Bowman Says Concussion Affected Vision

| Senior Writer, RacinToday.com Sunday, October 30 2022

Alex Bowman, No. 48,  talked about his head injury at Martinsville. (Photo by Meg Oliphant/Getty Images)

MARTINSVILLE, Va. – Alex Bowman said Sunday at Martinsville Speedway that the concussion he suffered at Las Vegas Motor Speedway earlier this month affected his ocular system, equating the pressure in his eyes to that experienced when one has a sinus infection.

“The doctors said … the concussion kind of hurts the weakest points of your body,” Bowman said. “I had some vision stuff going on. I think that was the thing that took the longest to recover from. It created headaches, but it was because of my eyes.”  

 Even though Bowman told his team after the Las Vegas crash that it was the hardest hit he had ever experienced, it was several days before he realized he had a concussion.

“Sunday, obviously, I didn’t feel good,” Bowman recounted. “Monday, I didn’t feel great, but it was hard for me to identify what was really going on. Typically, Mondays after a race when it’s that hot, you kind of feel bad anyway because you’re dehydrated. Tuesday, I felt great. I made three laps in a Sprint car for an Ally deal. Felt great through all of that; felt totally normal. Wednesday, I had a crazy busy day and by the end of the day I was feeling pretty bad. I felt really bad in front of screens and stuff like that.”

Bowman immediately contacted a doctor, and one told him “a concussion fights dirty”.

“The recovery was definitely different from what I would have assumed for concussions,” Bowman said. “I got back into my regular routine of training pretty quickly and just added things for my ocular and vestibular systems to try to catch them back up. So, it was a long process and a couple of flights back-and-forth to Pittsburgh to see the guys up there.”

Bowman said he received more text messages and advice than he knew what to do with, and he’s been training harder than ever the last couple of weeks. 

“I’m probably in a better spot (physically) than I was before I crashed,” Bowman said. “It was pretty difficult (to get to this point). It was 6 a.m. workouts every day, followed by a 9 a.m. workout every day. If I didn’t have the possibility to get back this year, it would have been easier to kind of push those things off and not work as hard.”  

Bowman said the toughest part of his recovery was watching someone else drive his No. 48 Hendrick Motorsports Chevrolet. Noah Gragson substituted for Bowman; however, Bowman continued to attend team meetings and be in the shop.

“At first you kind of feel not forgotten about, but just weird not going to the race track,” Bowman said. “All I’ve ever known is racing. It’s weird driving around and realizing there are people that don’t know a NASCAR race is going on.”

After being cleared to race, Bowman, who’s from Tucson, Ariz., said there were two reasons he wanted to return at Phoenix. He wanted to be there for crew chief Greg Ives’ last race, and he wanted to enter the off-season with confidence. 

“I don’t want to sit all off-season questioning it,” Bowman said.  

Hendrick Motorsports President and General Manager Jeff Andrews said the organization has already made changes to its drivers’ seats and headrests based on what they learned from Bowman’s Texas crash. 


| Senior Writer, RacinToday.com Sunday, October 30 2022
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