Holy Playoff drama, Batman. Kyle Larson, the dominant driver of the 2021 NASCAR Cup Series season, and his Hendrick Motorsports teammate Alex Bowman are facing Playoff elimination around the mid-way point of Sunday’s NASCAR Cup Series Bank of America Roval 400 at the Charlotte Roval.
Bowman has a flat-out alternator issue, as the team has confirmed that the alternator belt on his No. 48 machine is still connected. There is very little Bowman and his team can do to fix this, other than keep replacing batteries throughout the remainder of the race.
Bowman entered the day in a must-win situation, and having battery issues plaguing him is not making winning much more of a realistic possibility. Bowman is 69 points below the cutline as they run on lap 44 of Sunday’s race.
For Larson, things are a little less dire, but no less stressful.
On lap 35, Larson hit pit road under caution to take a look at his alternator, as his battery was also draining.
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The team diagnosed that the alternator belt had popped off the No. 5 car. During the break between Stages 2 and 3, the team will attempt to put another alternator belt back on, which could cure the issues, so long as the alternator has not gone bad, like Bowman’s.
At lap 44 of the 109 lap race, Larson, who has won six races and entered the Round of 12 of the Playoffs as the No. 1 seed, sits one point outside the Playoff cutoff line.