Alex Bowman to replace Dale Earnhardt Jr. at Hendrick Motorsports

“I’ve had so many people believe in me along the way”. Earnhardt Jr. has won a total of 26 NASCAR Cup Series races in his career, which includes six victories during the 2004 season.Going into this weekend’s Brickyard 400 at Indianapolis, Earnhardt 21st in the NASCAR Monster Energy Series standings, meaning he would likely need a win in one of the next seven races to make the postseason.”To be part of Hendrick Motorsports and for Mr. (Rick) Hendrick to have this confidence in me, it’s just wonderful”. In 19 races this season, he has the same number of did not finishes – five – as top 10’s.Bowman will have sponsorship from Nationwide and Axalta for the bulk of the season, Hendrick Motorsports announced.Bowman has prior experience in the No. 88 auto, as he served as Earnhardt Jr.’s replacement in 10 of the final 18 races of the 2016 NASCAR Cup Series season. I’m excited to build on the relationship with Nationwide and all of our partners.We also know that top-tier drivers such as Kyle Larson or Brad Keselowski, who very well may not remain with their current teams beyond the 2017 season, will not be able to land behind the ride desired by many free agents. Axalta Coating Systems will pick up 15. It means the world that they have faith in me, and I’m thankful to have them on my side.Team owner Rick Hendrick even expressed his amazement with the driver, saying, “Alex impressed the heck out of us previous year with his talent, poise, and professionalism”.”Alex Bowman in the 88 auto next year, is that what you want? [Crew chief Greg Ives] and the team loved working with Alex, and that dynamic will get even better with more time together”.Bowman, 24, took over on a part-time basis for Earnhardt last season as he suffered from concussion symptoms that sidelined him for half the season.As a former victor of the non-points event, Earnhardt was already eligible to race in the Clash, but having earned his way into the race and no longer needing an exemption seemingly encouraged him to consider the opportunity – even if he was set to retire at the end of the current season. A report from Motorsport and the team’s own website confirms that the three-year veteran will take over Junior’s spot after auditioning for the team last year.meaning he’s got a lot of work to do for next year’s NASCAR season.