap Weekly Podcast. Additionally, Toby is a NMPA (National Motorsports Press Association) award winning writer, and has followed NASCAR as a fan since 1993.