NASCAR Cup Series

Alex Bowman cleared for return at Phoenix

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Credit: Meg Oliphant/Getty Images

Alex Bowman has not run a NASCAR Cup Series race since late September when he suffered a concussion in a crash at Texas. Five weeks later, he will be back in the #48 Hendrick Motorsports Chevrolet when he enters the season finale at Phoenix Raceway.

He was cleared to race again by Dr. Michael Collins, clinical director of the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center Sports Medicine Concussion Program, on Thursday. Collins has been overseeing his recovery.

“We’re thrilled Alex is 100% and will have the opportunity to race at his home track,” said team president Jeff Andrews. “Throughout this process, he’s been incredibly diligent about following the advice of his doctors and prioritizing his health. All of us look forward to welcoming Alex back and seeing him finish 2022 with his #48 team-mates.”

Bowman’s crash at Texas, which was relatively light, added to a flurry of scrutiny towards the Next Gen car that prompted NASCAR to consider safety modifications ahead of the 2023 season like removing the rear clip and adjusting the vehicle’s tubings. Concerns had arose as many drivers reported wrecks feeling much harder, with Kurt Busch having sat out the entire season since his Pocono accident in July.

Noah Gragson drove the #48 in Bowman’s place. He finished nineteenth at Talladega, followed by twenty-third at the Roval, eleventh at Las Vegas, and twenty-sixth at Homestead. Gragson, the current Xfinity Series points leader, is also racing at Martinsville on Sunday.

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