Alex Bowman Confirmed As Dale Earnhardt Jr.'s Replacement For 2018

Rufina Vignone
Luglio 20, 2017

After he won the pole for the Coke Zero 400 earlier this month, qualifying him for the exhibition race, Earnhardt Jr. said the decision of whether or not he competed in the race would be left to Amy.

Earnhardt Jr. missed the second half of the 2016 season with concussion-like symptoms that he had as a result of a nasty crash at MI (see below), so his wife's concerns are more than logical, especially given the fact that Daytona is a restrictor plate track where the cars run in packs and the "Big One" could happen in less than a half a moment's notice. He had three top-10 finishes in 10 starts in 2016 and drove for Tommy Baldwin Racing in 2014 and 2015.

"Alex impressed the heck out of us a year ago with his talent, poise and professionalism", team owner Rick Hendrick said.

The one-year deal is significant in that Hendrick was able to keep Nationwide - known for its high-profile athletes and celebrity spokesmen - while going with a driver with limited experience.

Fellow drivers helped celebrate Bowman's big news.

"To have [Nationwide] extend with us is gratifying for our whole team", Hendrick said. He also is Chevrolet's driver for NASCAR-designated tests where manufacturers put sensors on cars to gather information that, among other things, gathers data for the simulation programs.

"The No. 88 team is such a great group of people", Bowman said.

"I'm excited to build on the relationship with Nationwide and all of our partners". Bowman has already made 81 Cup Series starts.

Sure enough, current sponsor Nationwide will sponsor Bowman's No. 88 in 19 races as a primary sponsor in 2018, while Axalta ups its amount to 15. "Now I just want to go win".

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