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Alex Bowman, No. 48 Team Box Up Care Packages During USO-Ally Packing Event

The Hendrick Motorsports team partnered with Ally and the USO to send care packages to men and women serving in the U.S. Military overseas ahead of the annual Coca-Cola 600 on Memorial Day Weekend.


hero image for Alex Bowman, No. 48 Team Box Up Care Packages During USO-Ally Packing Event

Coca-Cola 600 race week is often one of the busiest weeks of the NASCAR season for teams, the majority of which are based in the Charlotte area. They often have to balance preparing for the longest and one of the most prestigious races on the Cup Series schedule, sponsor commitments, fan days, autograph sessions, media events, the list goes on and on.

However, Alex Bowman and the No. 48 Hendrick Motorsports road crew and pit crew took a few hours out of their busy schedules to team up with Ally and the USO to send care packages to members of the military that are stationed overseas as part of the USO-Ally Packing Event.

RELATED: Alex Bowman, Ally, No. 48 Hendrick Team Honoring Capt. Arthur "Bo" Felder at Coca-Cola 600

Hendrick Motorsports and Ally, the primary partner on the No. 48 Chevrolet, have been doing this event since 2019, although the COVID-19 pandemic forced the 2020 version of the event to be a virtual Zoom meeting with then-driver Jimmie Johnson, as well as a donation from Ally.

On Wednesday, with the sound of pit practice taking place behind the Hendrick Motorsports Team Center, the entire No. 48 team stood side-by-side with volunteers from Ally, the USO, and members of the U.S. military currently serving in the National Guard as they packed bags and boxes full of goodies.

Each box contained care packages made up of snacks and hygiene kits, with all of the items being donated by Ally. There were so many items, Bowman had to make a trip to the local Walmart to pick up extra bags and boxes to accommodate everything being packed for the troops.

Bowman, who has been participating in the event since 2021, laughed about the unexpected trip to pick up more bags, pointing out the group came together to turn out even more packages than originally planned.

“Some years have gotten so competitive,” he said. “You had people running back and forth through the room the whole time. This year it was like for some reason we just way overshot how many we actually had to do. It was really cool.”

Members of the No. 48 Hendrick Motorsports team and volunteers from Ally create care packages for service men and women overseas.

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The fact the team was able to take time out of their schedules and duties to be part of an event such as this was not lost on crew chief Blake Harris, who said the Memorial Day tributes throughout the entire race week are not anything he takes lightly.

“It's a really unique scenario where we get to spend some time with the Armed Forces and all the Ally people, it’s really cool to have everybody come together on something like this,” Harris told RacingAmerica.com. “Honestly, we try to do things outside of our normal regimented schedule, and we just don’t do it enough. So, even little stuff like this is nice to just kind of come together and tackle things, it is pretty cool to have our big group all together in one spot.

“Any of that time spent together outside of the normal stuff doesn't do anything but help strengthen relationships,” he said.

Alex Bowman poses for a picture with two members of the National Guard following Wednesday's Ally-USO Packing Event at Hendrick Motorsports.

For Harris, who has multiple Coca-Cola 600 wins with other teams, the moments in Victory Lane after the annual Memorial Day Weekend event is unlike any other. He said putting the No. 48 Ally Chevrolet with CPT Felder’s name on the windshield “would be everything.”

“What’s unique about this race is when you're in Victory Lane, whether it's one of the fallen soldier’s family members that’s with you, it could be somebody on the team, you see how that impacts them,” he said. “There are different parts in people that it touches that you don’t realize until certain moments pull it out of them.”

The importance of Memorial Day Weekend is certainly not lost on Bowman, who will have Army Captain (CPT) Arthur "Bo" Felder on the windshield of his No. 48 Ally Chevrolet in Sunday’s Coca-Cola 600.

“The (Coca-Cola) 600 is always a really special event,” said Bowman. “We have Captain Felder riding along on the car with us. So, excited for that. I got to meet his mom via Zoom call last week and that was really special. I think this is just a really meaningful week for us and it definitely means a little more if we can get them in Victory Lane.”

Photos courtesy Will Bellamy, Racing America


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