Alex Bowman’s title chances just took a major hit as the driver of the No. 48 Ally Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 for Hendrick Motorsports has been ruled out for this weekend’s race at Talladega. He’ll be replaced by Xfinity Series playoff leader Noah Gragson.
Bowman was still exhibiting concussion-like symptoms after his crash at last weekend’s AutoTrader EchoPark Automotive 500 at Texas Motor Speedway.
Bowman currently sits below the playoff cutline with two races to go in the second round of the playoffs. Missing Talladega means it will be tough for Bowman to make it to the next round after the playoff field narrows to 8 after the October 9 race at the Charlotte Roval.
Despite the crash, Bowman managed to stay in the race with his team getting him back on track so he could finish the race in 29th.
Gragson has had a dominant season in the Xfinity Series claiming seven victories including one last weekend at Texas. He has some experience in the Cup Series with his best finish coming at the Coke Zero Sugar 400 at Daytona in July.
Given a strong showing at the last superspeedway race (although it did feature a bizarre, rainy finish) Gragson could be a threat behind the wheel of an always competitive Hendrick Camaro.
Gragson will make the jump to the Cup Series full-time next season behind the wheel of Petty-GMS Motorsport’s No. 42 car, replacing outgoing driver Ty Dillon.
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