Driver issues statement ahead of return to NASCAR racing
Alex Bowman was injured in a crash at Texas Motor Speedway on September 25, 2022. After this weekend’s race, Bowman will have missed 5 races as he recovers from concussion-like symptoms.
Bowman’s impact became a breaking point for the industry. Drivers became publicly vocal on the lack of safety regarding the NASCAR Next Gen car.
Since the incident, NASCAR has addressed the concerns of the drivers. They have gone to work and developed a multitude of changes to the Next Gen design.
Bars will be removed and crush zones will be added. The bulk of this focus is specifically on the rear of the car. Drivers have stated, really since the beginning of the season that the cars are too stiff.
These changes address the issue. However, the changes won’t be put into action until 2023.
Hendrick Motorsports comments
Six weeks after the incident, Bowman is set for a return to the cockpit. He’ll be back in the No. 48 for the final race of the season at Phoenix Raceway.
“We’re thrilled Alex is 100% and will have the opportunity to race at his home track,” said Jeff Andrews, president and general manager of Hendrick Motorsports.
“Throughout this process, he’s been incredibly diligent about following the advice of his doctors and prioritizing his health. All of us look forward to welcoming Alex back and seeing him finish 2022 with his No. 48 teammates.”
NASCAR has been monitoring Bowman’s situation. They require drivers to pass a medical evaluation before returning from injury.
“Due to the timing (of the medical clearance), everyone agreed it was best to stick with our plan for Martinsville and allow the team to fully prepare for Alex’s return next weekend,” Andrews said.
“On behalf of everyone at Hendrick Motorsports, we’re grateful to Noah for stepping in and doing a terrific job under difficult circumstances. He’s a big talent and has been a complete professional.”
Alex Bowman comments after concussion
“Really excited to tell you that I’m coming back for the last race at Phoenix,” Bowman stated Friday in a social media video.
“Greg and I started something there in 2016 that we never got to finish. Hopefully we can get the job done.”
“To have one final race with Greg is going to be really special. Thanks to Ally, Hendrick Motorsports and all the doctors who have helped me.”
“It’s been a long road and a lot of work. But, excited to be back to 100% and be able to get back in the race car.”
“See you guys out there. We’re going to finish the season strong and hopefully get one last win for Greg.”