CHARLOTTE, N.C. — Alex Bowman's journey to the top level of NASCAR hasn't been easy, but his perseverance and hard work paid off.
From filling in for Dale Earnhardt Jr. in 2016 to earning a full-time ride in the No. 88 car to now piloting the No. 48 Ally Chevy for Hendrick Motorsports. Bowman has proved why he belongs.
Not only is Bowman excelling on the track in 2021 with three wins so far, but he is also using his platform and partnership with Ally to make a difference in the community for a cause that's close to his heart, pet rescue, and adoption.
Bowman and Ally have joined WCNC Charlotte in their 'Clear the Shelters' campaign in hopes of helping a number of animals find their forever homes.
Bowman joined WCNC Charlotte's Ashley Stroehlein for a conversation that ranges from his career at Hendrick Motorsports, Alex Bowman Racing, his own pets Roscoe and Finn, and why he hopes others will join his cause of rescuing their own furry friend.
The four-part series begins with a conversation about Alex's career at Hendrick Motorsports.
Q: "When you think about your journey from filling in for Dale Jr. to now knowing that you have a two-year contract extension moving forward, put that into perspective for me."
A: "It's hard to put into perspective, right? The first day I came here that Greg called me to come sit in the seat to fill in for Dale, it feels like forever ago, but I was at a place where I was selling things to pay rent and struggling to make ends meet and just trying to be a race car driver for a living and now to have been at Hendrick Motorsports for I guess 5 years now since then is pretty special and to get to continue that with Ally for the next couple years is really cool. To have won Cup races now and have the accomplishments we've had, obviously, we want a whole lot more, but it's just really special."
Q: "You take over the 88 for Dale Jr. then you take over the 48 now for Jimmie Johnson, what's it been like taking over for two legends here at HMS?"
A: "It's definitely been interesting, you know, I wasn't sure when Mr. H told me that I was taking over the 48, I was like oh I got to do this all again, but it's been really cool and to get to drive the 88 car was an honor and to step into the 48 and partner with Ally, it's just been a ton of fun. Working with Ally, it was a big unknown for me when Mr. H told me, but once I kind of met everybody and got to learn about them and kind of learn how they operate it's been so fun. It's just been fun really this whole year."
Q: "I want to go back to a quote that you said after a race that you won this year, "nobody likes us" - do you still feel that way?
A: "Yeah, that's like a me and my friends and a couple of guys on the race team joke, but sold a lot of t-shirts. So yeah, it was pretty funny."
Q: "Were you surprised at how people went and bought those t-shirts once you made them?"
A: "I feel like people that think that nobody likes them bought the t-shirts. The screen printer cut me off. I wasn't allowed to print any more of them. So I guess a lot of people feel like nobody likes them.
Q: "So you sold out?"
A: "Yeah, we sold out in a day and made more and sold out again. Sold as many as they would let me print."
Q: "Looking at playoffs, they're coming up. What's the 48 team's mindset?"
A: "If we could just get some positive momentum and kind of do what we did last year and maybe sprinkle some wins in throughout the playoffs I think we can, we're definitely capable of making it to the Round of 4. We've just got to have things go our way."
Q: "Kind of looking ahead, but what would it mean to you maybe this year or another year to be a Champion in the Cup Series."
A: "Yeah it would be really cool. I don't know how I would handle that. It would be pretty different, and you know for me I guess for a long time I thought that would never really be a possibility so now being able to try to contend for championships is really cool to me. Yeah, it'd be interesting. It'd be a long night for sure."
Hendrick Motorsports shared more about Bowman's passion for pet adoption and how he's teaming up with Ally to help support NBC and WCNC's 'Clear the Shelters' campaign here.
Part 2 of Alex and Ashley's conversation will air on August 30.
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