Alex Bowman looks on from pit road

Alex Bowman ruled out for Charlotte Roval, faces playoff elimination

Alex Bowman will not return to competition at the Charlotte Motor Speedway road course this weekend, Hendrick Motorsports announced Tuesday.

Bowman is recovering from concussion-like symptoms resulting from a crash in the Sept. 25 race at Texas Motor Speedway. Noah Gragson, who wheeled the No. 48 Chevrolet to a 19th-place finish at Talladega Superspeedway, will again substitute for Bowman this weekend.

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Bowman, who is in the Round of 12 of the NASCAR Cup Series Playoffs, will be eliminated from championship contention following the conclusion of Sunday’s race. The seven-time Cup Series winner sits 12th in the standings heading into the event, 54 points beneath the elimination line. Eight drivers will advance to the Round of 8, the penultimate round of the playoffs.

Since joining Hendrick Motorsports full time in 2018, Bowman has never missed the playoffs and earned a career-best points finish of sixth in 2020. Bowman qualified for this year’s postseason with a win in March at Las Vegas Motor Speedway.

Chase Briscoe currently holds the final spot in the preliminary Round of 8 ranks courtesy of a tiebreaker over Austin Cindric. On the outside looking in are Cindric, William Byron (-11), Christopher Bell (-33) and Bowman.

“Alex’s health is our first priority,” said Jeff Andrews, president and general manager of Hendrick Motorsports. “We’re focused on supporting his recovery and seeing him back in his race car when the time is right. Alex has a long career ahead of him, so we will invest the necessary time and take our guidance from medical experts. We’re putting no pressure on him to return before he’s 100% ready.”