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NASCAR weekend recap: Alex Bowman first career Cup win comes at Chicagoland

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NASCAR weekend recap: Alex Bowman first career Cup win comes at Chicagoland

A first-time winner is a bridesmaid no more, a shot at redemption in the Windy City came up one spot short once again and could one of the most iconic organizations in NASCAR be back after slumping for a couple years?

Here's what went down this weekend in the racing world.

Bowman The Showman

About time he lived up to his nickname...

All kidding aside, Alex Bowman's first career Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series victory is one that should be celebrated and reflected upon. After all, this guy has gone through a LOT in his short career.

From running with back marker teams for 2-3 years, getting fired from one of those teams and finding out via Twitter, filling in for injured Dale Earnhardt Jr., making a good enough impression on Rick Hendrick to put him in the car full-time once Earnhardt retires, but was a simulator and test driver for Hendrick Motorsports in the meantime, gets the No. 88 ride, finishes second three times this season, his sponsor, Nationwide, announces they're leaving after the season, and then he goes out and wins?

Yeah, you can get Bowman celebrated this one.

"This is all I ever wanted," Bowman said in the media center. "I’m just tired of running second. I don’t want to do that anymore. So, I feel like this is the last box, aside from chasing the championship, I needed it personally for myself, to validate my career. I feel like obviously there’s a lot more left to accomplish but this is always what I hear is ‘you haven’t won a race’."

So Close For Larson ... Again

Remember 2018's classic "SLIDE JOB!" finish with the Kyle and Kyle show? Well, the same Kyle who came up short last season did again in 2019.

Kyle Larson ran down and passed Bowman for the lead with eight laps to go from over two seconds back. But Bowman wasn't going to be denied, as he pulled a power move down low and passed Larson back two laps later, forcing the No. 42 to settle for his second top five finish (Dover) of the season.

“All of a sudden I was like, ‘Oh wow, we’re catching him and caught him pretty quickly and was able to get by him pretty quickly," Larson told NBC Sports post-race. "Thought that I could pull away. He was able to get a big run on me and get to my inside and then sidedraft me on the backstretch to get by. He did a good job of hitting his marks and getting the balance back underneath him to hold me off.”

Is Hendrick Back?

Sure, Chase Elliott has a victory this season for Hendrick Motorsports (plus three last season). But seven-time champion Jimmie Johnson is in the midst of the longest drought of his career, William Byron's rookie campaign in 2018 left some to be desired and Bowman's first win just occured.

Could this be the weekend where HMS got over the hump? Time will tell, but with all four of their cars running inside the top 10 for most of the race and showing consistent speed, something thet haven't done in awhile, has got to give their drivers confidence moving forward.

"I’m extremely happy for Hendrick Motorsports," Johnson told NBC Sports following a fourth-place finish. "I can’t wait to see Alex and congratulate him and this No. 48 team is smiling. It was a good night.”

"We, as a team, are really close," Byron told NBC Sports following nis ninth-place result. "It’s a little disappointing now that we have the speed that we do, but it’s good to take the lead at some point in the race. I think that’s six or seven in a row for that, so we just have to continue to do that. It’s good for Alex (Bowman) and hopefully we can piggy-back on that. I think we had another good points day, which doesn’t sound great, but we are making our way up the playoff grid.”


This upcoming weekend, NASCAR makes it's annual summer pilgrammage to Daytona International Speedway on July 4 weekend for the Coke Zero 400, scheduled to go green on Saturday evening (July 7) at 7:30 p.m. EST on NBC.

Beyond the Scoreboard: HBO teaming up with Belichick and Saban


Beyond the Scoreboard: HBO teaming up with Belichick and Saban

By Rick Horrow

Podcast edited by Tanner Simkins


  • From an agency perspective, the NFL is moving in the right direction. Rick recently sat down with Arnold Wright, Executive Vice President and co-head of consulting for Octagon. Wright brings NFL team, league, and player deals to life for sponsors including Castrol, Delta, Bank of America, and others. “The league is obviously an incredible platform that leaps up year to year in terms of ratings and engagement,” Wright said. “The on field action is also as good as it’s ever been.” From a global perspective, Wright says, “The international piece in particular has been great for the league. You continue to see key markets like the UK, Mexico, and even Brazil growing internationally. It’s bringing other brands into the NFL ecosystem from a partner and promotional perspective.” As for the NFL’s 100th season platform, Wright says, “The league has done a lot of really great work in terms of positioning themselves, celebrating the history of the league from a player and a fan perspective. They have demonstrated a real savviness around their marketing and their connectivity to fans. The league several years ago probably would not have demonstrated that level of flexibility in terms of their marketing and what you could do with their platforms. But that’s certainly changed.”
    • YouTube stars Logan Paul and KSI will make their professional boxing debut. Last year, the two online sensations faced each other in an exhibition fight that generated more than 1 million pay-per-view buys on YouTube. Now they will fight each other again – this time, in an official professional fight at in Logan’s hometown of Los Angeles at Staples Center on November 9. According to ESPN, the event will be a six-round cruiserweight fight streamed on DAZN and is sure to pack the house after last year’s sold out 57-57 majority draw that happened at Manchester Arena in KSI’s hometown of Manchester, England. They are both now professional boxers, have passed their required medical exams, and will meet at a launch news conference in Los Angeles on September 14, with another news conference to be scheduled in the United Kingdom. KSI and Paul have more than 40 million YouTube subscribers between them and should bring tons of new fans to the sport of boxing, while the sport’s traditional enthusiasts can relish undercard events that will feature an assortment of more established fighters in the boxing world.
    • HBO Sports and NFL Films are teaming on Belichick & Saban: The Art of Coaching, a feature-length film about the four-decade friendship between football coaches Bill Belichick and Nick Saban. According to Cynopsis Sports, the pair grant unprecedented camera access to their annual coaching retreat, where they share conversation about their interwoven history, admiration, coaching philosophies, and more. “Bill Belichick and Nick Saban have become the modern versions of Vince Lombardi and John Wooden – symbols of success not just in sports but in life,” said Ross Ketover, Chief Executive of NFL Films. “Their lessons on leadership are an inspiration; not just for those of us who love football but for anyone who wants to thrive at whatever passion they pursue.” The film is slated air in December on HBO. Belichick and Saban have both started their 2019 campaigns off with a bang, as Alabama handily won its first two games and the Patriots obliterated the Steelers 33-3 on Sunday night.

Michael Phelps and wife Nicole welcome third son, Maverick

USA Today Sports Images

Michael Phelps and wife Nicole welcome third son, Maverick

Michael Phelps and his wife Nicole, former Miss California 2010, have welcomed the arrival of their third son.

Maverick Nicolas was born on September 9, 2019. Maverick follows Boomer Robert, 3, and Beckett Richard, 18 months old.

The parents also shared a sweet photo from Boomer's Instagram account from their hospital photo session. 


Michael Phelps, the greatest swimmer of all time and most decorated Olympian of all time, is from Baltimore, Maryland and boasts 28 total medals, 23 of which are gold.