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Grant Park 165: Alex Bowman Ends 80-Race Winless Streak At Chicago



Alex Bowman celebrates in Victory Lane at Chicago.
Alex Bowman survived a wet one in the Windy City. (Photo: Jared C. Tilton | Getty Images)

CHICAGO - Following another rainy Chicago Street Course race, Alex Bowman found himself in Victory Lane for the first time in 80 races, locking himself into the NASCAR Cup Series Playoffs after winning the shortened Grant Park 165.


Crew chief Blake Harris made the smart decision to keep the Hendrick Motorsports driver out on the wet-weather tires while the majority of the field came to pit road to change to slicks.


Bowman would have likely been caught by 23XI Racing's Tyler Reddick on slicks if the driver of the No. 45 Jordan Brand Toyota had not made the mistake of hitting the wall on the final lap.


It still worked out in favor of the No. 48 Ally Chevrolet as Harris also earned his first Cup Series win as a crew chief.


"Anytime you go to the racetrack with Hendrick Motorsports, you’ve got a shot," Bowman said. "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. 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. That’s just part of this deal sometimes."


Reddick was gaining nearly two seconds a lap on Bowman until he hit the wall and killed all his momentum by pushing too hard.


"We were catching Alex by a large margin there, and — I don’t know, that puzzles me," Reddick said. "I clearly just screwed up. Trying to stay in the dry groove and I had more than enough of dry groove, as I’m seeing right behind you [watching replay], I cut the wheel a little too hard. Just not focused enough, I guess. I knew I was going to get to him. I knew the earlier I could get to him the more options I was going to have.


"It was going to get a little bit more slick off line beyond Turn 8. Yeah, just didn’t even give ourselves a shot to race him, unfortunately, with that. Hate it. Not what this Jordan Brand Toyota Camry is about, that’s not what this team is about. We’ve got to start capitalizing and getting these wins."


During his post-race interview, Bowman made it a point to apologize to Bubba Wallace and the No. 23 team for wrecking Wallace earlier in the race. This effectively ruined Wallace's shot at contending for a win and getting a better finish than 13th place.


Although Bowman apologized, Wallace still showed his displeasure after the race, slamming into Bowman during the cool-down lap.


"But first off, like we talked earlier, I have to apologize again to the 23 guys," Bowman said. "Just messed up, 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. They put me in position to win the race."


Bowman Wrecks Wallace


Wallace Takes A Swipe At Bowman


Bowman Post-Race Press Conference Reaction

The Grant Park 165 ended after 9:20 p.m. ET, due to running out of daylight.


Results from the rain-delayed and then time-shortened Grant Park 165 are listed below:

2024 Grant Park 165 Results.

Other Race Facts

Joey Hand's No. 60 BuildSubmarines.com Ford performed strongly for RFK Racing in the NASCAR Cup Series race on the streets of Chicago.


Hand earned his first career stage win and wound up in fourth place after starting 38th.


"It was a great day, I am all grins," Hand said. "That was a lot of fun. It is fun when you have a car that is going forward. RFK, this Stage 60 car and this group of guys and gals was awesome. We had such a good time together. We didn’t qualify well but I told them that we were way better than that. I laid in bed last night and dreamt about driving to the front. It was a lot of fun."


The 2024 Grant Park 165 was the second shortest race in the NASCAR Modern Era, according to statistician Trey Ryan. The total race distance was 127.6 miles, which was only beaten by the 1992 Watkins Glen Cup Series race which was 124.95 miles.


Alex Bowman ending an 80-race winless streak makes him the sixth driver in 2024 to end a winless streak of 40 races or more. The other drivers were Brad Keselowski, Chase Elliott, Austin Cindric, Daniel Suárez and Joey Logano.


With Elliott's 21st-place finish, it ends his streak of finishing every race of the 2024 season inside the top 20. He was also the last remaining driver to have finished every race inside the top 20.


This streak ended due to late-race contact with Daniel Suárez, who showed his displeasure by spinning out the driver of the No. 9 NAPA Auto Parts Chevrolet.

Shane van Gisbergen, the winner of the inaugural Chicago Street Course race in 2023, won his first career stage in the Cup Series, before getting hit from behind by Chase Briscoe and ending his day in last place.


“I don’t know, I just sort of turned in; it looked pretty good and then just got smacked by someone," van Gisbergen said. It’s gutting. The No. 16 Wendy’s Saucy Nuggs Camaro was really good. We were in the lead for a lot of that race. I felt good taking off in the rain, so that sucks. It’s an unfortunate mistake by him. I’m sure he didn’t mean it. But yeah, when he just clipped me, there wasn’t anything I could do.


“Of course I’m disappointed. We had a really amazing Camaro there. Kaulig Racing and Trackhouse Racing, they gave us a great car. We were able to lead and I felt like I was driving well with it, so yeah, it’s a shame to be out so early. It’s a shame we couldn’t have a proper crack at it at the end.”


Van Gisbergen won the Xfinity Series race on Saturday.


GRID Ranking

The 2024 GRID Ranking is the eighth year of the world's premier motorsport ranking and was initially released on Sunday, April 7.


The official ranking includes drivers that participate in seven racing series (NASCAR, IndyCar, Formula 1, Formula E, World Rally Championship, Repco Supercars, MotoGP), and each driver earns GRID Ratings, which help determine their seeding in the GRID Ranking.

DRIVER

OLD RATING

PREVIOUS RANKING

MOST RECENT FINISH

NEW RATING

NEW RANKING

Kyle Larson

12.16

14th

39th

10.94

19th

William Byron

11.60

T-18th

8th

10.73

20th

Christopher Bell

11.60

T-18th

37th

10.44

21st

Denny Hamlin

10.32

24th

30th

9.29

30th

Brad Keselowski

10.08

25th

18th

9.07

31st

Week 14 of the GRID Ranking:

The next race on the NASCAR Cup Series schedule is The Great American Getaway 400 Presented by VisitPA.com at Pocono Raceway on Sunday, July 14. Coverage will begin at 2:30 p.m. ET on USA Network.


GRID Network

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