The 2021 season had been an escape for Bowman.
He took over the iconic No.48 Chevrolet from Hendrick Motorsports this season made famous by seven-time Cup champion Jimmie Johnson and amassed three career-best wins in the 26-race regular season.
This saw him start the 16-driver playoffs as the sixth seed, just six points behind defending Cup champion and teammate Chase Elliott.
Sadly, Bowman had a terrible start to the first two rounds of the playoffs – he finished 26th in the first round of 1st round on September 5 in Darlington, SC, and 22nd of the first round of round 2 last Sunday in Las Vegas.
“I feel like last year we had a really good playoff run. This year we kind of had the opposite of what we had last year. It has definitely been a little frustrating, ”said Bowman, 28.
“I know we have the tools we need to get the job done, and I’m confident we’ll have fast race cars. But I was also very confident before going to Las Vegas, and obviously it didn’t work out very well for us.
Bowman managed to make his way in the first round with a 12th place finish in Richmond, Va., And a fifth in Bristol, Tennessee, which allowed him to survive the elimination of the first four drivers of a new title race.
Sunday’s race in Las Vegas faces a similar battle to get out of Round 2, but the remaining races – Sunday in Talladega, Alabama, and the following weekend on the Charlotte Roval are fraught with unpredictability.
While Hendrick cars are generally some of the fastest on NASCAR superspeedways lately, Bowman has destroyed two of three superspeedway races this season and finished seventh in the other.
“The biggest stress point for me is trying to make the right decisions to get to the end of the race (Sunday). It’s really hard to do no matter how good a speedway racer you are, ”he said.
“I’m just trying to make the right decisions there and the right calls. Hopefully we end up at the front there at the end of the day. It’s definitely pretty tough.
The October 10 race on the Charlotte Roval – one of the seven toughest road races on the schedule this year – will be no less grueling.
“I would just say there is really no margin for error. It’s a tough place to get around, ”Bowman said of the Roval. “Once you start pushing, if you make mistakes, they tend to bite you pretty hard. I was guilty of that there.
“It’s really easy to get in trouble and take a turn and tear something up. So, I feel like that’s what really makes him a wild card. You get a lot of mistakes from people that you might not normally see.
Amass enough points in the next two races to survive and the next round of eliminations will be tough for Bowman, but a win in either locks him into the semi regardless of his point position. .
“I’m really confident we’re going to have a really fast race car. We still do. The guys do a great job on our superspeedway cars, and we show it off every year, ”Bowman said.
“I’m not very confident that my 39 best friends are going to be making the best decisions all day to put me in a good position, but at the same time we’re all in the same situation and are just going to run and do what we can.” .
“So I’m going to do my best to put myself in the best possible position. I feel like we have to be aggressive all day and try to win, so that’s what I’m going to try to do.