By David Morgan, Associate Editor
Alex Bowman will not be driving his No. 48 Chevrolet on Sunday at Talladega after Hendrick Motorsports announced Thursday that he has been dealing with concussion-like symptoms since a crash at Texas last weekend.
In the closing laps of the second stage in last Sunday’s race, Bowman cut a tire and spun into the Turn 4 wall. Despite the damage sustained by the impact, he was able to limp the car to pit road, where his crew got it repaired enough to get him back in the race, albeit several laps down.
After the hit, Bowman expressed to his crew that the crash was one of the hardest he had taken in his career and was surprised that the car was still in raceable condition.
By the time the checkered flag fell, Bowman would be scored in 29th place, leaving him 26 points below the cut-off line with Talladega and Charlotte still left to run in the second round of the Playoffs.
However, in the days following the Texas race, Bowman began experiencing concussion-like symptoms and after a medical evaluation, the decision was made to step out of the driver’s seat for Sunday’s race.
Bowman is the second driver this season that has been sidelined due to impacts sustained while driving the new Next Gen car. Former Cup champion Kurt Busch has been out of the cockpit since a crash during qualifying at Pocono back during the summer, with Ty Gibbs driving his car in relief over the course of the past 10 weeks while his recovery continues.
Current Xfinity Series points leader Noah Gragson will serve as the relief driver for Bowman this weekend as he recovers.
Gragson has won seven races in the Xfinity Series in 2022, including at Talladega in May. The Las Vegas native has also made 13 Cup starts this season, with a best finish of fifth at Daytona at the end of the regular season.
Prior to Thursday’s news, Gragson was already scheduled to run the Cup race at Talladega in the No. 62 Beard Motorsports entry, which will now be piloted by his JR Motorsports teammate, Justin Allgaier.