Arizona native on the pole at the Daytona 500

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Daytona 500 pole sitter Alex Bowman joins Arizona's Family via satellite. Daytona 500 pole sitter Alex Bowman joins Arizona's Family via satellite.
Arizona native Alex Bowman won the pole position at Daytona with a speed of 195.44 mph Arizona native Alex Bowman won the pole position at Daytona with a speed of 195.44 mph
PHOENIX (3TV/CBS 5) -

Arizona native Alex Bowman will start on the pole at Nascar's biggest spectacle. The 24-year-old from Tucson ran the fastest qualifying lap with a posted speed of 195.44 mph.

“It's pretty cool to represent the state of Arizona," said Bowman in a satellite interview with Arizona's Family. 

"Obviously a lot of great race car drivers have come from the Tucson and Phoenix area. Really cool to get the pole in the Daytona 500. It means the world to me. It's a dream come true to drive the 88 car for Hendrick Motor Sports. Hopefully, we'll keep it up front all day next Sunday and hopefully get another trophy."

Bowman’s pole is the fourth consecutive for Hendrick Racing, a mark that ties the Nascar record, subbed for Dale Earnhardt Jr., who missed time during the 2016 season with a concussion. Bowman had to sit out last season, waiting to take Earnhardt Jr.’s spot. He has started 81 races as Earnhardt’s replacement and driving for BK Racing in 2014.

“I’m kind of a realist,” said Bowman. “I know that I had very little to do with winning the pole. Super speedway qualifying is much more about the race team than about the driver.”

The nickname “Bowman the Showman” has started to make the rounds on the Monster Energy Cup Series. It’s not the one that Bowman would pick.

"I thought about changing my twitter name to just Dale Earnhardt Jr's replacement cause I feel like that's all I've been called the past 6 months,” joked Bowman. “I'm like, 'hey guys I have a name.' It's all good. That's almost better than Bowman the Showman, that's almost worse. Not a big fan of that nickname at this point but at this point it's stuck a little"

The Daytona 500 is set to start on Sunday at 12:30 p.m. Arizona time.

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