Alex Bowman, who has been out of action since sustaining a concussion in the EchoPark Automotive 500 at Texas Motor Speedway on September 25th, has been medically cleared to return to race in next weekend’s NASCAR Cup Series Championship Race at Phoenix Raceway.
According to a press release from Hendrick Motorsports, the team that fields Bowman’s No. 48 Chevrolet Camaro, the 29-year-old driver was cleared following a full evaluation by Dr. Michael “Micky” Collins, who is the clinical director of the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center Sports Medicine Concussion Program, on Thursday.
Bowman shared a video on his Twitter account to briefly talk to his fans about his return.
See you in Phoenix! pic.twitter.com/OSKg1AweST
— Alex Bowman (@Alex_Bowman) October 28, 2022
The Hendrick Motorsports organization is elated to know that their driver, who has amassed seven NASCAR Cup Series wins over the last four seasons, will be able to return to the driver’s seat for a race at his home track — 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 in a team release. “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.”
While Bowman has technically been cleared to return beginning with this weekend’s race at Martinsville Speedway, where Bowman actually won a season ago, the team decided to go ahead with Noah Gragson in the No. 48 car this weekend as planned and allow Bowman a full week to prepare for his official return.
“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.”
Bowman scored a victory in the third race of the 2022 NASCAR Cup Series season at Las Vegas Motor Speedway, which qualified him for the NASCAR Cup Series Playoffs, his fourth consecutive Playoff appearance.
While Bowman was off to a solid start in the Playoffs and had advanced to the Round of 12 due to a 10th-place finish at Darlington Raceway and a fourth-place finish at Kansas to open up that round, the race at Texas, where he was injured, was the opening of the Round of 12.
Bowman was unable to compete for the remainder of that round and was eliminated from championship contention at the end of the Round of 12.