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Alex Bowman won't race at Talladega due to concussion-like symptoms

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Alex Bowman prior to the NASCAR Cup Series M&M's Fan Appreciation 400 on July 24, 2022 at Pocono Raceway.
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Alex Bowman won’t race in the NASCAR Cup Series event at Talladega Superspeedway this weekend.

he Hendrick Motorsports driver crashed last Sunday at Texas Motor Speedway and has experienced concussion-like symptoms, the team said in a statement Thursday. He was evaluated by physicians on Thursday in Charlotte, N.C.

Bowman released the following message on Twitter shortly after the news was revealed:

“After undergoing medical evaluation due to concussion-like symptoms, I will not be driving the No. 48 Ally Chevrolet in Talladega. I’m disappointed but know my health is the number one priority. I am committed to follow all medical guidance to ensure I can return to competition as soon as possible.”

Noah Gragson, a NASCAR Xfinity Series driver for Dale Earnhardt Jr.’s JR Motorsports, will fill in for Bowman at Talladega.

Bowman, 29, qualified for the playoffs this season after winning at Las Vegas in March. He advanced to the Round of 12, but will likely not advance further unless he can return and win the race at Charlotte on Oct. 9. Obviously, though, Bowman’s health is the most important thing at this time.

 

Bowman’s crash from Texas, which he described on the radio afterward as the “hardest I've crashed anything in my entire life,” can be seen here:

This injury is the latest in a concerning trend for NASCAR’s new NextGen car, which debuted this season. Drivers have complained about how painful it is to crash in the car compared to NASCAR’s older model, which was retired after last season.

The concerns became more apparent over the summer, when former champion Kurt Busch suffered a concussion in a qualifying crash at Pocono Raceway.

Talladega will be Busch’s 11th straight weekend out of the car, as the 44-year-old has yet to race since suffering the concussion.

Now, the series heads to Talladega (Sunday, 2 p.m., NBC) – a track known for huge, multi-car crashes – without two drivers who were injured in single-car accidents.