Monday, May 27, 2024

Alex Bowman fractures vertebra in sprint car crash

Rick Hendrick might want to wrap William Byron and Kyle Larson in bubble wrap.

On Wednesday, Alex Bowman announced he fractured a vertebra after crashing in the High Limit Sprint Car Series race at 34 Raceway the previous night. The injury twill keep him out of the #48 Hendrick Motorsports Chevrolet for approximately three to four weeks.

Josh Berry will fill in, marking the second time he replaced an injured Hendrick driver in 2023 after substituting for Chase Elliott in the #9 for five races after Elliott broke his leg in a snowboarding accident. Berry scored a best finish of second to Larson at Richmond in backup duty.

Both of Berry’s two prior Cup starts in 2021 were also as COVID replacements at Spire Motorsports. He even did a Truck Series race that year for Young’s Motorsports for the same reason followed by eight more as a backup at Rackley WAR following a driver change, as well as five Xfinity starts after Michael Annett hurt his femur.

“First, I want to let everyone know I’m feeling ok,” reads a statement from Bowman. “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.

“I’ll be doing everything I can at home to help the team and ensure my recovery is as quick as possible to get back in the 48 car soon.”

Like Elliott, Bowman will receive a waiver to remain playoff eligible once he recovers. Bowman is currently ninth in points and simply needs to win a race to guarantee a playoff berth should he fall out of the top sixteen.

“We’re relieved Alex is home, in good spirits and getting world-class treatment,” Hendrick commented. “Giving him ample time and the foremost resources to heal is our top priority. H’’s having a tremendous season, and the #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.”