Alex Bowman will make the move to Hendrick Motorsports’ No. 48 Chevrolet for the 2021 NASCAR Cup Series season, the team revealed Tuesday, Oct. 6.
The move comes after Jimmie Johnson elected to retire at the end of 2020, vacating the No. 48.
Bowman has driven the team’s No. 88 since 2018, winning a pair of races and scoring a best points finish of 12th.
The team’s statement indicated that Johnson backed the change.
Bowman is set to have backing from Ally Financial, which sponsored Johnson in 2018 and 2019. Last October, the sponsor and team agreed to an extension through the 2023 season.
“I’ve worked my entire life to be in a situation like this,” Bowman said in a release. “The opportunity to drive a legendary car like the ‘48’ with incredible support from Ally, it truly can’t get any better…The pieces are in place, and I’m grateful to Mr. Hendrick and everyone at Hendrick Motorsports and Ally. We’re ready to do it right.
“I can’t put my respect for Jimmie into words,” he added. “To me, the No. 48 team’s legacy is about winning, but also how you go about your business. It’s leadership, confidence, work ethic, being a professional and holding yourself to a higher standard. No one will ever be Jimmie, and he’s given us a championship blueprint to follow.”
Bowman won his first Cup Series race at Chicagoland Speedway in 2019, following that up with a triumph at Auto Club Speedway in March.
“We have tremendous faith in this team,” team owner Rick Hendrick said. “Every season, Alex gets better. Not only do we see it in the statistics, but his confidence and leadership have truly blossomed. Today he’s a proven winner and playoff contender, and his best years are ahead. Greg has won championships and races, and he brings the No. 48 pedigree that’s invaluable. When you add in the amazing enthusiasm and support from Ally, it’s quite a combination. Their partnership makes it all possible, and we look forward to celebrating many successes together in the future.”
Bowman currently sits seventh in the points standings after finishing 14th at Talladega Superspeedway. He and the rest of the field next head to Charlotte Motor Speedway’s ROVAL for the Round of 12’s elimination race.