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Bowman To Be Handed Junior’s Ride In 2018

| , RacinToday.com Thursday, July 20 2017

Alex Bowman will slide into the No. 88 Hendrick Motorsports Chevrolet on a full-time basis next season. (RacinToday/HHP file photo by Alan Marler)

RacinToday.com

Journeyman NASCAR driver Alex Bowman will take the wheel the No. 88 Chevrolet next season, Hendrick Motorsports announced today.

Bowman, 24, impressed the 12-time Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series champion team last year, driving the No. 88 in 10 of the last 18 races for the injured Dale Earnhardt Jr.. He drove to three top-10 finishes, including a sixth-place showing at Phoenix where he won the pole and led a race-high 194 laps.

“Ever since I was a kid, racing is all I’ve wanted to do,” said Bowman, who grew up in Tucson, Ariz. “I’ve had so many people believe in me along the way. My family has sacrificed a lot and always been behind me. I would never have this chance without the support of Dale and everyone involved with the No. 88 team. To be part of Hendrick Motorsports and for Mr. Hendrick to have this confidence in me, it’s just amazing.”

An alumnus of the NASCAR Next program spotlighting the sport’s top young drivers, Bowman has made 81 career Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series starts, but his stint with Hendrick last season marked the first time he competed with top-notch equipment.

“The No. 88 team is such a great group of people,” Bowman said. “I know we can pick up where we left off last year, and I truly believe we can win races and contend for a championship.”

Last year’s Cup series starts weren’t Bowman’s first go-around with Hendrick Motorsports. From 2014-16, he made 11 NASCAR Xfinity Series starts and one NASCAR Camping World Truck Series appearance for Hendrick-affiliated/Earnhardt-owned JR Motorsports, recording three top fives and seven top 10s. This season, he’s worked for Hendrick Motorsports and partner Chevrolet as a simulation and on-track test driver.

“Alex impressed the heck out of us last year with his talent, poise and professionalism,” said Rick Hendrick, owner of Hendrick Motorsports. “He stepped up in a very demanding situation and showed that he can run with the best and compete for wins. His ability to stay focused through it all, and the way he’s handled himself since then, has shown a lot of character.”

“He’s worked so hard for this opportunity,” Earnhardt posted on Twitter. “A huge thanks to the @nationwide88 fans for supporting Alex. 2018 is going to be exciting.”

| , RacinToday.com Thursday, July 20 2017
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