CONCORD, N.C. - The 2023 NASCAR Cup Series season will be a year of new opportunities for Alex Bowman and the No. 48 Ally Racing team.

The ‘22 campaign was a year of peaks and valleys for the group. The season got off to a fantastic start for Bowman as he won the third points-paying event of the year at Las Vegas Motor Speedway. Despite a tough summer stretch, the team started strong in the playoffs and advanced into the Round of 12 for the fifth consecutive season.

However, a concussion suffered at Texas Motor Speedway brought the potential of a deep playoff run to an abrupt halt as Bowman was sidelined for five consecutive races. He did return for Greg Ives' final race atop the No. 48 pit box at Phoenix Raceway. The time out of the car has Bowman even more eager to go in 2023.

"I am excited to get back behind the wheel," Bowman said. "The way last season ended and me having to be out of the race car has made me hungry to get back. I have spent the offseason training and preparing, so I think the shortened season in 2022 and focusing on being ready for this season has created a lot of excitement and anticipation for me. Blake (Harris) has brought a lot of energy to this team and I know the crew is super motivated to go compete."

2022: Bowman extends consecutive season win, playoff streaks

Blake Harris is the team's new crew chief. The 36-year-old was tapped to lead the No. 48 group in October of 2022 following Greg Ives’ retirement at the end of last season. This will be the second year atop the box in the Cup Series for Harris, the first with Hendrick Motorsports. He spent 2022 with Front Row Motorsports and guided Michael McDowell to his single-season best marks in average finish and top-10 finishes. 

The two have spent a lot of time around each other this offseason to learn each other's style and rhythms. Bowman's fourth-place run in the Clash at the Coliseum marked the duo's first on-track time together.

RELATED: Bowman scores top-five finish in the Clash

"We’ve spent as much time together here in the shop going through things together," Harris told SiriusXM NASCAR Radio last month. "I spent a lot of my time going back through all their race notes trying to get a better understanding of what he needs and what his comments are throughout the season. We certainly are doing everything we can to accelerate that learning curve."

One track that Bowman has circled on his calendar is Kansas Speedway. The Tucson, Arizona, native has a rich history at the 1.5-mile circuit dating back to his time in the grassroots ranks of stock car racing. As for the Cup Series, he finished ninth in the spring race and fourth in the playoff event last season with a race-high 107 laps led. That gives him six top-10 finishes in his last nine races there. 

For 2023, Bowman will again have two chances to earn a checkered flag at Kansas. With the track once again hosting the second race of the playoffs, a good run will go a long way to advancing to the Round of 12.

"Kansas was the first 1.5-mile track I went to in a stock car. Just having more laps there. I’ve won some ARCA races (one each in 2011 and 2012) there on the old configuration and the new configuration. It's just a place that I’ve always really enjoyed. You can move around a lot. It’s almost too top dominant and you end right up against the fence all day. We’ve had success there and led some laps there this year. Hopefully going back, we can be even better. It would be pretty special to get a win there."

As the DAYTONA 500 draws closer, the No. 48 Ally Racing team gears up for a fresh year in the Cup Series. See the key story lines for the upcoming season as the group looks to head back to victory lane once again.

NEW KID ON THE BLOCK: Harris’ addition to the No. 48 group will undoubtedly be a key factor for the 2023 season. Hendrick Motorsports’ newest crew chief brings the experience from a solid campaign with Cup Series campaign last season with Front Row Motorsports as well as several years of experience as a car chief for 2017 champion Martin Truex Jr. and Kurt Busch. Harris will look to earn his first victory atop the box with Bowman beginning at the year’s first points-paying race, the DAYTONA 500.

RELATED: Continuity important to Harris as he leads No. 48 team

QUICK SIX: Bowman will look to add to his record with six straight front row starting spots in the DAYTONA 500 when qualifying takes place on Wednesday, Feb. 15. In addition to that, he has made the playoffs all five years he has been at Hendrick Motorsports - reaching at least the Round of 12 in all those postseasons.

HIGH FIVE: Bowman has earned at least one victory in each of the past four Cup Series seasons with a career-best four wins coming in 2021. The 29-year-old driver will look to make it five consecutive years in victory lane by earning a win during the 2023 season. In the last three seasons, Bowman has struck early in the season with a win in one of the first 10 races (Third race of 2020 at Auto Club Speedway, ninth race of 2021 at Richmond Raceway and third race of 2022 at Las Vegas). 

ADVANTAGE 48: Ally, the primary partner of the No. 48 team, will join forces with Bowman full time for a third consecutive season. The pair have been quite the match, as five of Bowman’s seven Cup Series victories have come in Ally colors. His victory at Richmond in 2021 marked Ally's first points-paying win as a primary sponsor. This season will see the driver of the No. 48 sport a pair of primary paint schemes - one for day races and another scheme for night races.

PHOTOS: See all of Bowman's wins at Hendrick Motorsports

START BY SETTING THE STAGE: Every point matters and every little edge helps. One area to watch with Bowman in 2023 will be how he qualifies. With the exception of his second-place starting spot for the season-opening DAYTONA 500, Bowman did not line up on the front row for the rest of the season. He did start third in two of his final four 2022 starts and earned 20 stage points in those two races. With the Next Gen race car bringing the competition closer than ever, starting with great track position and being in position to score stage points is of even greater importance. Last season, Bowman scored the 15th-most stage points.