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Race report
NASCAR Cup Chicago

NASCAR Cup Chicago: Alex Bowman prevails in wild race against the clock

Hendrick Motorsport driver wins rain-delayed race to secure NASCAR Cup Playoff berth

Alex Bowman snapped an 80-race winless streak to win the NASCAR Cup Series race on the streets of Chicago, which was cut short by darkness for the second consecutive season.

With a nearly two-hour rain delay in the second stage, NASCAR had set 8:20 p.m. local time hard end to Sunday’s originally scheduled 75-lap race.

After surviving contact with Bubba Wallace's 23XI Toyota in wet conditions, Hendrick Chevrolet driver Bowman was among a handful of cars that elected not to pit before the start of the final stage and remained on wet weather tyres.

After battling for several laps with sportscar star Joey Hand's RFK Ford, who had claimed the Stage 2 win and was also on aged wets, Bowman moved into the lead on lap 51 just before a caution was displayed for Josh Berry smashing into the tyre barriers.

When the race resumed on lap 54, about four minutes remained on the clock. Bowman got a good jump on the restart, then held off a fast-approaching Tyler Reddick – on new slick tyres – by 2.863 seconds to earn his first win of 2024 and lock himself into the playoffs.

His first win since March 2022 at Las Vegas Motor Speedway, after missing races later that year to a head injury and a back injury in 2023, means all four Hendrick drivers have now qualified for the 16-driver playoff field.

Bowman admitted he "just messed up" in the tangle with Wallace, when he was distracted "trying to get my windshield wiper on, missed a corner and ruined their day".

"I hate that, I'm still embarrassed about it, but we have a trophy to take home, and know it means a lot to this team," he said. "They put me in position to win the race.

"Man, I broke my back, had a brain injury, and we've kind of sucked ever since, and I didn't  - you start to second-guess if you're ever going to get a chance to win a race again. Last one we won, we didn't really get to celebrate. 
Alex Bowman, Hendrick Motorsports, Ally Chevrolet Camaro

Alex Bowman, Hendrick Motorsports, Ally Chevrolet Camaro

Photo by: Danny Hansen / NKP / Motorsport Images

"We're going to drink so much damn bourbon tonight, it's going to be a bad deal. I'm probably going to wake up naked on the bathroom floor again."

Ty Gibbs finished third, Hand was fourth and Michael McDowell rounded out the top five.

Completing the top-10 were Ricky Stenhouse Jr., Todd Gilliland, William Byron, Kyle Busch and Ryan Blaney.

Two of the top contenders for the win on Sunday saw their days end early.

Last year's winner Shane van Gisbergen took Stage 1 but was clipped by an out-of-control Chase Briscoe on lap 25 and hit the wall hard enough to end his race, while polesitter Kyle Larson wrecked out on lap 34.

NASCAR Chicago Race Results

 
   
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2
   
Cla Driver # Manufacturer Laps Time Interval Pits Points Retirement
1 United States A. Bowman Hendrick Motorsports 48 Chevrolet 58

2:19'23.827

  5 54  
2 United States T. Reddick 23XI Racing 45 Toyota 58

+2.863

2:19'26.690

2.863 7 37  
3
T. Gibbs Joe Gibbs Racing
54 Toyota 58

+2.930

2:19'26.757

0.067 7 42  
4 United States J. Hand RFK Racing 60 Ford 58

+8.513

2:19'32.340

5.583 6 43  
5 United States M. McDowell Front Row Motorsports 34 Ford 58

+8.584

2:19'32.411

0.071 8 32  
6 United States R. Stenhouse Jr. JTG Daugherty Racing 47 Chevrolet 58

