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Alex Bowman Missing Multiple Weeks Due to Injury, Josh Berry to Fill In

Alex Bowman will miss three to four weeks of the NASCAR Cup Series season due to a fractured vertebra sustained in a sprint car race at 34 Raceway, Hendrick Motorsports announced April 26.

Bowman currently sits ninth in Cup points with six top 10s and a series-leading 10.3 average finish.

He missed five races last year after suffering a concussion during the playoff race at Texas Motor Speedway.

In Bowman’s place, JR Motorsports NASCAR Xfinity Series regular Josh Berry will substitute in the No. 48. Berry filled in for the team during five races after Chase Elliott fractured his tibia in a snowboarding accident.

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The 32-year-old recorded two top 10s, including a runner-up at Richmond Raceway.

“We’re relieved Alex is home, in good spirits and getting world-class treatment,” HMS owner Rick Hendrick said in a team release. “Giving him ample time and the foremost resources to heal is our top priority. He’s having a tremendous season, and the No. 48 is at the top of its game.

“We know what Josh is capable of in the race car and that Blake (Harris, crew chief) and the team will continue operating at a high level until Alex is ready to return. He has our full, unequivocal support.”

HMS will request a medical waiver for Bowman to remain eligible for the playoffs.

About the author

Luken Glover arrived on the Frontstretch scene in 2020. He has been an avid NASCAR fan for the majority of his life, following in the footsteps of his grandfather, who used to help former team owner Junie Donlavey in his garage. Glover covers news for the site and took over "The Underdog House" column in 2021. In addition to being a college junior, his hobbies include volunteering at church, playing basketball and tennis, racing go-karts, and helping at his high school alma mater.

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Bill B

Damn. HMS is going to have to start reigning their drivers in. No one should jeopardize their primary job by doing side jobs. Especially when that primary job pays so well.


I thought the same thing. I remember when Gibbs tried to do that to Stewart.


Owner’s in other sports often have restrictions in players contracts to limit the kinds of sports and off field activities a player can participate in. Most NASCAR owners have never limited a driver’s off track activities. There’s surely an argument for letting drivers get extra seat time in a lower series like Xfinity, but it’s hard to make the same argument for something like sprint cars. Considering what drivers are worth to their teams and sponsors, I wonder if some owners may now rethink letting drivers moonlight in other series?

I have an issue with drivers getting medical exception for things that happen away from Cup. It’s one thing to get a waver if they’re injured in a Cup race, or if a driver gets ill, but it’s another thing if they’re hurt racing a sprint car or skiing. Wavers should be limited to drivers who are hurt in a race in their primary series, or for a legitimate illness, not for being hurt in other sports or another race series.

Spot 01

Let me know how it goes with you if your boss at work tells you that you are not allowed to do anything outside of your primary job. Anyone should have the right to do what they want away from the NA$CAR tracks period. You could go out to eat with your family and get injured or killed so why shouldn’t these drivers be allowed to recreate?


The other option is to put clauses in contracts with regards to getting hurt outside of the series they run in. You can bet the teams will have the final say if they choose to do it.


At what point does this seem fair to the other drivers when a waiver is always at the ready? Handing them out like candy. Also, fans are getting robbed on various levels, imo.


Yep. That’s my big issue too. It appears they give waivers for just about everything.