Alex Bowman, Hendrick Motorsports, NASCAR (Photo by Chris Graythen/Getty Images)
Alex Bowman has officially been ruled out of Sunday’s NASCAR All-Star Race at North Wilkesboro Speedway, with Josh Berry set to fill in.
After Hendrick Motorsports’ Alex Bowman suffered a fractured T3 vertebra in a sprint car crash a few weeks ago, he was initially ruled out for “three to four weeks” of NASCAR Cup Series action.
With this past Sunday afternoon’s Goodyear 400 at Darlington Raceway marking his third consecutive missed start, his unofficial return window opened up just in time for the All-Star Race at North Wilkesboro Speedway.
Bowman is one of 22 drivers eligible to compete in the race, thanks to his win in March 2022 at Las Vegas Motor Speedway. Bowman is a five-time All-Star, having competed in the race every year since becoming a full-time Cup Series driver in 2018, and he has finished in the top eight in each of the last four.
The 2023 NASCAR All-Star Race marks Alex Bowman’s sixth with eligibility.
However, earlier this week, Bowman noted that he wasn’t yet sure if a return in time for the race around the four-turn, 0.625-mile (1.006-kilometer) North Wilkesboro, North Carolina oval. Now he has officially been ruled out as he continues to recover from his injury.
Josh Berry, who has filled in for him behind the wheel of the No. 48 Chevrolet in the three races he has missed so far, is set to drive the No. 48 Chevrolet again this Sunday.
However, Berry is not automatically eligible to compete in the All-Star Race, since he does not meet any of the requirements. He must race his way in via the All-Star Open, as he is also not on the ballot for the All-Star Fan Vote.
Bowman hopes to be back for the series’ next points race, the Coca-Cola 600, at Charlotte Motor Speedway on Sunday, May 28.
The NASCAR All-Star Race is set to be broadcast live on Fox Sports 1 beginning at 8:00 p.m. ET this Sunday, May 21, with the All-Star Open set to precede it on the same channel at 6:00 p.m. ET. If you haven’t already had the chance to do so, begin a free trial of FuboTV today!