Tha Sports Junkies 101

Alex Bowman to Drive 88 Car in 2018



Hendrick Motorsports announced on Thursday who will pilot the number 88 Chevrolet in 2018. Alex Bowman has been selected to replace Dale Earnhardt Jr, with sponsors Nationwide Insurance and Axalta. Bowman, 24, made 10 starts in the 88 car last year while subbing for Earnhardt Jr.

Bowman’s prior racing career involved stints with Turner Motorsports and RAB Racing in the Xfinity Series. For 2014, Bowman was a Cup Series rookie for BK racing. Bowman was released by BK Racing following the 2015 season, being hired by JR Motorsports for 2016. His part time duties in the Xfinity 88 car led him to be a prime candidate for Jr’s substitution when concussions sidelined him.

Perhaps the biggest open seat for silly season has now been filled, as Earnhardt announced his retirement from full time racing in March. Since his time in the 88 last year, Bowman has served as Hendrick’s test driver, conducting several simulations and tire tests.

Speculation of the 88’s driver for 2018 included many names, from William Byron to Carl Edwards. Matt Kenseth made it public earlier this week that he was not going to the 88 car. His future once he leaves Joe Gibbs Racing after this year is still unsure. Rick Hendrick is clearly looking to the future with his race team. 2 of his 4 drivers are young talents. Combined with 7-time champion Jimmie Johnson, Chase Elliott, and Kasey Kahne, Alex Bowman is sure to find success at HMS.