Alex Bowman ‘not worried’ after Nationwide departure, support of Hendrick ‘means a lot’

Daniel McFadin

CONCORD, N.C. — Five days after it was announced he’d be losing Nationwide Insurance as a sponsor after this season, Alex Bowman is “not worried” as his second full-time season with Hendrick Motorsports continues.

“Nothing’s changed,” Bowman said Monday during a media event for sponsors Axalta and CARSTAR. “It’s business as usual. We’ve got to go win races this year and try to contend for a championship. I’m not worried about anything and just trying to do my job the best I can.”

Bowman has incentive to not worry about his future in the No. 88 Chevrolet. The 26 year-old driver is signed through the 2020 season and owner Rick Hendrick expressed his support for him when Nationwide’s departure was announced.

“Alex is having a breakout season and showing the world just how talented he is,” Hendrick said in a statement. “He’s signed through next year (2020) and will be a big part of our future.”

That support goes a long way for Bowman, who succeeded Dale Earnhardt Jr. in the No. 88 after the 2017 season.

“It means a lot for him to have the faith in me to support me like that in a situation like this,” Bowman said of Hendrick. “I really appreciate it and I wouldn’t want to go anywhere else. This is where I want to be. So it means a lot.”

Bowman has 132 Cup starts since 2014, with 62 of those coming with Hendrick. The last two months have seen his best success yet, with him earning three consecutive runner-up finishes, followed by two top 10s in the last three races.

“The Cup Series is a really stressful, cut-throat place and I think this has probably been the most fun I’ve had in a Cup car for sure,” Bowman said. “I feel like we were still really strong everywhere (following the runner-up finishes), we just didn’t put the races together cleanly as we did the previous weeks. Our cars have gotten so much better. We haven’t changed one part or piece, everything’s just gotten better and easier for us.”

Bowman said consistency like he’s enjoyed over the last two months will “absolutely” pay off come the playoffs.

“But I’m not looking at any of that,” said Bowman, who is 11th in the standings with 11 races left in the regular season. “I’m just trying to go win each week. I think it’s a big thing for us. Obviously, we’ve been really close this year and we need to finish one off.”