Prior to the 10-week COVID-19 postponement, NASCAR driver Alex Bowman secured victory during the Auto Club 400. This was a historic moment for the driver of the No. 88 Hendrick Motorsports Chevrolet Camaro, considering it was his first win in Southern California, but Bowman drew attention for a different reason. He told FOX Sports in a post-race interview that he needed to go get a tattoo.
Speaking with PopCulture.com in an exclusive interview, Bowman confirmed that he still needs to get the tattoo after making a wager with Aaron Gillespie and the other members of the rock band Underoath. He also explained that Gillespie originally came up with the idea for a wager centered around the Auto Club 400 and No. 88. If Bowman ended his day in Victory Lane, the group would get matching number tattoos in celebration, but the NASCAR driver has not done so just yet.
"No. No. I think everybody else got theirs except for me," Bowman told PopCulture. "COVID[-19] kind of happened like a week and a half after that. So with the shutdown and everything, I have not done that yet, and I need to, and I will, but I haven't yet."
As a NASCAR driver, Bowman has enjoyed some unique perks that come with stock car racing. His friendship and subsequent tattoo wager with Underoath is the perfect example. As he explained, Bowman became acquainted with the members of the band through social media and the friendship only grew from there. Gillespie and his bandmates have since attended multiple races while cheering for Bowman.
"So, I met the guys in Underoath a couple [of] years ago," Bowman continued. "I think Tim [McTague] hit me up first on Instagram, and then became really good friends with Aaron, and then some of the road crew for them as well. So it's fun to get to know them. I actually, I talk to them quite a bit, so they've come to quite a few races, and they're always a good time to hang around. Aaron texts me all the time like, 'Man, when are they going to let fans come back? I got to come to a race soon.' So hopefully that happens, but it's been really cool. I've met people from quite a few bands that I like just through kind of social media, and being able to meet those guys has been really neat. So definitely enjoyed that part of my job for sure."
Along with Underoath, Bowman has become friends with the metalcore band I Prevail. He also met Blink 182 at a show and attended Warped Tour with drummer Nick Rossi, where he watched metal band August Burns Red from backstage. Bowman loves music, especially heavier bands, but he is one of the few NASCAR drivers who does not use it to pump himself up for a race. When faced with questions about his pre-race procedures, Bowman actually laid out two different scenarios.0comments
On a normal pre-race day before the shutdown, Bowman would run from place to place making appearances for fans. Following the shutdown, however, he prepares his body for the grueling hours in the sun. He gets in a pre-race workout and then gets in the No. 88 looking for victory. "It's just one of those deals where I typically didn't have the time [to listen to music], but now I guess I would have the time and I just still don't do it," Bowman explained. "So it'd probably be something heavier if I was going to do it, but I don't know."
The pre-race workouts will be critical on Saturday and Sunday as Bowman takes part in another doubleheader weekend. The NASCAR Cup Series is heading to Dover International Speedway in Delaware for the Drydene 311 on Saturday and Sunday. The track is known for high G forces, which will create even more of a challenge when partnered with temperatures in the mid-80s.