CONCORD, N.C. – This season, Alex Bowman will take over his new role as the driver of the No. 88 Chevrolet Camaro ZL1.
But he’s far from a newcomer.
Bowman has 81 career starts in the NASCAR Cup Series under his belt, including 10 behind the wheel of the No. 88 Chevy as a fill-in driver in 2016. And he expects that experience to allow him to find success from the start as a full-time Hendrick Motorsports driver.
“Well, they hired me to go win races and contend for championships, and that is what I plan on doing,” Bowman said.
That mindset has been impressive to Hendrick Motorsports owner Rick Hendrick.
“You’ve got to have that confidence and you’ve got to have that edge if you’re going to get out there and race these guys for the front,” Hendrick said. “He’s not afraid of anybody. He believes in his ability.”
That confidence was only bolstered last October at Charlotte Motor Speedway. Through Hendrick Motorsports’ technical partnership with Chip Ganassi Racing, Bowman climbed behind the wheel of the No. 42 Chevrolet and drove it to his first career NASCAR Xfinity Series win.
“It was very encouraging to be out of a car for seven months and then right off the bat get a win,” Bowman said. “I think it just proves that I can come out of the box strong and gave me a lot of confidence this offseason.”
Piloting the No. 88 Chevrolet after Dale Earnhardt Jr.’s retirement could create some pressure, but Bowman said he’s more worried about having fun and enjoying every opportunity that he’s been given to the fullest.
“I have a pretty strong desire to go win races and I’m really hungry for wins,” he said. “I think that really matters more to me than any pressure anybody is going to put on me.”
Needless to say, Bowman is itching to get the season started at Daytona International Speedway, and Hendrick is just as ready to see the driver in action.
“I’m just so excited about him,” the owner said. “I love a charger. I love a guy that’s got that kind of confidence. He’s not worried about what anybody else thinks. So, he’s going to be exciting.”