DOVER, Del. — Alex Bowman parked the No. 48 Chevrolet in its familiar spot in victory lane at Dover International Speedway, leading a dominant outing for Hendrick Motorsports on Sunday afternoon.
Bowman led Rick Hendrick's four-car stable to a sensational 1-2-3-4 finish in the NASCAR Cup Series race at the "Monster Mile," where Kyle Larson was second, Chase Elliott third and William Byron fourth.
How hot was Bowman? His car caught fire after the race.
"Help me Tom Cruise, I'm on fire," he said, channeling Will Ferrell as Ricky Bobby in "Talladega Nights."
Bowman, 28, won for the second time this season — he had won just twice before this year — and passed 1,000 laps led in his Cup Series career.
The victory celebration had to seem familiar for Hendrick Motorsports, though. Jimmie Johnson, the seven-time Cup Series champion now in IndyCar, set a record with 11 Dover wins in the 48 car. It seems Johnson's successor is just as adept at handling the rigors of the concrete mile.
"Best race track on the schedule," Bowman said.
Bowman has followed two of NASCAR's biggest superstars, first taking the wheel of the No. 88 after Dale Earnhardt Jr. retired before making the move to the 48 this season, and taking another checkered flag might be one more step out of their shadows.
Bowman, who came from nowhere with 10 laps to go to win at Richmond Raceway last month, joined Martin Truex Jr. as the Cup Series' only driver this season with multiple victories. Joe Gibbs Racing's Truex celebrated his third win of 2021 one week earlier at Darlington Raceway.
Larson led a Hendrick parade for all but a handful of laps into the third stage. He won the first two stages and seemed poised to turn the race into a rout on the way to his second win in his first season with Hendrick. Bowman spoiled the run when he beat the No. 5 off pit road and led the final 98 laps.
"Their team just did a good job on getting control on the pit stop," said Larson, who led a race-high 263 laps. "I feel like I did everything I could."
Hendrick, whose cars led 382 of 400 laps, became the first team to finish 1-2-3-4 since Jack Roush's organization in 2005. Hendrick now has 267 victories, one shy of the NASCAR record held by Petty Enterprises, which last competed in 2008.
Sunday's competition wrapped up Dover's only NASCAR weekend of the season. The track had hosted twice a year sinc 1971, but Dover Motorsports, Inc. this year moved one of its race dates to Nashville Superspeedway, a 1.33-mile concrete track that was built in 2001 by DMI and hosted NASCAR and IndyCar events until 2011. Nashville's race is set for June 20.