Alex Bowman will continue his NASCAR Cup journey with Hendrick Motorsports.
Bowman, 27, is enjoying his sixth season in Cup and his third behind the wheel of the No. 88 Chevrolet.
The driver, who is currently fourth in points, took to Twitter on Saturday to announce a contract extension for next season:
“Pumped to lock down the contract extension for 2021! Couldn’t be more excited to return to @TeamHendrick next season and keep the good times rolling in the 88! Thanks for all the support, can’t wait to get to Darlington tomorrow.”
Bowman has two wins, two poles, 11 top fives and 27 top 10s in 157 Cup starts.
Bowman claimed his second-career Cup victory at Auto Club Speedway in March. During the coronavirus hiatus, Bowman won one of the seven eNASCAR iRacing Pro Invitational Series races for his second win of the year--one actual and one virtual.
“It's good for everybody with Chevy Goods on the car, and it's good to have some momentum,” Bowman said. “You know, obviously, the season was going really well for us in real life, and then as we got into this virtual deal, had some ups and downs, but to get a win is really cool.”
While Bowman was relatively new to iRacing, he’s more comfortable behind the wheel of an actual car. In four starts at 1.366-mile Darlington, however, Bowman posted a best result of 18th last September.
Like his fellow competitors, Bowman is ready to take the green flag.
“I am definitely ready to get back in the No. 88 Chevrolet and race on track,” Bowman said. “Virtual racing was a great way to pass this time, but, man, am I glad to get back to the real track.
“Darlington is a tough track at times, but this team has brought some fast Camaro ZL1 1LE’s to the track this season, and I have tons of confidence that they will do that this weekend.”
Bowman rolls off second for the Real Heroes 400 on Sunday, thanks to a serendipitous draw among the top 12 in owner points. With no qualifying or practice, he feels the key to success is being as prepared as possible.
“It's different for sure,” Bowman said. “I mean, we've raced without practice a couple times just because of rain and things like that, so that's obviously different.
“So it's just adapting to all that and trying to stay on top of it and be prepared the best we can be for all of that is really all I can do.”
Perhaps the most unusual aspect for the drivers to acclimate to will be racing in front of an empty stadium, as NASCAR competes without fans at Darlington. But Bowman won’t find the difference daunting.
“I feel like it's going to be really weird visually not having any fans there, but aside from that, I mean, I'm pretty shy, I keep to myself, kind of just want to do my own thing,” Bowman said. “When it comes time to go into work and drive the race car, I think it'll be business as usual for me. I just kind of do my own thing.”