+12.411

2:19'36.238

3.827 7 34  
7 United States T. Gilliland Front Row Motorsports 38 Ford 58

+13.212

2:19'37.039

0.801 7 33  
8 United States W. Byron Hendrick Motorsports 24 Chevrolet 58

+13.607

2:19'37.434

0.395 8 29  
9 United States K. Busch Richard Childress Racing 8 Chevrolet 58

+14.757

2:19'38.584

1.150 7 28  
10 United States R. Blaney Team Penske 12 Ford 58

+16.041

2:19'39.868

1.284 6 27  
11 Mexico D. Suarez TrackHouse Racing 99 Chevrolet 58

+19.301

2:19'43.128

3.260 8 27  
12 United States D. Hemric Kaulig Racing 31 Chevrolet 58

+19.557

2:19'43.384

0.256 7 29  
13 United States B. Wallace 23XI Racing 23 Toyota 58

+20.637

2:19'44.464

1.080 9 28  
14 United States N. Gragson Stewart-Haas Racing 10 Ford 58

+22.513

2:19'46.340

1.876 5 28  
15 United States A. Cindric Team Penske 2 Ford 58

+22.672

2:19'46.499

0.159 6 22  
16 United States J. Haley Rick Ware Racing 51 Ford 58

+22.910

2:19'46.737

0.238 6 21  
17
Z. Smith Spire Motorsports
71 Chevrolet 58

+23.294

2:19'47.121

0.384 5 20  
18 United States B. Keselowski RFK Racing 6 Ford 58

+23.320

2:19'47.147

0.026 5 27  
19 United States A. Dillon Richard Childress Racing 3 Chevrolet 58

+23.553

2:19'47.380

0.233 7 18  
20 United States C. Buescher RFK Racing 17 Ford 58

+24.047

2:19'47.874

0.494 5 17  
21 United States C. Elliott Hendrick Motorsports 9 Chevrolet 58

+27.289

2:19'51.116

3.242 7 16  
22 United States R. Chastain TrackHouse Racing 1 Chevrolet 58

+27.691

2:19'51.518

0.402 8 15  
23 United States J. Logano Team Penske 22 Ford 58

+29.559

2:19'53.386

1.868 9 14  
24
C. Hocevar Spire Motorsports
77 Chevrolet 58

+29.576

2:19'53.403

0.017 5 20  
25 United States H. Burton Wood Brothers Racing 21 Ford 58

+30.725

2:19'54.552

1.149 7 14  
26 United States K. Grala Rick Ware Racing 15 Ford 58

+32.215

2:19'56.042

1.490 6 11  
27 United States C. Lajoie Spire Motorsports 7 Chevrolet 58

+37.083

2:20'00.910

4.868 8 10  
28 United States J. Bilicki MBM 66 Ford 58

+37.383

2:20'01.210

0.300 7    
29 United States E. Jones Legacy Motor Club 43 Toyota 58

+37.718

2:20'01.545

0.335 8 8  
30 United States D. Hamlin Joe Gibbs Racing 11 Toyota 58

+38.061

2:20'01.888

0.343 5 8  
31 United States A. Hill Richard Childress Racing 33 Chevrolet 58

+42.144

2:20'05.971

4.083 6    
32 United States C. Briscoe Stewart-Haas Racing 14 Ford 58

+48.010

2:20'11.837

5.866 7 12  
33 United States M. Truex Jr. Joe Gibbs Racing 19 Toyota 58

+58.185

2:20'22.012

10.175 6 10  
34 United States R. Preece Stewart-Haas Racing 41 Ford 58

+1'05.832

2:20'29.659

7.647 10 3  
35 United States J. Nemechek Legacy Motor Club 42 Toyota 57

+1 Lap

2:19'57.355

1 Lap 8 2  
36 J. Berry Stewart-Haas Racing 4 Ford 57

+1 Lap

2:20'23.847

26.492 8 1  
37 United States C. Bell Joe Gibbs Racing 20 Toyota 55

+3 Laps

2:15'24.950

2 Laps 7 10 Accident
38 United States A. Allmendinger Kaulig Racing 13 Chevrolet 48

+10 Laps

2:00'01.831

7 Laps 7   Accident
39 United States K. Larson Hendrick Motorsports 5 Chevrolet 33

+25 Laps

1:22'50.154

15 Laps 5 7 Accident
40 New Zealand S. van Gisbergen Kaulig Racing 16 Chevrolet 24

+34 Laps

55'03.767

9 Laps 4   Accident

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