Alex Bowman Returns to No. 48 Hendrick Motorsports for Coca-Cola 600 at Charlotte

Bowman was competing in a sprint car race when injured - Anne Profit photo

Alex Bowman has recovered from his injury incurred a month ago to return to NASCAR Cup Series competition – Anne Proffit photo

 

Hendrick Motorsports drivers Chase Elliott and Alex Bowman have given Xfinity racer Josh Berry the opportunity to compete in NASCAR’s Cup Series, something he likely never expected to be doing in 2023. The duo’s injuries have allowed Berry to work in the top tier of stock car racing as both drivers have recovered sufficiently from their non-NASCAR-racing injuries to return to their seats in both the No. 9 and No. 48 Chevrolet ZL1 entries, respectively.

Elliott’s been back for a while and now Bowman, 30, returns for the Coca-Cola 600 at Charlotte Motor Speedway this weekend, Hendrick Motorsports announced. Bowman suffered a compression vertebra fracture on April 25th while competing in a sprint car race at 34 Raceway in West Burlington, Iowa. On May 23rd – nearly a month later – he returned to his NASCAR Cup Series car at North Wilkesboro Speedway to conduct 170 laps in a NASCAR-approved medical evaluation test. He passed that test with flying colors.

Before he was injured – and both Elliott’s and Bowman’s issues occurred outside their normal workplaces – Bowman had the best average finish throughout the first 10 races in 2023. After missing three points-paying events, he stands 17th in the playoff standings, just five points behind the transfer spot. There are 13 races remaining in the regular season for the Tucson, Arizona native to hoist himself back into playoff contention. NASCAR granted both Bowman and Elliott medical waivers that allows them to remain eligible for the 2023 playoffs.

Josh Berry is having a very busy 2023 season – courtesy NASCAR

“It’s a boost for all of us to have Alex return to the No. 48 car this weekend at our home track,” noted Rick Hendrick, owner of Hendrick Motorsports. “He’s still 17th in points, which says a lot about how well the team performed at the start of the year. Alex has worked hard to rehab the injury and come back strong, and I look for him to continue having a championship-caliber season,” Mr Hendrick pronounced.

Josh Berry’s work on behalf of the No. 48 team resulted in a best finish of tenth at Dover Motor Speedway the last day of April. He also competed in Sunday’s non-points-paying NASCAR All-Star Race at North Wilkesboro, earning a 15th place result after winning the All-Star Open. Berry, 32, regularly competes with the team’s JR Motorsports affiliate in NASCAR’s Xfinity Series.

“Josh is an absolute pro,” said Jeff Andrews, president and general manager of Hendrick Motorsports. “His talent and hard work allowed the team to continue operating at a high level, while Alex recovered.” He also performed well for Elliott when he was injured. “We can’t say enough about the great job he did under some challenging circumstances. We’re grateful to Josh and our partners at JRM for their support.”

About Anne Proffit 1248 Articles
Anne Proffit traces her love of racing - in particular drag racing - to her childhood days in Philadelphia, where Atco Dragway, Englishtown and Maple Grove Raceway were destinations just made for her. As a diversion, she was the first editor of IMSA’s Arrow newsletter, and now writes about and photographs sports cars, Indy cars, Formula 1, MotoGP, NASCAR, Formula Drift, Red Bull Global Rallycross - in addition to her first love of NHRA drag racing. A specialty is a particular admiration for the people that build and tune drag racing engines.

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