NAS: Alex Bowman wins rain-shortened Grant Park 165 in Chicago

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Alex Bowman came all the way back from last season on Sunday in Chicago.

The Hendrick Motorsports driver stayed out on wet-weather tires and staved off Tyler Reddick’s last-lap push Sunday to win NASCAR’s time-limited, rain-shortened Grant Park 165 at the second Chicago Street Race in Chicago.

Bowman’s No. 48 Chevrolet restarted with 4 1/2 minutes left and beat Reddick by 2.863 seconds for his eighth career win and first since March 2022 in Las Vegas – earning him a playoff championship berth.

“I broke my back, had a brain injury (concussion), and we’ve sucked ever since,” Bowman said of his 2023 season, in which he finished 20th in the final standings. “You start to second-guess if you’ll ever get a chance to win a race again. Last time we won, we didn’t get a chance to celebrate, but we’re going to drink so much damn bourbon tonight.”

Bowman broke an 80-race winless streak and became the 12th different winner in the Cup Series this season.

Ty Gibbs, Joey Hand and Michael McDowell rounded out the top five drivers.

Polesitter Kyle Larson was involved in a single-car wreck and finished 39th.

With the race going green despite some light rain, some teams starting outside the top 10 opted for wet-weather tires on the 2.2-mile track that employed sections of Michigan Avenue and Lake Shore Drive.

Defending winner Shane van Gisbergen worked his way to the front and passed Gibbs on Lap 13 and was aiming for a Stage 1 win when Corey LaJoie spun by himself.

As a downpour arrived on the 12-turn circuit, the New Zealand native held the lead at the 20-lap mark and recorded his first career stage win. Christopher Bell, Gibbs, Chase Briscoe and Larson followed to round out the top-five finishers.

The race favorite who won the Xfinity Series race Saturday, van Gisbergen had his chances of repeating his stunning Windy City win from a year ago go south as he entered soaked Turn 6.

After Gibbs slipped by leader Zane Smith on the Lap 25 restart, Briscoe’s No. 14 clipped van Gisbergen’s No. 16 Chevrolet in the turn before the Ford smacked the tire barrier.

The slight contact caused van Gisbergen to miss his corner and crash into the wall, knocking him out in 40th.

“We were in the lead for a lot of that race … it’s unfortunate by him, I’m sure he didn’t mean it,” said van Gisbergen, whose Trackhouse Motorsports Camaro led twice for nine laps. “I had a lot of fun until then.”

After a two-hour red-flag condition for hard rain, drivers were called back to their cars with the knowledge that the race would run until 8:20 p.m. local time — about one hour of competition.

Joe Gibbs Racing teammates Gibbs and Bell raced side-by-side on the Lap 31 restart, but Bell, who ran away from the field two weeks ago on wet-weather tires in New Hampshire, muscled his way by Gibbs’ No. 54.

Bell pulled away before Larson locked up his tires and buried one-third of his No. 5 Chevrolet under the tire barrier on Lap 34 in Turn 6.

Hand’s No.60 Ford claimed Stage 2 for his first career segment win.

–Field Level Media

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