CONCORD, N.C. -- It’s been an interesting ride for Alex Bowman as he prepares to transition to the No. 48 team. The 27-year-old driver’s journey to take over the No. 48 Ally Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 1LE from Jimmie Johnson in 2021 has been anything but easy, but it’s made Bowman appreciative of where he is now.
Bowman joined Hendrick Motorsports full time in 2018 after working with the organization’s simulators and filling in for Dale Earnhardt Jr. when he was injured. He was paired with crew chief Greg Ives in 2016 on a part-time basis, then they came together full time in 2018. Bowman proved himself to be a tenacious driver for the organization as the pilot of the No. 88 Chevrolet, and his hard work wasn’t lost on those who worked closely with him, including team owner Rick Hendrick.
“It’s definitely a big confidence booster for me,” Bowman said of being tapped to drive the No. 48. “To know that Mr. Hendrick has faith in me and our partners at Ally have faith in me as well, it means the world to me. I think getting the No. 88 back in victory lane was a big part of that and I feel like being able to show my work ethic. And I had to earn that, it wasn’t given. To have Mr. Hendrick have that much faith in me and have noticed everything that I’m doing is really special and I’m very appreciative for it.”
When it came to deciding who would drive the No. 48 Chevy after Jimmie Johnson retired from full-time racing in the Cup Series, Ally chief marketing and public relations officer Andrea Brimmer said the sponsor wanted a driver who not only is talented, but who could honor the legacy of the No. 48.
“One of the things that we love about this relationship is that Alex has a lot of the same values that we do, and that’s really important to us,” Brimmer said. “We really only align our brand with people that share the values that we do, both in terms of giving back; around being a good citizen of the world.
“We want the fans to get to know Alex a little bit better to understand the things that he’s passionate about, (like) his passion for cars and his passion for animals, especially dogs, and just the hard worker that he is in the time that he puts in and I think the quiet confidence he and the team with Greg have. We love that. I think it reflects a lot of what our brand it about.”
For Ives, returning to the No. 48 team will give him a chance to apply everything he has learned at Hendrick Motorsports. Bowman’s crew chief was the lead engineer with the No. 48 team from 2006-2016, earning five championships with Johnson, crew chief Chad Knaus and the rest of the team.
“I still remember that first day when Chad asked me to be his race engineer, so connecting all these dots and connecting what Hendrick Motorsports has meant to me, and the numbers along the way, have truly defined different times in my career,” Ives said. “Hendrick Motorsports has done a lot for my career. It’s truly special and I’m honored to be able to represent Ally and also represent the No. 48 again.”