Let’s be honest, most of you didn’t pick this in the silly season pool.
Hendrick Motorsports announced Tuesday that Alex Bowman will take over the No. 48 Chevrolet in 2021.
This comes in the midst of a career season for the 27-year-old out of Tucson, Arizona, with one victory and still in the thick of the 2020 NASCAR Cup Series playoffs.
“We have tremendous faith in this team,” Rick Hendrick, team owner, said. “Every season, Alex gets better. Not only do we see it in the statistics, but his confidence and leadership have truly blossomed. Today he’s a proven winner and playoff contender, and his best years are ahead.”
Bowman replaces Jimmie Johnson, who announced last November he’d retire from full-time competition at the end of the 2020 season.
“I can’t put my respect for Jimmie into words,” Bowman said. “To me, the No. 48 team’s legacy is about winning, but also how you go about your business. It’s leadership, confidence, work ethic, being a professional and holding yourself to a higher standard. No one will ever be Jimmie, and he’s given us a championship blueprint to follow.”
Along with full season sponsorship from Ally, he’ll take current crew chief, Greg Ives, with him.
“Greg has won championships and races,” Hendrick said, “and he brings the No. 48 pedigree that’s invaluable. When you add in the amazing enthusiasm and support from Ally, it’s quite a combination. Their partnership makes it all possible, and we look forward to celebrating many successes together in the future.”
This announcement is a far cry from where Bowman was in 2016, when he learned via Twitter that he was out of a ride at Tommy Baldwin Racing.
It came as a surprise to many. The scuttlebutt regarding who’d take over the No. 48 car listed drivers such as Kyle Larson, Erik Jones, etc.