NASCAR: Josh Berry not driving the No. 48 car at Charlotte

Josh Berry, Hendrick Motorsports, NASCAR (Photo by Jared C. Tilton/Getty Images)
Josh Berry, Hendrick Motorsports, NASCAR (Photo by Jared C. Tilton/Getty Images) /

Alex Bowman is set to return to the No. 48 Chevrolet after missing four weeks of NASCAR Cup Series action with a fractured vertebra.

Josh Berry has embraced his role as a Hendrick Motorsports supersub in the early stages of the 2023 NASCAR Cup Series season, first spending five races behind the wheel of Chase Elliott’s No. 9 Chevrolet when Elliott was out with a fractured tibia, and then spending four races behind the wheel of Alex Bowman’s No. 48 Chevrolet when Bowman was out with a fractured vertebra.

But Bowman has been cleared to return to Cup Series action in this coming Sunday evening’s Coca-Cola 600 at Charlotte Motor Speedway.

Fortunately for Bowman, only three of the races he missed were points races, so he didn’t fall too far behind in the point standings. Even with three missed races and a 60-point penalty, he sits in 17th place in the standings with 270 points, putting him just five points below the playoff cut line.

Hendrick Motorsports also confirmed that Alex Bowman has received a NASCAR playoff waiver.

So if he does manage to qualify for the postseason, either by winning or on points, his three missed starts will not prevent him from being eligible.

As for Berry, who won this past Sunday evening’s All-Star Open at North Wilkesboro Speedway to qualify for his first All-Star Race, he is expected to land a full-time Cup Series ride in 2024, though confirmation hasn’t yet been made.

In the meantime, he is set to continue in his full-time role with the JR Motorsports Xfinity Series team. The driver of the No. 8 Chevrolet sits in fourth place in the point standings through 11 races and is set to compete in Saturday’s race at Charlotte Motor Speedway, the Alsco 300 (1:00 p.m. ET, Fox Sports 1).

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Fox is set to broadcast the Coca-Cola 600 live from Charlotte Motor Speedway beginning at 6:00 p.m. ET on Sunday, May 28. Be sure to start a free trial of FuboTV now and don’t miss it!