Earlier today, Hendrick Motorsports announced that Dale Earnhardt, Jr. has been cleared to race once again. However, Hendrick Motorsports also included a second piece of news inside of its announcement. Earnhardt’s return will not completely leave Alex Bowman out in the cold.
Hendrick Motorsports also announced on Thursday morning that Bowman will drive the No. 88 in The Clash at Daytona, the season-opening non-points race at Daytona International Speedway previously known as the Sprint Unlimited. He will have one more chance to impress in excellent equipment. Nationwide Insurance will serve as Bowman’s primary sponsor.
Bowman is eligible to compete in the race by virtue of winning the pole for the penultimate race of the season at Phoenix International Raceway. In the race, Bowman led a career-high 194 laps, finishing sixth.
Earnhardt gave thanks to Bowman for his efforts in the No. 88 this past season. He remains bullish on Bowman’s abilities.
“Alex did such a great job in the car this year, and I felt like he deserved another opportunity,” Earnhardt said in Hendrick Motorsports’ press release. “When I spoke with Rick and the team about him driving The Clash, everyone agreed that he more than earned it, and Nationwide was 100 percent on board. I’m really grateful to him and Jeff for what they did for our team, and I’m glad Alex is getting another run with us.”
During his 10 starts in the No. 88 in place of Earnhardt, Bowman had three top-10 finishes. The sixth-place finish at Phoenix is his best career finish in 81 career starts.
About the author
Dustin joined the Frontstretch team at the beginning of the 2016 season. 2020 marks his sixth full-time season covering the sport that he grew up loving. His dream was to one day be a NASCAR journalist, thus why he attended Ithaca College (Class of 2018) to earn a journalism degree. Since the ripe age of four, he knew he wanted to be a storyteller.
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