Alex Bowman Cleared to Return to NASCAR Cup Series in Coca-Cola 600

The Hendrick Motorsports driver returns to the seat of the No. 48 after three weeks on the sidelines due to a fractured vertebra.


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After spending the last three weeks on the sidelines, Alex Bowman is set to make his return to the NASCAR Cup Series in Sunday's Coca-Cola 600 at Charlotte Motor Speedway.

Bowman, who suffered a compression fracture to his T-3 vertebra in a sprint car racing accident at 34 Raceway, was cleared to compete in the longest event of the NASCAR Cup Series season, after completing a 170-lap medical evaluation test at North Wilkesboro on Tuesday.

“It’s a boost for all of us to have Alex return to the No. 48 car this weekend at our home track,” said Rick Hendrick, owner of Hendrick Motorsports. “He’s still 17th in points, which says a lot about how well the team performed at the start of the year. Alex has worked hard to rehab the injury and come back strong, and I look for him to continue having a championship-caliber season.”

Josh Berry, who served as the interim driver of the No. 48 Chevrolet Camaro in Bowman's absence, scored finished of 10th, 25th, and 30th at Dover, Kansas, and Darlington, respectively, while also finishing 15th in the NASCAR All-Star Race.

Now, after his second stint as an interim driver for Hendrick Motorsports, the Hendersonville, Tennessee-native will get the opportunity to turn his focus to the NASCAR Xfinity Series, where he competes full-time for JR Motorsports.

“Josh is an absolute pro,” said Jeff Andrews, president and general manager of Hendrick Motorsports. “His talent and hard work allowed the team to continue operating at a high level while Alex recovered. We can’t say enough about the great job he did under some challenging circumstances. We’re grateful to Josh and our partners at JRM for their support.”

Per Hendrick Motorsports, Bowman remains eligible for the 2023 NASCAR Cup Series post-season, after NASCAR has granted the Tucson, Arizona-native a medical waiver.

At the halfway point of the regular-season, Bowman sits 17th in NASCAR Cup Series playoff standings just five points below the cutline, despite missing out on three points-paying events.

Image Courtesy of Jim Fluharty, HHP, Courtesy of Chevrolet Racing

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