By Seth Eggert, NASCAR Writer
After finishing third in the 2017 Advance Auto Parts Clash, Alex Bowman was unsure what the rest of his 2017 NASCAR season would hold. At the same time, GMS Racing needed a driver to fill-in for NASCAR Camping World Truck Series rookie JJ Haley who will not be 18 years old, and eligible on all NASCAR tracks until after the Active Pest Control 200 at Atlanta Motor Speedway.
Bowman now has the opportunity as he will fill-in for Haley and pilot the No. 24 Fraternal Order of Eagles Chevrolet Silverado. On top of the pit box for Bowman will be Kevin Bellicourt. Haley will also be on the pit box as he hopes to learn from his teammates.
Bowman joins GMS Racing’s already stout roster of 2016 NASCAR CWTS Champion Johnny Sauter, Daytona winner and points leader Kaz Grala, and 2016 Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series Rookie of the Year Chase Elliott.
In one previous NASCAR CWTS start, Bowman qualified 16th and finished 11th at Michigan International Speedway in 2015. In his NASCAR career to date, Bowman has five top fives and 13 Top 10s in the NASCAR Xfinity Series, and three Top 10s in the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series. Bowman’s best finish at Atlanta Motor Speedway came in 2015 for Tommy Baldwin Racing when he finished 23rd in the 2015 running of the Folds of Honor QuikTrip 500.
Haley won the 2016 NASCAR K&N Pro Series East Championship. En route to that championship, Haley earned 13 top fives, 14 Top 10s, and two pole positions in the 14-race season. He also had an average start of 5.1 and an average finish of 3.4.
Haley also has six career NASCAR CWTS starts including one Top 10 finish. He finished seventh at Phoenix International Raceway in 2015.
Bowman will now look forward to hopefully expanding his 2017 opportunities with the chance that has presented itself at Atlanta.