NASCAR: Hendrick announcement ends Alex Bowman rumors

Alex Bowman, Hendrick Motorsports, NASCAR (Photo by Chris Graythen/Getty Images)
Alex Bowman, Hendrick Motorsports, NASCAR (Photo by Chris Graythen/Getty Images) /

Hendrick Motorsports and Alex Bowman have committed to each other through the 2026 NASCAR Cup Series season, ending speculation that the latter could be replaced.

Entering the 2023 NASCAR Cup Series season, Alex Bowman was the only one of Hendrick Motorsports’ four drivers who was not under contract through at least 2025, and he was the only one who did not sign a contract extension at some point during the 2022 season.

While it can be argued that there was no need for Bowman to sign an extension in 2022, since his existing contract tied him to the Ally Financial-sponsored No. 48 Chevrolet through 2023, Kyle Larson signed a new deal last year that ran through 2026, despite the fact that he too was already under contract through 2023.

Chase Elliott and William Byron, whose contracts were due to expire at the end of the 2022 season, re-signed through 2027 and 2025, respectively.

Now the speculation about the team potentially replacing the 29-year-old Tucson, Arizona native and the latter ending up elsewhere can be cast side.

Hendrick Motorsports and Alex Bowman have officially committed to each other through the 2026 NASCAR Cup Series season.

Hendrick Motorsports and Ally reached a five-year extension that keeps the digital financial service company as the primary sponsor of the No. 48 Chevrolet through the 2028 season. Ally recently announced a partnership with NASCAR to become the official consumer bank of NASCAR and NASCAR-owned tracks.

Bowman’s deal, which was only a three-year extension, does provide the team with an element of flexibility in 2027 and 2028, since they know that the No. 48 Chevrolet is fully sponsored for those two seasons.

But for the time being, Rick Hendrick’s driver lineup is set for the foreseeable future, and there was never really much of a reason to consider making a change.

In five seasons with the team, Bowman has won a total of seven races, including at least one in each of the last four years and a career-high four in 2021. He has never been eliminated prior to the round of 12 of the playoffs.

When he signed the new deal, he had qualified on the front row in every Daytona 500 from 2018 to 2022, becoming the first driver to do so in four and five straight years.

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With his third Dayton 500 pole position, he extended that record to six years in a row just hours after the new deal was announced. No other driver has managed six Daytona 500 front row qualifying efforts in an entire Cup Series career, and he has pulled it off in his first six attempts with Hendrick Motorsports.