By Luis Torres, Staff Writer
Alex Bowman appeared to have lost Saturday’s Pocono Organics CBD 325. Then Kyle Larson’s right front gave weigh and handed the victory to Bowman, marking his third Cup win of the season.
With six laps to go, Bowman and Larson got the fans up to their feet with a thrilling battle for the lead. Similar to Dale Earnhardt, Jr. and Bobby Labonte 20 years prior.
Frantically, Bowman tried hanging onto the lead with two fresher tires, but Larson wasn’t going to be denied. Even with a car that lost a bit of momentum, he got by Bowman on the backstretch with 4 to go.
Larson appeared he would become the first man since Jimmie Johnson in 2007 to win four straight Cup races. Then entering the final turn, Larson hit the wall and Bowman quickly got by to score his first Pocono victory.
In Bowman’s eyes, it’s not the kind of win he would’ve liked as Larson’s machine limped its way to ninth.
“I hate to win one that way, but hell yeah I’ll take it,” said Bowman, who led 15 of 130 laps. “Super proud of the No. 48 team. We kind of gave the lead away. We were on two tires and got super tight. Tried to hold him off as long as I could.”
While we won’t see a driver win four straight Cup points races, Hendrick Motorsports does continue its winning ways. Bowman, who started the streak last month at Dover, extends it to six in a row going into tomorrow’s second Pocono race.
“Can’t say enough about everybody at Team Hendrick right now. Body shop, engine shop, chassis shop. From top to bottom, everybody’s putting great race cars on the race track,” said Bowman. “Greg (Ives, crew chief) and all the guys did a really good job. Man, we didn’t run that good all day, so I’m kind of in shock.”
Due to the qualifying inversion, Bowman will roll off 20th for tomorrow’s Explore the Pocono Mountains 350 that’ll air live at 3:30 p.m. ET on NBCSN. The race consists of 140 laps.