Alex Bowman wins Auto Club 400

Alex Bowman
Alex Bowman
Harold Hinson/HHP for Chevy

Alex Bowman dominated the Auto Club 400 NASCAR Cup race in his Hendrick Chevy Sunday. Bowman pulled away to beat the Busch brothers – Kyle and Kurt – by 9-seconds in his #88 Camaro.

Bowman, who was fastest in both Friday practices, powered the Hendrick Motorsports No. 88 Chevrolet to a 8.904-second margin of victory, leading 110 of 200 laps in the Auto Club 400. His first win at the 2-mile California track was his second in NASCAR’s top division.

Kyle Busch, a four-time Auto Club winner, drove home second in the Joe Gibbs Racing No. 18 Toyota. He was just ahead of his brother, Kurt, who took third ahead of Chase Elliott and Brad Keselowski in the third points-paying race of the season.

[adinserter name="GOOGLE AD"]Home-state favorite Jimmie Johnson led three times for 10 laps in his final Auto Club start of his final full-time Cup Series season, but finished seventh. His wife, Chandra, and daughters Genevieve and Lydia were in the flagstand for the initial green flag as ceremonial starters. Johnson’s Hendrick Motorsports No. 48 Chevrolet also led a five-wide salute during pace laps.

Martin Truex Jr. started last after an issue in Saturday’s inspection kept him from posting a qualifying lap. He drove all the way into contention, leading three laps, but trouble with the rear-tire change during a final-stage pit stop knocked his No. 19 Toyota to a 14th-place finish.

Ryan Blaney was in contention for the third straight week, leading 54 laps — second only to Bowman — and winning the second stage. But his No. 12 Team Penske Ford was forced to pit road with a tire issue with three laps left. He finished 19th, one lap off the pace.

Clint Bowyer started from the pole position and led the opening 11 laps, but a flat tire on his No. 14 Stewart-Haas Racing Ford forced a caution flag on Lap 92. He finished 23rd.

Ross Chastain finished 17th in his second race filling in for the injured Ryan Newman in the Roush Fenway Racing No. 6 Ford.

Quotes

Bowman tears up the Fontana grass
Bowman tears up the Fontana grass
Garry Eller/HHP for Chevy

ALEX BOWMAN, NO. 88 CINCINNATI CAMARO ZL1 1LE – FONTANA RACE WINNER:

NO WORRIES ON THAT RIGHT REAR NOW:

"No, not at all. Greg (Ives, crew chief) said to save it, so I saved some to use some there! How about that California! I grew up quarter midget racing here, maybe 20 minutes from Pomona Valley. Went there every week. Made a lot of great friends there. I know a lot of you are here today. Man so cool for Cincinnati. Seems like every time they are all on the car we run really good. Promised my buddy Aaron we would all get 88 tattoos if we won so I think I have to get a tattoo now. It will be a good time. It's been a lot of fun. Thanks to Greg and all the guys. Greg made a lot of good calls today. We were up front when it counted."

THE SECOND WIN IS ALMOST AS SPECIAL AS THE FIRST BECAUSE IT PROVES THE FIRST WASN'T A FLUKE:

"Yes, for sure. The first one was a real enjoyable experience and then we sucked for six months. We started this year so strong. I feel like I've got a lot on my side that I'm doing better. My life has gotten a lot more organized than it was then. Greg and the guys are just on point. We've unloaded the last two weeks and I don't think we have had to make a change to the race car from the way it came off the truck. That makes my job a lot easier. I'm just so proud of this team. Everyone at Hendrick Motorsports. Hendrick horsepower under the hood. The whole shop back home. They work their butts off. We've put a lot of effort in this new car and it is obviously working out really well."

Results

Fin Str No. Driver Team Laps Behind Status
1 3 88 Alex Bowman Cincinnati Chevrolet 200 -0.000s Running
2 17 18 Kyle Busch Interstate Batteries Toyota 200 8.904 Running
3 4 1 Kurt Busch Monster Energy Chevrolet 200 9.917 Running
4 13 9 Chase Elliott NAPA Auto Parts Chevrolet 200 13.705 Running
5 15 2 Brad Keselowski America's Tire Ford 200 17.323 Running
6 28 11 Denny Hamlin FedEx Office Toyota 200 21.839 Running
7 2 48 Jimmie Johnson Ally Chevrolet 200 22.047 Running
8 6 10 Aric Almirola Smithfield Ford 200 22.214 Running
9 5 4 Kevin Harvick Mobil 1 Ford 200 22.524 Running
10 29 20 Erik Jones Reeser's Fine Foods Toyota 200 23.880 Running
11 19 8 Tyler Reddick # I am Second Chevrolet 200 28.810 Running
12 7 22 Joey Logano Auto Club of So California Ford 200 29.318 Running
13 12 21 Matt DiBenedetto Menards/Quaker State Ford 200 29.892 Running
14 38 19 Martin Truex Jr Bass Pro Shops Toyota 200 32.514 Running
15 21 24 William Byron Axalta 24 Tribute Chevrolet 200 33.947 Running
16 11 17 Chris Buescher Fastenal Ford 200 35.895 Running
17 27 6 Ross Chastain(i) Castrol Ford 200 42.709 Running
18 18 41 Cole Custer # Production Alliance/Haas Ford 199 -1L Running
19 16 12 Ryan Blaney BODYARMOR Ford 199 -1 Running
20 10 47 Ricky Stenhouse Jr Kroger Chevrolet 199 -1 Running
21 9 42 Kyle Larson McDonald's Chevrolet 199 -1 Running
22 8 34 Michael McDowell Love's Travel Stops Ford 199 -1 Running
23 1 14 Clint Bowyer Rush/HAAS CNC Ford 199 -1 Running
24 25 3 Austin Dillon Dow Coatings Chevrolet 199 -1 Running
25 23 38 John Nemechek # Fire Alarm Services Ford 199 -1 Running
26 24 13 Ty Dillon GEICO Chevrolet 199 -1 Running
27 14 43 Bubba Wallace Victory Junction Chevrolet 198 -2 Running
28 31 96 * Daniel Suarez Toyota Used Vehicles Toyota 198 -2 Running
29 26 32 Corey LaJoie Pala Casino Ford 197 -3 Running
30 20 37 Ryan Preece Cottonelle Chevrolet 197 -3 Running
31 30 52 JJ Yeley(i) JACOB Companies Ford 197 -3 Running
32 32 15 Brennan Poole # CHOC Kids Chevrolet 195 -5 Running
33 34 53 Joey Gase(i) One Legacy Ford 193 -7 Running
34 36 51 Garrett Smithley Chevrolet 193 -7 Running
35 35 0 Quin Houff # Victory Weekend Chevrolet 192 -8 Running
36 33 77 Reed Sorenson Spire Motorsports Chevrolet 191 -9 Running
37 37 66 * Timmy Hill(i) LASVEGAS.NET Toyota 184 -16 Running
38 22 95 Christopher Bell # Rheem Toyota 80 -120 Engine

# DENOTES ROOKIE
(i) NOT ELIGIBLE FOR POINTS
(*) REQUIRED TO QUALIFY ON TIME

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