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Hendrick Motorsports provides big update on Alex Bowman’s return to NASCAR

Hendrick Motorsports releases a big update on Alex Bowman's return to the NASCAR Cup Series as his injury recovery continues to progress.

NASCAR: Pennzoil 400 presented by Jiffy Lube

Hendrick Motorsports announced a few weeks ago that Alex Bowman would miss three to four races due to a fractured vertebra suffered in a sprint car wreck ahead of the weekend at Dover Motor Speedway.

Since that point, Bowman has missed two races at Dover and Kansas Speedway with a third one on the way at Darlington Raceway. The 30-year-old driver is the second Hendrick Motorsports driver to miss significant time due to an injury while not on the NASCAR circuit.

Chase Elliott fractured his left tibia in a snowboarding accident in early March. However, there has been an update provided by someone major in the organization that will give people optimism about Bowman’s recovery and timeline to return.

Related: Alex Bowman reveals interesting detail about contract with Hendrick Motorsports

Hendrick Motorsports gives update on Alex Bowman’s injury recovery

Alex Bowman/Hendrick Motorsports
Feb 19, 2023; Daytona Beach, Florida, USA; NASCAR Cup Series driver Alex Bowman (48) during the Daytona 500 at Daytona International Speedway. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

Bowman suffered the accident in Hendrick Motorsports teammate Kyle Larson’s new sprint car series called High Limit Racing. The racing series has big payouts compared to the World of Outlaws.

In fact, the driver of the No. 48 car owns a Dirt Midget and sprint car racing team called Alex Bowman Racing. There are plenty of connections to the dirt racing world so it is not surprising to see Bowman take part in these races with High Limit Racing.

Many people have been highly skeptical about NASCAR drivers taking risks outside of the race tracks on Sunday afternoons; however, they need to live their life and some organizations are OK with letting their drivers live a little bit.

Chad Knaus, the Vice President of Competition at Hendrick Motorsports, is one of those who is OK with letting drivers live their life. Knaus hopped on SiriusXM NASCAR Radio on Thursday and gave an update on Bowman’s injury status.

“I sent (Alex Bowman) a text (Wednesday) just touching base with him and asked him how he was feeling and he’s like, ‘Man, I feel pretty good today.’ He’s going through, he’s following doctors orders as he should be. We’re waiting for what the doctors say and when they say it and when we get to that point, we’ll react accordingly…”

Chad Knaus on Alex Bowman’s injury recovery ahead of Darlington

Obviously, Bowman won’t be holding the wheel at Darlington Raceway this weekend but it is good to hear that he is doing well. The 30-year-old driver won’t miss as much time as Elliott and should feel in a relatively good spot when he does make his return.

Bowman currently sits 15th in the point standings and that is a positive after missing two points-paying races with a third on the way. The Hendrick Motorsports driver will likely be below the cut-line once he returns but it wouldn’t be too much to overcome.

The only issue would be the idea of the cut-line moving up right now. Through 12 races, there have been nine different winners and it seems likely that more will be coming soon. Bowman may need to win a race to make the playoffs if the bubble becomes too high.

Therefore, the sooner Bowman returns, the better for him and the No. 48 team. With his return nearing, which race could he come back to as the NASCAR season keeps moving forward? Let’s dive into the possibilities below!

Related: Hendrick Motorsports drivers heavily praise Alex Bowman after his extension

Alex Bowman’s injury timeline as a return to NASCAR is coming soon

NASCAR: Ambetter Health 400
Mar 19, 2023; Hampton, Georgia, USA; NASCAR Cup Series driver Alex Bowman (48) leaves pit road at Atlanta Motor Speedway. Mandatory Credit: David Yeazell-USA TODAY Sports

Bowman is no stranger to missing races after suffering a concussion during the 2022 playoffs at Texas Motor Speedway. The 30-year-old driver missed five events and returned for the season finale at Phoenix Raceway before being wrecked by Michael McDowell.

Since Bowman is set to miss three to four weeks, his return is already coming sooner rather than later. He missed his first two races at Dover Motor Speedway and Kansas Speedway with only one to two weeks of recovery left before he can return to the No. 48 car.

It seems guaranteed that Bowman will miss the next race at Darlington Raceway with his first potential return date being the NASCAR All-Star Race at North Wilkesboro Speedway.

The event will take place on May 21 but it won’t count toward the point standings. Maybe, Bowman and Hendrick Motorsports won’t see the need to return and put stress on the healed vertebra yet.

Another way to look at it is by letting him knock the rust off at a track that does not affect the end goal of the 2023 season. Either way, it seems like a certainty that Bowman will return for the Coca-Cola 600 on May 28.

Hendrick Motorsports will likely have a decision to make when that time finally comes. Do they keep Bowman out of the car for an extra week or let him get into race shape before the longest event of the season?

It will be interesting to see what happens but his rehabilitation is the most important factor. Sportsnaut continues to wish Bowman a fast and problem-free recovery as he looks to return to the No. 48 car for Hendrick Motorsports soon.

In the meantime, whether you are watching it live or looking for how to watch NASCAR on TV or another streaming platform, Sportsnaut has you covered for the upcoming weekend at Darlington Raceway!

Check Out: How to watch the NASCAR All-Star Race

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