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Alex Bowman Outlasts the Rain for NASCAR Win at Chicago Street Race

nascar cup series grant park 165
Bowman Outlasts the Rain for NASCAR Win at ChicagoQuinn Harris - Getty Images


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  • Alex Bowman, who elected to finish the race on wet weather tires, took the lead from Joey Hand on lap 51 to lead the last eight laps.

  • With Bowman’s eighth career victory, he snapped an 80-race winless streak and gained a playoff berth.

  • Hendrick Motorsports and Team Penske have now qualified all of their drivers for the playoffs.


Alex Bowman, who hadn’t won a NASCAR Cup race since 2022, emerged victorious in Sunday’s Grant Park 165 Chicago Street Course race, which was plagued by rain for the second straight year.

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Bowman, who elected to finish the race on wet weather tires, took the lead from Joey Hand on lap 51 to lead the last eight laps in the first race to end under NASCAR’s new time rule. Under the rule, NASCAR gives the teams a time that it will end the race. Once the race leader crosses the start/finish line after the time expires, the next lap will be the white flag, followed by the checkered flag. There is no overtime.


With Bowman’s eighth career victory, he snapped an 80-race winless streak and gained a playoff berth. Hendrick Motorsports and Team Penske have now qualified all of their drivers for the playoffs. Bowman became the 12th different driver to win this year. That now leaves four playoff positions open via points.

“I broke my back. I had a brain injury. You start to second guess if you’re ever going to get a chance to win a race again,” Bowman said after the race that was interrupted by rain for 1:43:01.

“After that last win, we really didn’t get to celebrate. We’re going to drink so much damn bourbon. I’m probably going to wake up naked on the bathroom floor again.”

Bowman wasn’t even considered among the favorites to win the race that was originally scheduled to be 75 laps. There wasn’t any rain in the Grant Park area until it was time for the cars to pull off pit road for the start of the race. NASCAR allowed the teams to choose which tire they wanted—wet or slick.

nascar cup series grant park 165
Shane Van Gisbergen wasn’t able to repeat his 2023 heroics in Chicago.James Gilbert - Getty Images


Favorite Shane Van Gisbergen, Ty Gibbs and Michael McDowell were among those drivers who started the race on slicks or dry weather tires. Martin Truex Jr. and the Team Penske drivers were those who opted for wet weather tires.

Gibbs led the first 17 laps before Van Gisbergen took over the No. 1 position. He then led nine laps, but admitted that starting the race on slicks made it “a bit dodgy.”

“I hated being the leader,” Van Gisbergen said. “Whoever was the leader you could see them slowing up, not sure of what the condition would be. As soon as I got to the front, I was unsure of what was happening, and I had to take it a bit easy.”

It began raining after Corey LaJoie spun in turn 5 on lap 17. Everyone pitted for wet tires after pit road opened. The race returned to green-flag conditions in the rain on lap 25, but it was then that Van Gisbergen’s hopes for a second straight Cup victory ended.

After leading nine laps and winning Stage 1 in the 75-lap race, Van Gisbergen’s Chevrolet was clipped by Chase Briscoe’s Ford entering turn six on a wet track. That sent Van Gisbergen into the wall while Briscoe spun into the tire barrier.

“That sucks!” Van Gisbergen said. “Some unfortunate mistake by him (Briscoe).

“Of course I’m disappointed. We had a really amazing Camaro. We were able to lead, and I felt like I was driving well within myself. It’s a shame to be out so early and it’s a shame we couldn’t have a proper crack at it at the end.”

Van Gisbergen’s misfortune occurred one day after he won The Loop 110 NASCAR Xfinity Series race on the Chicago street course.

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