Here’s the results from Alex Bowman’s busy dirt sprint car week; Schedule for more races
Hendrick Motorsports has seen near tragedy in the past as their multi-mollar dollar drivers ran non-NASCAR events. Dale Earnhardt Jr was involved in a sports car crash where the car quickly became engulfed in flames.
In the years following, Dale Earnhardt Jr would go to dirt races. Instead of driving the car, he would wave the green flag. Such was the case nearly 20 years ago at I-55 Raceway. Hendrick Motorsports had clamped down on their drivers running non-NASCAR events.
Fast forward nearly 20 years, Rick Hendrick signed the most avid dirt racer in NASCAR, Kyle Larson. He’s been driving the No. 5 for the 2021 season. At the same time, Larson has been racing everything from sprint cars to dirt late models and visiting victory lane at the same time.
Larson has been winning on the dirt tracks and NASCAR alike. Hendrick Motorsports has changed their stance on short track racing. Specifically, their drivers are now supported to go short track racing.
Rick Hendrick on his drivers running short tracks
“I’ve changed my mind on the whole process,” Hendrick said. “I think driving big horsepower cars out of control has helped him a tremendous amount in the Cup racing. His car control is steel. So, you’ve got to be willing to change. I guess these guys have worked me over enough. I’ve done it.”
“I want to say I don’t encourage it,” Hendrick said. “But I’m all for it if it’s something they want to do and they feel really motivated to do it.”
Larson recently signed a contract extension with Hendrick Motorsports through 2023. Additionally, HendrickCars.com will remain as a primary sponsor. Beyond that, HendrickCars.com has also just been added to Kyle Larson’s dirt sprint car.
“When you look at a driver and their brand, you often think of them and the car that they drove and the sponsor that was on it,” Larson said. “Jeff Gordon and DuPont. Jimmie (Johnson) and Lowe’s. I hope it’s me with Hendrick Cars on my car for my whole career.”
However, when the NASCAR Playoffs start, Larson has agreed to dial-back his short track racing entries.
Larson isn’t alone. Chase Elliott has been running dirt late models and dirt midgets this year. Recently, Elliott announced he would compete at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway dirt track. Alex Bowman owns a dirt sprint car team and the driver recently jumped behind the wheel for a string of events.
Alex Bowman going sprint car racing
Bowman has long owned his short track operation. However, he rarely jumps behind the wheel himself.
However, during NASCAR’s off-week, Bowman went to the dirt tracks. Plural, Bowman ran four events in four days. Ally stepped on-board to sponsor the machine.
In his first race, Alex Bowman was top qualifier. He finished 4th in the heat and 5th in the feature. Bowman got into lap traffic and in his words, “Didn’t know what to do.”
“Sprint car racing is hard,” Bowman said after his first heat race with dirt still covering his face.
“Started 2nd, grabbed the lead. Led 5 or 6 laps, caught the tail of the field. The race track was really narrow and I had zero idea what to do.”
“I was leading, the car was good. I had no idea how to pass all the lap cars. Jumped the curb, got passed the lap traffic. Bicycled really bad on a restart, got passed by 2 or 3 more guys and ended up 5th.”
“Not bad, set quick time. Run 4th in the heat, 5th in the feature. I feel like our race car is tremendously better than a lot here and I have a lot of really smart people working on it.”
“The weak link is behind the wheel, but I’m learning. It was a blast. It’s really freaking hard. Thank Ally for letting me do it.”
Sprint Car Results
Circle City Raceway
July 23 (AFCS)
Attica Raceway Park
Tri-City Raceway Park
More races pending…
Attica Raceway Park