Finishing second for the third straight week left Alex Bowman disenchanted following the Digital Ally 400 at the Kansas Speedway.

The 26-year-old from Tuscon, Arizona led three times for a total of 63 laps and found himself on the point inside ten to go. He saw his chance for his maiden Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series win disappear as Brad Keselowski passed him on the high side with six laps remaining in the race.

“We had a really good car, I just made bad decisions going through lap traffic on lane choice,” he said. “They stayed where I needed to run. I should have gone high and I shouldn’t have picked the middle like I did. I just had to lift and let the 2 and the 20 drive right around me. I’m pretty frustrated with myself. There was no way around that, that was a bad mistake on my part.

Bowman took the lead on Lap 179 when Kevin Harvick pitted for a possible tire issue. He remaining inside the top five for much of the night and took the lead from Ricky Stenhouse, Jr on Lap 249.

Keselowski slowly erased his lead but Bowman defended the position until the pair encountered the lapped car of Cody Ware. Bowman took the low line in Turn 3 while Keselowski motored by on the high side in clean air as Erik Jones followed.

A mechanical failure on Matt DiBenedetto’s car forced the 267-lap race into overtime. Bowman squeaked by Jones and crossed the line .205 of a second in arrears to Keselowski.

The driver of the No. 88 Axalta Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 for Hendrick Motorsports lamented that he paid the price for making the wrong lane choice when battling Keselowski.

“Just stick to what you know and don’t overthink it,” he said. “When you’re out there running wide open, it’s all about lane choice.”

Bowman’s run of three-consecutive second place finishes stands as a NASCAR record for most successive runner ups before claiming a win.

Bowman carried the flag for Hendrick Motorsports and was one of three of the organization’s driver that finished in the top ten. Chase Elliott finished fourth and Jimmie Johnson ended up sixth.

That alone gave Bowman a reason to smile despite coming up short.

“It’s absolutely a good day for everyone at Hendrick Motorsports,” he said. “We all had really competitive cars and we really appreciate everyone’s hard work to continue to build our cars and continue to get better like we have. It was a really good day.”

Bowman’s hot streak of finishing second at Talladega, Dover and Kansas moves him to 12th in the championship. He is securely above the Playoff cutoff line ahead of Daniel Suarez, Erik Jones, Kyle Larson and teammate Jimmie Johnson.

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