Alex Bowman, driver of the No. 48 Nascar Chevy Camaro ZL1 and current Playoffs contender, announced he will sit out this weekend’s activities at Talladega Superspeedway due to an injury he sustained at Texas Motor Speedway on September 25th, 2022.
“After undergoing medical evaluation due to concussion-like symptoms, I will not be driving the No. 48 Ally Chevrolet in Talladega,” Bowman said in a statement on social media. “I’m disappointed but know my health is the number one priority.”
While running in eighth place at Texas, Bowman’s No. 48 Nascar Chevy blew a right rear tire on Lap 98, causing him to spin. The rear of his Camaro race car struck the outside wall. Although the impact outwardly appeared minor, Bowman later stated that the incident was “the hardest I’ve crashed anything in my entire life.” In-car camera views show his head being jerked around as the car backed hard into the wall multiple times.
Alex Bowman will miss Talladega with concussion-like symptoms.
— NASCAR on NBC (@NASCARonNBC) September 29, 2022
Bowman’s injury could spell trouble for the No. 48 Nascar Chevy team’s championship hopes. Noah Gragson, an Xfinity Series regular and occasional Cup Series competitor, will sub in the No. 48 Camaro for the October 2nd race at Talladega, meaning that it will continue to accrue championship points. However, Gragson is not as experienced as Bowman in the Cup Series. Should Bowman return for the race at the Charlotte Roval on October 9th, he might have to put the No. 48 Camaro in Victory Lane in order to avoid Playoffs elimination.
Unfortunately, Bowman is the second Cup Series driver to be sidelined by concussion-like symptoms this year. Kurt Busch, driver of the No. 45 Toyota TRD Camry, was involved in a similar rear-end wreck during qualifying for Pocono. He has not yet returned to competition and has missed 10 races so far this year.
Both incidents have raised concerns among Cup Series drivers about the Next Gen race car, which made its competition debut this year. While the new cars’ bodies and suspensions are resilient, they do not give to impacts as easily as previous generations of Nascar race cars, and drivers seem to be experiencing greater force during crashes than in the past.