Alex Bowman to Miss 3-4 Weeks With Injury

Getty Alex Bowman will miss multiple weeks due to an injury.

The No. 48 Hendrick Motorsports Chevrolet Camaro will have a different driver for the next three to four races. Alex Bowman sustained an injury in a crash, which will keep him out of the NASCAR Cup Series.

Hendrick Motorsports announced the news on April 26. The team said in a statement that Bowman had suffered a fractured vertebra in an on-track incident while competing in a sprint car event at 34 Raceway in West Burlington, Iowa. Bowman received treatment after the crash and then once again on the morning of April 26 in Charlotte.

“We’re relieved Alex is home, in good spirits and getting world-class treatment,” said team owner Rick Hendrick. “Giving him ample time and the foremost resources to heal is our top priority. He’s having a tremendous season, and the No. 48 is at the top of its game.”

“Last night I was involved in an on-track accident while racing and fractured a vertebra,” Bowman said in a statement. “First, I want to let everyone know I’m feeling OK. My focus now is on healing and resting. Being out of the car is never an update any driver wants to make.

“I’m thankful to Josh Berry and Hendrick Motorsports for stepping up to the plate and I know the entire Ally Racing team will give it their all these next few weeks. I’ll be doing everything I can at home to help the team and ensure my recovery is as quick as possible to get back in the 48 car soon.”

HMS Will Turn To a Familiar Replacement Driver

Alex Bowman

GettyAlex Bowman prepares for qualifying at Phoenix Raceway.

With Bowman out of action for the next few weeks, Hendrick Motorsports will have to turn to a replacement driver. Josh Berry will step into this role, starting with the race weekend at Dover Motor Speedway.

Berry will continue to make starts at Kansas Speedway and Darlington Raceway. Whether he suits up at Charlotte Motor Speedway for the Coca-Cola 600 depends on his recovery progress.

Berry has already made five Cup Series starts for Hendrick Motorsports in 2023. He replaced Chase Elliott in the No. 9 Chevrolet after the 2020 Cup Series champion fractured his tibia in a snowboarding accident. Berry completed every race, and he posted two top-10 finishes — 10th at Phoenix Raceway and second at Richmond Raceway.

“We know what Josh is capable of in the race car and that Blake [Harris, crew chief] and the team will continue operating at a high level until Alex is ready to return,” Hendrick continued. “He has our full, unequivocal support.”

Hendrick Motorsports is not the only team that will need to turn to a replacement driver. Bowman also had a scheduled Truck Series start at North Wilkesboro Speedway on May 20. If he is not yet cleared to return to NASCAR, Spire Motorsports will need to have a different plan for the race.

Hendrick Motorsports Took Care of Another Piece of Business

As part of the announcement, Hendrick Motorsports confirmed that it has taken care of another piece of business. The team will request a medical waiver for Bowman so that he can remain eligible for the Cup Series playoffs.

Based on NASCAR’s history, it is likely that Bowman will receive a waiver. The sanctioning body granted one to Elliott as he returned to action at Martinsville Speedway. NASCAR also granted a waiver to Kurt Busch in 2022 after he sustained a concussion at Pocono Raceway. He ultimately relinquished his spot in the playoffs.

Bowman is winless in 2023, so he does not have a guaranteed spot in the playoffs. However, he was ninth in the championship standings after an L1-Level penalty to the No. 48 team took away 60 points and dropped him out of the top spot.

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