Another week, another blow for Hendrick Motorsports — this time in the form of a fractured vertebra for Alex Bowman. The driver of the No. 48 Ally Chevrolet suffered an injury in a sprint car crash. Hendrick Motorsports announced in an official statement that the driver will miss at least the next three Cup races.
Bowman will be replaced by Josh Berry, who already filled in for Chase Elliott for five races as Elliott recovered from a broken leg. Berry will climb behind the wheel of the Ally No. 48 beginning this weekend at Dover Motor Speedway in Dover, Delaware. As for Bowman, the newly turned 30-year-old suffered a compression fracture in the crash Tuesday evening while competing in a spring car event at 34 Raceway in West Burlington, Iowa. The event was part of the racing series that was created by his Hendrick teammate, Kyle Larson.
WATCH: Alex Bowman Crashes at 34 Raceway
"First, I want to let everyone know that I'm feeling ok. My focus is now on healing and resting," Bowman posted on social media. "Being out of the car is never an update any driver wants to make."
Bowman was treated in Iowa on Tuesday evening and then further evaluated back in Charlotte, North Carolina, on Wednesday. He missed five races last season due to a concussion.
Fox NASCAR's Bob Pockrass shared what Rick Hendrick had to say about the situation, that Rick was in total support of his driver and wished Alex nothing but the best in his recovery.
"We're relieved Alex is home, in good spirits and getting world-class treatment," Hendrick said. "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."
Hendrick Motorsports will request a medical waiver to allow Bowman to remain eligible for the 2023 NASCAR Cup Series playoffs.
Bowman has six top-10 finishes through 10 races this season. He has a season-best finish of third twice this season, at Las Vegas and on the road course at Circuit of the Americas.
Berry showed great skill when he subbed for Elliott earlier this season, and now the Hendrick-affiliated JR Motorsports driver will have another shot. Berry has five career wins in the NASCAR Xfinity Series and has a perfect chance to make something happen at Dover. He already finished second at Richmond filling for Elliott earlier this month.
Are these away-from-the-NASCAR-track incidents starting to become an issue for Hendrick Motorsports? Will it make Rick Hendrick rethink his stance on extracurricular racing or other activities? One thing is for sure, though: drivers have to live, and Bowman was just doing what he loves to do — race.
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