Alex Bowman will miss a second-straight Cup race.
The Hendrick Motorsports driver of the No. 48 Chevrolet announced on Tuesday that he wouldn’t compete in the NASCAR Cup Series race at Charlotte Motor Speedway on Sunday, citing that he’s still not “100%” after suffering concussion-like symptoms after wrecking in Texas two weeks ago.
This means that the playoff driver, who largely had a promising postseason run up until Texas, will not advance to the Round of 8.
“With my health continuing to be my number one priority, I will not return to racing this weekend at the NASCAR Cup Series race at Charlotte Motor Speedway,” Bowman wrote in a statement on Twitter. “I am continuing to make strides in my recovery to make sure I can return to competition at 100%.”
Noah Gragson will race in Bowman’s stead and compete for owner playoff points for a second-straight week.
“Thank you to everyone for your support during this time,” Bowman wrote. “It has not gone unheard or unseen, and I’m overwhelmed by your support.”
Bowman’s announcement that he’d miss the Cup race last week led to drivers speaking out about the concerns of safety with the Next Gen car.
“There’s always an inherent risk in what we do. And it’s always been that way,” Chase Elliott said this past weekend. “My frustration ... I just hate that we’ve put ourselves in the box that we’re in right now. It’s just disappointing. ... We had years and time and opportunity to make this thing right before we put it on track, and we didn’t, and now we’re having to fix it. And I just hate that we did that because, like I said, I think we’re smarter than that.”
Bowman’s brain injury resulted from an eerily similar hit to the rear bumper that Kurt Busch endured in Pocono in July.
Busch is still recovering from his own brain injury from that hit. He had to withdraw from the Cup playoffs because of it.
Bowman and Busch aren’t the only two Cup drivers who’ll miss Sunday’s action at the Roval. Cody Ware announced on Tuesday that he’d miss the race at Charlotte after sustaining an impact fracture in his right ankle in a crash at Texas Motor Speedway. (He was able to race at Talladega with a boot on his right foot, but that set-up wouldn’t be ideal on an intense road course like the Roval.)
The Roval 400 at Charlotte Motor Speedway is a cutoff race for the drivers in the Round of 12 trying to make it into the Round of 8. Elliott clinched his spot in the Round of 8 with a win at Talladega last weekend.