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Bowman shows off LLumar car at Eastman

Jeff Birchfield • Aug 16, 2018 at 10:14 PM

KINGSPORT — While in the Tri-Cities, NASCAR driver Alex Bowman met with fans, signed autographs and showed off his No. 88 LLumar Chevrolet at Eastman Chemical Co. on Thursday afternoon.

In February, Bowman’s Hendrick Motorsports team and the LLumar brand of window film, produced by Eastman, reached a three-year sponsorship agreement.

The LLumar car won’t be racing in Saturday’s Bass Pro Shops NRA Night Race at Bristol Motor Speedway, but it will be the car Bowman races in the Southern 500 at Darlington, S.C.

“It’s really cool to have LLumar on the car,” said Bowman, who took over the No. 88 Chevrolet after the retirement of Dale Earnhardt Jr. at the end of last season. “While we were here for the Bristol race, it was the perfect time to debut the look to the fans.”

According to one Eastman executive, the deal with the Hendrick is the perfect forum to get the word out about the value of tinted windows and the products available.

“In the United States, we estimate about only two of 10 vehicles get tinted windows,” said Dan Birkenmeier, Eastman Performance Films Division channel manager for the Americas. “So there is such an opportunity for growth and one of the ways is to raise awareness with consumers why they should get tinted windows for their cars. This partnership with NASCAR is a great way to elevate that.

“Hendrick Motorsports has 7 million followers with their brand and drivers and it’s a great way to get our products in front of a dedicated following of fans.”

It continues Eastman’s long history in NASCAR racing.

The Eastman-supported No. 4 Kodak Chevrolet teamed with Abingdon-based Morgan-McClure Motorsports in the late 1980s and through the ’90s. The team scored a first win at the Bristol’s August race in 1990 with Ernie Irvan behind the wheel.

Irvan won the 1991 Daytona 500 then Sterling Marlin won back-to-back Daytona 500s in the No. 4 Chevy in 1994-95.

A decade ago, the LLumar brand was as an associate sponsor in the NASCAR Xfinity Series on the No. 12 Chevrolet co-owned by four-time Super Bowl champion quarterback Terry Bradshaw and driven by Kerry Earnhardt.

BOWMAN LOOKING TO WIN

Bowman sits 15th in the Monster Energy Cup Series points standings, currently the last driver eligible to make NASCAR’s 10-race playoff. He would love to win a race or at least gather enough points to pass teammate Jimmie Johnson.

“It’s never a comfortable spot being the bubble guy. So many things can happen,” Bowman said. “Somebody behind us in points could win. We’re 30 points behind Jimmie for the next spot. We just have to pick up points and have good solid weeks.”

Bowman has two top-five finishes and eight top-10 finishes over the season’s first 23 races. But there is some optimism at Hendrick coming into Bristol after teammate Chase Elliott recently won on the road course at Watkins Glen.

Bowman, who recorded his best finish of a third at Pocono three weeks ago, was fifth in April’s Food City 500 at BMS.

“Our race cars are getting better every week and Chase winning was big for the organization,” Bowman said. “We’ve got a ways to go, but we’re improving and headed in the right direction.”

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