NASCAR Dover: Bowman holds off Larson for second win of 2021

Alex Bowman put the #48 Hendrick Motorsports car back in familiar surroundings with victory at Dover to pick up his second win of the 2021 NASCAR Cup season.

Seven-time NASCAR Cup champion Jimmie Johnson won 11 times at Dover International Speedway in the #48 car, and having handed the car over to Bowman when he stepped away from NASCAR racing at the end of the 2020 season Bowman put on a fitting tribute.

Bowman, who grabbed control of the race during a round of pitstops on lap 304 of 400, never relinquished it thereafter in a controlled performance capped by holding off team-mate Kyle Larson by 2.017 seconds at the chequered flag to take victory.

The win is Bowman’s second of the season and fourth of his career, while it also marks the first season in his Cup career to produce multiple wins.

With Larson having to settle for the runner-up spot for a second consecutive race having finished behind Martin Truex Jr at Darlington, he could still take pride in helping Hendrick Motorsports complete a 1-2-3-4 finish.

Hendricks Motorsports team-mates Chase Elliott and William Byron finished third and fourth respectively, to mark the first time the team had locked out the top four spots in its existence. Such was the dominance of the Hendrick Motorsports squad, the quartet led 382 of the 400 laps at Dover.

Bowman’s win also marked his team’s 267th victory in the NASCAR Cup, and now trails Petty Enterprises by just one win for the most team triumphs in NASCAR history.

Alex Bowman, Hendrick Motorsports, Chevrolet Camaro Ally

Alex Bowman, Hendrick Motorsports, Chevrolet Camaro Ally

Photo by: Harold Hinson / NKP / Motorsport Images

Team Penske’s Joey Logano acted as the nearest challenger to the Hendrick Motorsports top four, coming a distant fifth but ahead of Stewart-Haas Racing’s Kevin Harvick.

Denny Hamlin, the only driver to finish inside the top 15 and to have led laps in the race outside of the Hendrick Motorsports top four, claimed seventh place for Joe Gibbs Racing as Tyler Reddick (Richard Childress), Daniel Suarez (Trackhouse Racing) and Cole Custer (Stewart-Haas Racing) rounded out the top 10.

Aric Almirola’s race ended prematurely when he appeared to suffer a front-right tyre deflation and hit the Turn 3 wall which sparked a fire around the wheel as the Stewart-Haas Racing driver came to a halt.

The 37-year-old was able to walk to an ambulance before being taken to the medical centre where he was later evaluated and released.

Last week’s winner at Darlington Truex Jr, who started on pole and led the first 15 laps until William Byron powered around him to grab the lead, needed an extended pitstop during Stage 2 as his Joe Gibbs Racing team underwent engine investigations. The 40-year-old returned to the action but dropped a lap down to finish in 19th place.

Results

Cla # Driver Manufacturer Laps Time Gap Interval Laps Led
1 48 United States Alex Bowman Chevrolet 400 3:19'55.325     98
2 5 United States Kyle Larson Chevrolet 400 3:19'57.342 2.017 2.017 263
3 9 United States Chase Elliott Chevrolet 400 3:19'58.904 3.579 1.562  
4 24 United States William Byron Chevrolet 400 3:20'06.289 10.964 7.385 21
5 22 United States Joey Logano Ford 400 3:20'08.145 12.820 1.856  
6 4 United States Kevin Harvick Ford 400 3:20'10.207 14.882 2.062  
7 11 United States Denny Hamlin Toyota 400 3:20'11.366 16.041 1.159 2
8 8 United States Tyler Reddick Chevrolet 400 3:20'11.800 16.475 0.434  
9 99 Mexico Daniel Suarez Chevrolet 400 3:20'12.673 17.348 0.873  
10 41 United States Cole Custer Ford 400 3:20'12.898 17.573 0.225  
11 23 United States Bubba Wallace Toyota 400 3:20'13.080 17.755 0.182  
12 12 United States Ryan Blaney Ford 400 3:20'13.433 18.108 0.353  
13 1 United States Kurt Busch Chevrolet 400 3:20'15.847 20.522 2.414  
14 3 United States Austin Dillon Chevrolet 400 3:20'17.236 21.911 1.389  
15 42 United States Ross Chastain Chevrolet 400 3:20'18.100 22.775 0.864  
16 2 United States Brad Keselowski Ford 400 3:20'18.573 23.248 0.473  
17 17 United States Chris Buescher Ford 400 3:20'18.885 23.560 0.312  
18 37 United States Ryan Preece Chevrolet 399 3:19'57.763 1 Lap 1 Lap  
19 19 United States Martin Truex Jr. Toyota 399 3:20'00.631 1 Lap 2.868 16
20 47 United States Ricky Stenhouse Jr. Chevrolet 399 3:20'19.835 1 Lap 19.204  
21 20 United States Christopher Bell Toyota 396 3:19'58.479 4 Laps 3 Laps  
22 43 United States Erik Jones Chevrolet 396 3:20'02.557 4 Laps 4.078  
23 6 United States Ryan Newman Ford 396 3:20'04.812 4 Laps 2.255  
24 21 United States Matt DiBenedetto Ford 395 3:20'04.443 5 Laps 1 Lap  
25 34 United States Michael McDowell Ford 395 3:20'05.763 5 Laps 1.320  
26 7 United States Corey Lajoie Chevrolet 393 3:20'03.628 7 Laps 2 Laps  
27 18 United States Kyle Busch Toyota 393 3:20'19.085 7 Laps 15.457  
28 38 Anthony Alfredo Ford 392 3:20'11.133 8 Laps 1 Lap  
29 00 United States Quin Houff Chevrolet 388 3:20'07.920 12 Laps 4 Laps  
30 77 Josh Berry Chevrolet 388 3:20'10.873 12 Laps 2.953  
31 51 United States Cody Ware Chevrolet 387 3:19'59.764 13 Laps 1 Lap  
32 53 United States Garrett Smithley Chevrolet 383 3:19'56.100 17 Laps 4 Laps  
33 15 Australia James Davison Chevrolet 382 3:20'19.143 18 Laps 1 Lap  
34 52 United States Josh Bilicki Ford 381 3:20'03.311 19 Laps 1 Lap  
35 14 United States Chase Briscoe Ford 335 3:20'19.534 65 Laps 46 Laps  
36 78 United States B.J. McLeod Ford 334 2:57'18.537 66 Laps 1 Lap  
37 10 United States Aric Almirola Ford 300 2:25'34.723 100 Laps 34 Laps  

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