Bowman released a statement on October 4. He said that he is continuing to make strides in his recovery from a crash, which took place at Texas Motor Speedway and forced him to miss the trip to Talladega Superspeedway. However, he will not yet return to racing. This means that Noah Gragson will once again replace him in the No. 48 Chevrolet.
“Alex’s health is our first priority,” said Jeff Andrews, president and general manager of Hendrick Motorsports, in a press release. “We’re focused on supporting his recovery and seeing him back in his race car when the time is right. Alex has a long career ahead of him, so we will invest the necessary time and take our guidance from medical experts. We’re putting no pressure on him to return before he’s 100% ready.”
3 Full-Time Drivers Will Miss the Roval Race
With Bowman announcing that he will miss his second consecutive race, he joins a list of drivers that will not be active at the Roval. This also includes Kurt Busch and Cody Ware.
Busch has been out since the race weekend at Pocono Raceway due to his own concussion-like symptoms. He continues to focus on his recovery, but he has not yet received clearance from his doctors. The Bank of America Roval 400 will mark the 12th race that he has missed after crashing during qualifying.
“I feel hopeful,” Busch said about his potential return on September 27, transcript courtesy of NASCAR Media. “I know that I have more doctor visits and more distance to go, and I keep pushing each week.”
Busch continued and explained that not every injury is the same. His situation will not be the same as any other driver, and the recovery will be a process. This will likely be true when comparing his concussion symptoms with Bowman’s.
Ware, for comparison, wrecked at Texas Motor Speedway on September 25. He suffered an impact fracture after hitting both the outside wall and the pit road wall, but he was able to compete the following week at Talladega Superspeedway. Though he had to wear a boot and use crutches during the race weekend.
Ware announced on October 4 that he will also miss the race weekend at the Charlotte Roval. He explained that he will not be able to give 100% due to the extensive footwork required to navigate the turn-heavy course.
This Missed Race Will Impact the Playoffs
Bowman’s long-term health is by far the most pressing concern. Nothing else matters more than Bowman making a full recovery for the remainder of the 2022 season, as well as 2023.
There is one other storyline that requires mentioning. This absence will have an effect on the playoffs considering that Bowman will automatically face elimination at the end of the race.
The Round of 12 ends at the Charlotte Roval, which means that four drivers will no longer be eligible to compete for the championship. Bowman will enter the weekend below the playoff cutline, so he will automatically be out. Three other drivers will join him at the end of the 109 laps.