It’s official, Ironwood Ridge graduate Alex Bowman will be driving the No. 88 Chevrolet for Hendrick Motorsports according to a release from the organization. Dale Earnhardt Jr. missed 10 races in 2016 due to a concussion and Bowman filled in.
“Ever since I was a kid, racing is all I’ve wanted to do,” Bowman said in the release. “I would never have this chance without the support of Dale and everyone involved with the No. 88 team. To be part of Hendrick Motorsports and for Mr. Hendrick to have this confidence in me, it’s just amazing.”
Earnhardt retired in April which prompted Hendrick Motorsports to look for a more permanent replacement for the legend.
“Alex impressed the heck out of us last year with his talent, poise and professionalism,” said Rick Hendrick, owner of Hendrick Motorsports in the release. “He stepped up in a very demanding situation and showed that he can run with the best and compete for wins. His ability to stay focused through it all, and the way he’s handled himself since then, has shown a lot of character.”
Bowman is obviously excited about the opportunity.
“The No. 88 team is such a great group of people,” Bowman added. “It means the world that they have faith in me, and I’m thankful to have them on my side. Now I just want to go win.”
According to Hendrick Motorsports, Bowman debuted on July 17 and went on to earn three top-10 finishes with the team including a sixth-place result at Phoenix, where he won the pole position and led a race-high 194 laps.
Ready to go win some races. Thanks to everybody for all the support. Never thought this day would come. Driving the 88 in 2018! pic.twitter.com/NxDEm2v4CG
From news release.
Andy Morales was recognized by the AIA as the top high school reporter in 2014 and he was awarded the Ray McNally Award in 2017 and he has been a youth, high school and college coach for over 30 years. His own children have won multiple state high school championships and were named to all-state teams. Competing in hockey, basketball, baseball and track & field in high school, his unique perspective can only be found here and on AZPreps365.com. Andy was named a Local Hero by the Tucson Weekly for 2016. Contact Andy Morales at AMoralesMyTucson@yahoo.com