Bowman took part in a race at 34 Raceway in Burlington, Iowa and sustained a fractured vertebra during a crash involving fellow driver Conner Morrell. The injury will hold out Bowman for the next three to four weeks after he was preparing for his upcoming run at Dover Motor Speedway.
“First, I want to let everyone know I’m feeling OK,” Bowman said in a statement. “My focus is now on healing and resting. Being out of the car is never an update any driver wants to make. I’m thankful to Josh Berry and Hendrick Motorsports for stepping up to the plate and I know the entire Ally Racing team will give it their all these next few weeks.”
Bowman now becomes the second Hendricks Motorsports driver this year to sustain an injury away from a Cup Series event, following a snowboarding accident involving driver Chase Elliott in March that led to six missed races. With Elliott returning to Martinsville in mid-April, the Hendricks team will once again be forced to go to a sub.
With Bowman now set to miss time, Josh Berry, the NASCAR Xfinity Series driver who became Chase Elliott’s replacement in the No. 9 car, will officially slot in.
“We’re relieved Alex is home, in good spirits and getting world-class treatment,” Rick Hendrick, owner of Hendrick Motorsports, said in a statement. “Giving him ample time and the foremost resources to heal is our top priority. He’s having a tremendous season, and the No. 48 is at the top of its game. We know what Josh is capable of in the race car and that Blake (Harris, crew chief) and the team will continue operating at a high level until Alex is ready to return. He has our full, unequivocal support.”
Berry will likely man the No. 48 car for races at Dover, Kansas, and Darlington if Bowman were to miss the announced three weeks. The replacement driver enjoyed a career-best runner-up finish at Richmond to start the month and is hoping he can carry over that success during the next few races.