Hendrick taps Alex Bowman as new driver of No. 48 in 2021

Hendrick Motorsports ended going in-house to find its replacement for seven-time NASCAR Cup Series champion Jimmie Johnson.

#9: Chase Elliott, Hendrick Motorsports, Chevrolet Camaro NAPA AUTO PARTS, #88: Alex Bowman, Hendrick Motorsports, Chevrolet Camaro Nationwide, Rick Hendrick, #24: William Byron, Hendrick Motorsports, Chevrolet Camaro Axalta and #48: Jimmie Johnson, Hendrick Motorsports, Chevrolet Camaro Ally celebrate qualifying in the first four positions
Alex Bowman, Hendrick Motorsports, Chevrolet Camaro Valvoline and Jimmie Johnson, Hendrick Motorsports, Chevrolet Camaro Ally Fueling Futures
 Jimmie Johnson, Hendrick Motorsports, Chevrolet Camaro Ally and Alex Bowman, Hendrick Motorsports, Chevrolet Camaro Nationwide with Leonard Wood
 Alex Bowman, Hendrick Motorsports, Chevrolet Camaro Axalta and Jimmie Johnson, Hendrick Motorsports, Chevrolet Camaro Ally
Alex Bowman, Hendrick Motorsports, Chevrolet Camaro Axalta
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#48: Jimmie Johnson, Hendrick Motorsports, Chevrolet Camaro Ally inspired by Danny Koker
#48: Jimmie Johnson, Hendrick Motorsports, Chevrolet Camaro Ally inspired by Danny Koker

On Tuesday, HMS announced Alex Bowman, who currently drives Hendrick’s No. 88 Chevrolet in the Cup Series, will move to the No. 48 beginning with the 2021 season.

Bowman will take over Johnson’s ride and pick up his sponsor, Ally Financial. Johnson is retiring from fulltime NASCAR competition at the conclusion of the 2020 season. Bowman’s current crew chief, Greg Ives, will move to the No. 48 next season along with Bowman.

HMS said a driver for the No. 88 team in 2021 will be named at a later date.

 

“We have tremendous faith in this team,” said Rick Hendrick, owner of Hendrick Motorsports. “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.

“Greg has won championships and races, 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.”

Filling Johnson's shoes

Bowman, 27, is enjoying his best season in the Cup series so far. With five races remaining in the season, the Tucson, Arizona, is one of 12 drivers remaining in the playoffs and earned a victory earlier this season at Auto Club Speedway.

Bowman and Ives have qualified for the playoffs for three straight seasons.

“I’ve worked my entire life to be in a situation like this,” Bowman said. “The opportunity to drive a legendary car like the ‘48’ with incredible support from Ally, it truly can’t get any better. I’m excited to build on my relationship with Greg, who is a championship-caliber crew chief and knows first-hand what the No. 48 is all about. The pieces are in place, and I’m grateful to Mr. Hendrick and everyone at Hendrick Motorsports and Ally. We’re ready to do it right.

“I can’t put my respect for Jimmie into words. 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.”

 

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