After a five-race hiatus, Alex Bowman has announced that he will be back behind the wheel of the No. 48 Nascar Chevy Camaro ZL1 for the final race of the 2022 Cup Series season, taking to the track at Phoenix Raceway on November 6th, 2022.
Bowman, who suffered concussion-like symptoms following a wreck, was cleared for Cup Series competition next weekend by Dr. Michael “Micky” Collins, clinical director of the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center Sports Medicine Concussion Program.
“We’re thrilled Alex is 100 percent and will have the opportunity to race at his home track,” said Jeff Andrews, president and general manager of Hendrick Motorsports, the Cup Series team that fields the No. 48 Nascar Chevy. “Throughout this process, he’s been incredibly diligent about following the advice of his doctors and prioritizing his health. All of us look forward to welcoming Alex back and seeing him finish 2022 with his No. 48 teammates.”
Bowman was involved in a crash on September 25th, 2022 at Texas Motor Speedway. 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, jarring Bowman. Noah Gragson stepped in to pilot the No. 48 Camaro at Talladega and Charlotte the following weekend, before Bowman announced he would sit out the next three races as well.
Bowman’s rear-end impact was similar to that of Kurt Busch’s earlier this year. The No. 45 Toyota TRD Camry wrecked during qualifying at Pocono, concussing Busch and ultimately forcing him to step away from full-time competition as a result. In response to the dangerous rear-end impacts, Nascar issued a fix to address the stiffness of the Next Gen race cars to improve crash safety.
Before his concussion, Bowman and the No. 48 Camaro were eligible for the Playoffs. However, Gragson was unable to advance the No. 48 Camaro into the Round of 8 and was eliminated after the Charlotte Roval, meaning Bowman is no longer able to compete for the 2022 Cup Series championship.