One of the most anticipated announcements was made in NASCAR today as fans of the coveted Hendrick Motorsports No. 88 learned who would fill the shoes of retiring driver Dale Earnhardt, Jr. One year after his impressive debut with the famed Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series team, 24-year-old Alex Bowman has been named the full-time driver of the No. 88 Chevrolet in the NASCAR Cup Series with a 19-race majority sponsorship from Nationwide in 2018.
The Tucson, Ariz. native piloted the No. 88 Chevrolet SS in 10 of the final 18 Cup races last season in place of injured driver Dale Earnhardt Jr. Following his debut at New Hampshire in 2016, Bowman went on to earn three top-10 finishes with the team, including a sixth-place result at Phoenix, where he won the pole position and led a race-high 194 laps.
In addition to Nationwide’s one-year extension with Hendrick Motorsports, Axalta Coating Systems will increase its number of races featured as the primary sponsor of the No. 88 team, bringing its total to 15 Cup races with Bowman in 2018. The driver said that the support from the two partners means the world to him.
“To be here is kind of – it’s a shock, so every time I talk to (Hendrick Motorsports owner) Mr. (Rick) Hendrick it’s like, ‘Wow, you’re talking to Mr. Hendrick and you’re driving for Hendrick Motorsports,’” said Bowman. “I’m just very thankful for this team and its sponsors to take a chance on me and to have their continued support. It’s going to be a lot of fun.”
After being greeted with handshakes and hugs from both the team and the sponsors for whom he will be driving during the 2018 season, Bowman said he is ready to push the jitters aside and get to work on making NASCAR’s largest team a continued success.
Stay tuned to RacingJunk.com to find out what will happen next in the world of NASCAR.