Alex Bowman has been out of the No. 48 Hendrick Motorsports Chevrolet Camaro since suffering a T3 compression fracture in a sprint car crash. He doesn’t know when he will return to NASCAR, but he has hit an important milestone.
“This week, I was able to get back into the gym a little bit, which was really good because not working out for a couple weeks is like the worst thing in the world for me,” Bowman said on May 14 during an appearance at Darlington Raceway.
“They have these air bands that kind of pump up around your muscles so you can work out with really light weights and still get a good workout from it. I was doing curls with five-pound weights. Typically I do 10’s, so five’s was a good workout for me.”
As Bowman continued to explain, he still deals with pain when he laughs, coughs, sneezes, or hits a bump in the road while driving. He has still maintained his mobility and has been able to walk around without a brace, but there is still work to do. Though getting back into the gym was an important part of his recovery.
Bowman Has an Appointment Ahead of Him
When Hendrick Motorsports originally announced on April 26 that Bowman had suffered an injury, the team set a tentative timeline. The organization said that the Arizona native would potentially miss three to four weeks of action.
This timeline would put Bowman’s possible return at Charlotte Motor Speedway on May 28. However, this is not set in stone. It will all depend on whether he receives clearance from his doctor and the level of pain he experiences.
“I don’t have a time for an estimated return,” Bowman added. “I have a doctor’s appointment this week to get some more x-rays to see how it’s healing and we’ll go from there. I’m obviously mobile.
“Super fortunate that the injury wasn’t any worse than it was. Obviously, a lot of people have had that flat landing in a sprint car and have been hurt much worse than I was. I’ll heal up and come back when I can.”
As Bowman explained, getting clearance will only be one step in the process. He will also have to test himself in a variety of ways to see that he is fully able to deal with all of the bumps and harsh movements.
Part of this testing will involve pit stop practice where the car gets jacked up and dropped multiple times. Bowman will also have to tighten his belts to see how his body would react to getting ready for a race.
Bowman Has Made His Intentions Very Clear
There is no denying that this time away from the No. 48 Chevrolet Camaro has been difficult for Bowman. He has watched another driver control his stock car while watching other drivers make moves in the standings.
As Bowman explained, this was all self-inflicted. He took part in extracurricular racing while trying to get better behind the wheel and suffered an injury. He can’t change this fact, but he can focus on how he makes his return to the NASCAR Cup Series.
Bowman missed out on two tracks that fit his style of racing, but he will have more opportunities to pursue wins before the end of the regular season. He still has dates with Pocono Raceway and Richmond Raceway, tracks where he has previous wins. He will also take on Atlanta Motor Speedway, where he finished 10th early in 2022.
“Yeah, you look at the races I missed the first two weeks,” Bowman said. “Statistically, Dover and Kansas are the best places for me by a mile, so it’s a huge bummer. Mentally to sit there and just watch. I mean how good the No. 48 ran at Dover, just knowing that I feel like I’m really good there, that’s my best race track and how good we could have been.
“And then kind of the same at Kansas. I love that race track, as well. So yeah, missed out on a lot of points, but that’s on me. I decided to go sprint car racing. I’m a big boy. It’s on me. There’s nobody to blame. Just have to get healthy and make up for it when I can come back.”