Hendrick Motorsports driver Alex Bowman will remain on the sidelines for at least three more NASCAR Cup Series races, RACER reports. After a crash at Texas Motor Speedway on September 25, Bowman has been suffering concussion-like symptoms, and a check-in with a doctor this week has shown he isn’t ready to make his return to the sport.
If you missed what happened, Bowman suffered a crash at TMS that saw his car’s rear end back into a wall. While it didn’t look like a particularly nasty accident, NASCAR’s Next Gen machines aren’t properly absorbing rear impacts, so the force of that accident went right to the driver. Something similar happened to Kurt Busch after a crash at Pocono in July.
“As much as I hoped to be back in the No. 48 Ally Chevrolet this weekend, I will not be returning to competition for the next three NASCAR Cup Series races,” Bowman wrote on Twitter. “I am continuing to focus my efforts on getting my health back to 100% so that I can return racing as soon as possible.”
As per a press release from Hendrick, Bowman was evaluated by Dr. Michael Collins, clinical director of the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center Sports Medicine Concussion Program — a name you might recognize as being a critical element in Dale Earnhardt Jr.’s concussion recovery program.
Bowman missing the next three races — this weekend’s event at Las Vegas Motor Speedway, October 23's race at Homestead-Miami, and October 30's event at Martinsville — would theoretically see Bowman back in the No. 48 for the Phoenix Raceway Cup Series Championship race on November 6. However, Bowman will be evaluated again closer to that date to determine his fitness level. Troublingly, though, Kurt Busch doesn’t seem set to return for the rest of 2022; Bowman could be in the same boat.
In Bowman’s absence, the No. 48 will continue to be piloted by Noah Gragson.