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Alex Bowman has ‘unfinished business’ in Xfinity Series race at Dover

NASCAR XFINITY Series Menards 250 - Qualifying

BROOKLYN, MI - JUNE 11: Alex Bowman, driver of the #88 Vannoy Construction Chevrolet, walks on the grid during qualifying for the NASCAR XFINITY Series Menards 250 at Michigan International Speedway on June 11, 2016 in Brooklyn, Michigan. (Photo by Drew Hallowell/Getty Images )

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Alex Bowman will not compete in the Sprint Cup Series race this weekend but he’ll still be driving for Dale Earnhardt Jr. at Dover International Speedway.

Saturday, Bowman will make his seventh start in the No. 88 for JR Motorsports in the Drive Sober 200. It’s a return to the track where Bowman’s stint with JR Motorsports began with an impressive third-place finish in May. After losing his Sprint Cup ride in January, it was the first race Bowman had competed in and he qualified in fifth before leading 33 laps.

The finish was bittersweet, however.

“We had a great run going earlier this year in Dover,” Bowman said this week in a team release. “I have been waiting for this race since the end of the spring race. I feel like we have some unfinished business there and I’m confident that this 88 team will bring a fast Jack Link’s Chevrolet this weekend.”

In his sixth previous starts, Bowman has earned six top-10 finishes while completing 100 percent of the laps. Overall, he’s led 51 laps, compiled an average finish of seventh and also earned a pole at Michigan International Speedway in June.

It has been a career year for Bowman in both the Xfinity and Sprint Cup Series.

The 23-year-old was called upon to substitute for Earnhardt Jr. in the No. 88 Sprint Cup car when he was first sidelined with a concussion. While running eighth at New Hampshire in July, Bowman cut a tire following contact on a restart and finished 26th. At Michigan, Bowman started inside the top 10 but quickly faded as the team suffered an ignition issue.

Two weeks ago at Chicagoland Speedway, however, Bowman rebounded for his first career top-10 finish. Last weekend, Bowman finished 14th at New Hampshire. In his 71 previous Cup starts, Bowman had finished inside the top 20 just four times.

He’s been splitting the No. 88 car with Jeff Gordon, who will take the wheel this weekend at Dover. Bowman will then run six of the final seven races. First, though, comes trying to finish what he started in the Xfinity Series at Dover.

Follow @KellyCrandall