Alex Bowman used a hyper-fast pit stop during a caution with 99 laps to go to take the lead from teammate Kyle Larson and used clean air from there to win Sunday’s Drydene 400 NASCAR Cup Series race at Dover International Speedway in Delaware.
The victory was Bowman’s first at the Monster Mile, the fourth of his Cup career but his second of the 2021 season.
Bowman joins Martin Truex, Jr. as a multi-race winner this year.
Hendrick Motorsports’ Larson finished second despite dominating the first 300 laps of the 400 race. He led 263 laps and the first two stages.
The margin of victory was 1.8 seconds over Larson.
Hendrick drivers Chase Elliott and William Byron gave their team a 1-2-3-4 finish as they came home third and fourth, respectively. The Hendrick cars ran first through fourth for much of the second half of the race. The team’s drivers led all but 19 laps.
Elliott was forced to start from the rear of the field after his car twice failed pre-race inspection. Elliott didn’t stay in the rear long as he was in the top 10 by Lap 41. He then spent virtually all of the second 120-lap stage just tenths of seconds behind leader Larson.
The top non-Hendrick driver at the end was Team Penske’s Joey Logano, who finished fifth. Kevin Harvick of Stewart-Haas was sixth.
Points leader Denny Hamlin of Joe Gibbs Racing finished seventh.
Truex, who was looking to win back-to-back races, started from the pole but started falling backward in the first 20 laps. In the final stage, things got even worse as he finished 19th, two laps off the pace.
Josh Berry made his Cup debut on Sunday, substituting for Kaulig Racing’s Justin Haley because of COVID-19 protocols. He finished 13 laps off the pace.
The Cup Series heads to Austin, Texas next weekend for its debut running at the Circuit of the Americas natural terrain road course.