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Evaluating Hendrick Motorsports’ future after signing Alex Bowman to a contract extension

Hendrick Motorsports signed Alex Bowman to a contract extension through 2026. What does the team's future in NASCAR look like now?

Alex Bowman/Hendrick Motorsports

Hendrick Motorsports made it official on Wednesday morning that Alex Bowman would return to the team on a three-year contract extension through the 2026 season. Ally Financial, the sponsor of the No. 48 car, has re-upped through the 2028 season.

What does this mean for Hendrick Motorsports’ future in the NASCAR Cup Series moving forward?

Hendrick Motorsports fully commits to Alex Bowman’s potential

NASCAR: Busch Light Clash
Feb 4, 2023; Los Angeles, California, USA; NASCAR Cup Series driver Alex Bowman (48) during qualifying at Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum. Mandatory Credit: Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports

Ever since Kyle Larson, Chase Elliott, and William Byron signed contract extensions, many people have been pointing to Bowman, 29, as the odd man out. Why was that the case? It was because he has always been the one to be counted out in his tenure with the organization.

Bowman won four races during the 2021 season, including the playoff race at Martinsville Speedway. Despite having the second-most wins for the team ahead of Elliott and Byron, people still pointed their fingers at him by stating he didn’t truly earn those victories.

Hendrick Motorsports has fully slammed the door on those people after signing Bowman to a contract extension and it’s time to give him the flowers that he has rightfully earned over the last four seasons.

Over the last four years, the driver of the No. 48 car has won seven times with at least one win each season. Bowman’s first full-time season with the team didn’t result in a win but he still made the playoffs.

Ally Financial loves Bowman and this shouldn’t come as a surprise that he will remain with the organization into the future. He is a part of the youth movement at Hendrick Motorsports and they are doubling down on his potential.

Alongside his new crew chief Blake Harris, there are significant reasons for optimism heading this season. Bowman should be expected to win a race or two at the bare minimum with a higher ceiling than in previous years.

People will still continue to doubt Bowman but it doesn’t affect him. Hendrick Motorsports has its driver for the No. 48 car and it’s not going to change for the next four years.

Related: Hendrick Motorsports expected to compete in NASCAR Xfinity Series in 2023

Hendrick Motorsports’ lineup is set through the 2025 season, unlikely to change soon

Hendrick Motorsports/William Byron
Feb 5, 2023; Los Angeles, California, USA; NASCAR Cup Series driver William Byron (24) leads driver AJ Allmendinger (16) into the coliseum track for the sprint race at the Busch Light Clash at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum. Mandatory Credit: Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports

Hendrick Motorsports has locked up Bowman for the next four years, including 2023, which means the lineup is fully set for the next couple of years. Larson is signed through the 2026 season with Elliott’s contract expiring at the end of the 2027 season.

The only driver who doesn’t have a contract through the 2026 season is Byron. The driver of the No. 24 car has a contract through the end of the 2025 season. At 25 years old, Byron’s performances will only get better.

Even when Byron’s contract expires, it seems pretty likely a new one would be signed unless he doesn’t develop over the next three seasons. He has slowly been making strides each year.

Therefore, it is fair to say that Hendrick Motorsports should not be involved in any silly season news until something drastically changes. The lineup is secured for the next 108 points events so what is there to discuss now?

The four drivers will only improve going forward. Larson is the oldest driver at 30 years old and that is still young for NASCAR standards. None of them are even close to their prime at this point.

In all honesty, it would not be surprising to see this lineup stay intact for the next decade if they all perform at a high level. It is currently the best lineup in the NASCAR Cup Series because it is young and already really good.

With the news on Wednesday morning, Hendrick Motorsports confirmed what we already knew. Nothing is changing anytime soon and that is perfect for them.

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