Photo credit: Nigel Kinrade Photography

Chicago win pushes Alex Bowman closer to special milestone

Last weekend's win at Chicago was significant for Alex Bowman considering that it put him back into the playoffs and snapped an 80-race winless streak. It also pushed him much closer to a special milestone.

Bowman and Ally have donated more than $650,000 to Best Friends Animal Society-affiliated shelters across the country during their time together. They are on pace to reach more than $720,000 in donations by the end of the Cup Series season.

Each week of the NASCAR Cup Series season, Bowman and Ally have combined to donate $4,800 to a Best Friends Animal Society-affiliated shelter in the particular race market. When Bowman wins, this amount goes to $10,000.

This is a partnership that began in 2021 when Bowman took over the No. 48 Chevrolet. The original weekly amount was $1,000 from Bowman and $1,000 from Ally. Winning still took that number to $10,000 total.

The first season of the partnership was wildly successful. Bowman won four Cup races. He also donated money after auctioning off a race-worn helmet. Bowman then added to the total with proceeds from the sale of the Denny Hamlin-inspired "Hack" T-shirt.

Bowman and Ally ultimately reached more than $100,000 in donations that first season. They celebrated by increasing the amount to $4,800 for 2022 and beyond. Now the milestone of $700,000 is within reach.

The win at Chicago and the increased donation come at a fitting time for Bowman. He will next compete at Pocono Raceway, a track where he won during his first season with Ally as his primary partner.

Photo credit: Nigel Kinrade Photography

The Arizona native will return to the site of the 2021 win, and he will showcase a Best Friends scheme on his No. 48 Hendrick Motorsports Chevrolet Camaro. This is the same scheme he used this spring during a race weekend at Phoenix Raceway.

The scheme features dozens of paw prints, as well as bright orange Best Friends logos. The scheme includes photos of dogs and cats. A message on the rear of the car reads "Save Them All."

Bowman will drive the Ally/Best Friends Chevrolet at a track where he has 14 starts in Cup with one win, two top-five finishes, and four top-10s. His average finish at Pocono is 18.4, and he has finished every race he has started at the 2.5-mile track.