Alex Bowman Will Drive The N0.48 Chevrolet in 2021

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  • Hendrick Motorsports announced on Tuesday that Alex Bowman will assume Jimmie Johnson’s No.48 Chevrolet car.
  • Johnson announced last November that 2020 would be his final full-time campaign in NASCAR’s Cup Series.
  • This is the second time Bowman will take over an iconic ride. His current no. 88 used to be Dale Earnhardt’s.

Hendrick Motorsports made it official on Tuesday: Alex Bowman will be replacing Jimmie Johnson next season as the driver of the organization’s iconic No. 48 Chevrolet.

Bowman is currently in his third season with Rick Hendrick’s team. The 27-year old joined the team in 2018 as the successor of Dale Earnhardt in the No. 88 Chevrolet. Now he assumes a bigger position as the next driver of the car that has produced seven Cup Series titles. Hendrick Motorsports also announced that crew chief Greg Ives will join Bowman in the No. 48 team next season. Bowman and Ives have worked together since 2018.

Said Bowman after the reveal:

“It’s tough to take over from the most popular of all time, and then three years later to follow that up with arguably the greatest of all time. But it means a lot to me that everybody at Hendrick Motorsports has faith in me, and Ally has faith in me to do a good job and make the 48 car proud.”

Hidden Message?

While Hendrick Motorsports didn’t make the formal announcement until Tuesday afternoon, eagle-eyed NASCAR fans on social media observed that Hendrick was dropping hints of the announcement all-day long via Twitter.

If you notice the first word of every tweet from Hendrick Motorsports throughout Tuesday, in chronological order, it reveals Bowman’s appointment as the heir to the No. 48 Ally Chevrolet. The tweets are embedded below for your consumption. Don’t forget to take note of the first word of every tweet:

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Got it? Hendrick does a good job of hiding messages. It reminds us of last year when the team hid the new Ally paint scheme in several Instagram photos by Jimmie Johnson himself before making the formal announcement on “Good Morning America”. Seems like Hendrick Motorsports has a thing for hidden messages.

It’s Now Official

The message is no longer cryptic as on Tuesday afternoon, it became official. There have been plenty of speculation going around since Johnson announced last November that 2020 would be his final full-time campaign in the NASCAR Cup Series. Now we know that HMS is going to be filling the void internally.

Bowman becomes the just the second full-time driver for the No. 48 Chevrolet. Since his Cup Series debut in 2001, Johnson drove no. 48 across 681 starts with 83 wins. But assuming an iconic car number is nothing new to him. Bowman was also the second full-time driver for No. 88, which Hendrick began fielding in 2008 with Earnhardt’s arrival. The only difference is that before he assumed the most popular ride. Now he is taking over what some consider the greatest car ever.

Bowman’s Journey

Bowman’s journey began in 2014. He toiled with underpowered equipment for BK Racing and then Tommy Baldwin for two seasons. In 2016, he parted ways with Tommy Baldwin Racing and lost his Cup Series ride. Bowman re-appeared at the New Hampshire 301 in London, but on a part-time basis.

With Dale Earnhardt missing the rest of the season with a concussion, he joined Hendrick Motorsports Racing as a fill-in. Bowman would alternate Earnhardt’s No. 88 car with Jeff Gordon for the remainder of the season. He would appear in only a total of 10 races that year. But Bowman earned his first pole at the 2016 Can-Am 500 in Phoenix and earned the trust of Hendrick. When Earnhardt retired, he expressed his support for Bowman to replace him in the no. 88. The rest, as they say, is history.

Getting Better

Since becoming a full-time driver for Hendrick Motorsports, Bowman has gotten better every year. The partnership has produced two wins- the 2019 Camping World 400 and the 2020 Auto Club 400 last March, and consecutive playoff appearances. Bowman finished 16th in points in 2018, and 12th last season. He is currently sixth in points with 3075.

Bowman is 10th in the Bet365 oddsboard to win the next race of the season. The 2020 Bank of America Roval 400 will take place on October 11th in Concord. This is a race where Bowman finished second last season, and 4th in 2018. You have to wonder what his formal announcement as Jimmie’s heir to No. 88 would mean to him this weekend.

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