Since the latter half of 2016, Alex Bowman’s career has seen an uptick thanks to his time subbing for an injured Dale Earnhardt Jr. When the checkered flag flies tomorrow night, however, his time in the 88 car comes to an end.
Bowman came into racing lighting up the ARCA Series with four wins in his rookie season on his way to a fourth-place finish in points.
In NASCAR, success came harder.
His 2013 rookie campaign in the XFINITY Series brought six top-10 finishes on the way to an 11th place finish in points. In terms of points, this is to date the high-point of his NASCAR career.
The next two years, he ran for BK Racing and Tommy Baldwin Racing to the tune of 30th place finishes on average. The highest he finished during this span was 13th at Daytona in July 2014.
Joining the Hendrick stable following the 2015 season, Bowman wound up driving the No. 88 JR Motorsports Chevrolet for nine races to the tune of seven top-10 finishes.
But Earnhardt’s sidelining for a concussion gave way for Bowman’s display of driving ability that took ARCA by storm in 2011 and 2012. While not reflected in the stats, he only finished in the top-10 three times in 10 starts, he demonstrated he had the talent to drive. All he needed was the right equipment.
At Phoenix last November, he scored his first career pole and led 197 of 324 laps on his way to a sixth-place finish.
While he said he’s “[talked] about that quite a bit” with the folks at Hendrick Motorsports, he doesn’t know what the future holds.
He admitted that there are “a couple of races, not in the Cup Series, but in some other stuff” that he’s excited about, but not at liberty to address at the present. Other than that, he’ll be “at the (Hendrick) shop and coming to the race track when I can,” being “a sponge and learn as much as I can.”
He believes he’ll still be the go-to relief driver for Hendrick Motorsports, although they haven’t discussed the matter in great detail.
Bowman also said he was offered full-time rides with other Cup teams, but nothing that has enticed him to leave Hendrick Motorsports.