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Alex Bowman Set To Drive Hendrick Motorsports #88 In 2018

Alex Bowman. [John Wiedemann Photo]

Alex Bowman. [John Wiedemann Photo]

by Dan Margetta

Speedway, Ind., July 23 — Alex Bowman was officially introduced as the driver to replace the retiring Dale Earnhardt Jr. in the Hendrick Motorsports #88 Nationwide/Axalta Chevrolet for 2018 Sunday at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway.

Bowman filled in for Earnhardt last season when concussion issues took him out of the car for much of the second half of the season and he performed admirably, winning the pole position and finishing sixth at Phoenix last November. Bowman had spent this season in a behind the scenes role at Hendrick Motorsports doing testing work in the simulator and when Earnhardt announced this year would be his final in Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series competition, he was tabbed to drive the #88 ride for 2018.

“It’s a complete dream come true, it’s a little bit overwhelming but I’m just so thankful and appreciative for the opportunity and for Nationwide and Axalta for supporting me and for Dale (Earnhardt Jr.) for all he has done,” Bowman stated, “A lot of really cool stuff happened this week and I was able to share everything on Thursday with my dad.”

“He was at the shop with us and I grew up in a body shop in my hometown of Tucson, so it was really cool to show him that stuff, “Bowman continued, “ I got to call my grandmother and she is probably my biggest supporter and she was thrilled.”

“To be honest with you I didn’t know a lot about Alex, “ car owner Rick Hendrick said, “ But then when he got in the car and performed, and the feedback that he had with all the teammates and crew chiefs and they were just super excited about how he performed.”

“His relationship with the sponsors through that period had a great fit factor and the thing that really impressed me was that he was so committed to our organization, “Hendrick also stated, “He was willing to sign a deal and do the simulator and wait for an opportunity. He’s committed and talented and he deserves the opportunity.”

Bowman also received a strong recommendation from Dale Earnhardt Jr. who was also present to wish him well in his new endeavors.

I believe in his talent on the race track and his commitment off the race track to work to further his career over the last several years has been really impressive., “ said Earnhardt, “There are a lot of guys that have the talent and need that one critical break and if they stay committed and keep pushing and are willing to make the sacrifices, that opportunity might come along and Alex is a perfect example of that. He gets this opportunity because of his commitment to his own career and his gamble on himself that he made a long, long time ago.”

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Dan Margetta

Dan Margetta