The drivers at Hendrick Motorsports know how to take advantage of bold statements after NASCAR Cup Series races. Chase Elliott released his “merry offseason and happy Christmas” shirts after an incident with Kevin Harvick and now Alex Bowman has unveiled his “Hack” t-shirts based on comments from Denny Hamlin.
The driver of the No. 48 Chevrolet Camaro revealed the new designs on Sunday, October 31, after he won a race at Martinsville Speedway. The black shirts, which are available for preorder at $24.99, feature “Hack” in purple text, Bowman’s autograph, and the Alex Bowman Racing logo.
“He’s just a hack, an absolute hack,” Hamlin said about Bowman after the race to NBC Sports. “He gets his a** kicked by his teammates every week. He’s just f****** terrible. He’s just terrible, and he sees this one opportunity and he takes it. He has the fastest car every week, and he runs 10th.”
Hamlin made the comments after Bowman got loose and made contact with the No. 11, sending it sliding into the wall on Lap 494 of 501. Hamlin dropped outside of the top 20 while Bowman won his fourth race of the season after taking the lead from Kyle Busch on the final restart.
Bowman Addressed the Situation on SiriusXM NASCAR Radio
The driver of the No. 48 HMS Chevrolet provided further thoughts about the issues between him and Hamlin. He thanked the driver of the No. 11 FedEx Toyota Camry for the t-shirt idea before clarifying that his team had already designed it before he called his spotter, Kevin Hamlin.
While Bowman said that he has won more Cup Series races than Hamlin in 2021, he also expressed regret for the contact that sent his fellow driver into the wall. Bowman reiterated that he got loose underneath Hamlin and unintentionally hit him.
“To be honest with you, I expected to get out of that race car and get absolutely booed and eaten alive by the fans,” Bowman said during his November 1 appearance. “I felt like I messed up, I crashed somebody. I don’t like that. I don’t like racing like that. It was unintentional. I did not mean to do that, and I was not happy that it happened.”
According to Davey Segal of the Victory Lane podcast, Bowman added that he will probably donate some of the t-shirt sales to a local animal shelter, increasing the amount that he gives after each race on the Cup Series schedule.
Bowman also said that one of the last text interactions between him and Hamlin was his fellow driver apologizing for a wreck at Texas Motor Speedway. According to Bowman, Hamlin said that he “couldn’t control” his race car.
The incident occurred on July 19, 2020, with 16 laps remaining in the race. Hamlin tried to move inside of Bowman and Ryan Blaney, but he got loose and attempted to correct the car. However, he hit the side of the No. 88 — Bowman’s old number — and sent it sliding into the wall. The hard hit severely damaged the right side of the stock car and sent Bowman to the garage for a 30th-place finish. Hamlin also suffered some damage, but he continued in the race and finished 20th.
Joe Gibbs Racing Also Got Involved on Social Media
While fans of both Hamlin and Bowman argued on Twitter for hours after the crash, the Joe Gibbs Racing social media team took part in their own unique way. The first example was a photo of some damage to Hamlin’s stock car, along with the caption, “hack job.”
The social media team also played up the budding rivalry with a scene from the classic 1985 western, “Silverado.” They inserted photos of Hamlin and Bowman into the moments leading up to a pivotal duel between Cobb (Brian Dennehy) and Paden (Kevin Kline).
In the scene, acting sheriff Cobb/Hamlin sees Paden/Bowman approaching and heads out into the middle of the street for the standoff. Meanwhile, the NASCAR official/Stella (Linda Hunt) stands by to watch.
The social media team also added in footage of Hamlin interrupting Bowman’s victory celebration to give him double middle fingers and go nose-to-nose with his stock car.
The interesting part of the post is how the scene ends. Joe Gibbs Racing did not include the full duel from “Silverado,” which takes place in the closing minutes. Paden/Bowman kills Dennehy/Hamlin and becomes the new sheriff in town after helping get rid of some unsavory characters.