Driving the No. 48 Chevrolet for Hendrick Motorsports, Jimmie Johnson won a NASCAR Cup Series record 11 races at Dover prior to his retirement from the sport at the end of 2020. Last year, Johnson’s replacement in the No. 48 — Alex Bowman — picked up right where his predecessor left off by going to Victory Lane at the Monster Mile. So Bowman, who led 98 of 400 laps in that race, now harbors hopes of making it back-to-back wins at Dover this weekend after struggling in his first few trips to the Delaware track.
“I was terrible here when I would come here for other teams. I got a little better when I started driving for Hendrick Motorsports,” said Bowman, who wheeled the Hendrick Motorsports No. 88 for three seasons before jumping in Johnson’s No. 48 after the seven-time Cup champion retired from NASCAR. “I had some OK runs here and there. My first or second time here for Hendrick Motorsports, I was struggling in practice. I would text Jimmie, bug him all night before the race trying to ask him what he does, how he approaches this place, what kind of line he runs. I just stuck to that, really tried to run like Jimmie did, run the Jimmie Johnson line, be tight against the black, super-disciplined, super-patient, kind of do some of the same things that he does with the throttle.”