The NASCAR community rallied around Alex Bowman after a member of the media mocked his anxiety.
What Alex Bowman Had to Say
Bowman revealed that he was dealing with anxiety during the NASCAR Cup Series playoff race on Sunday (October 11).
“Soooo yeah. Playoff cutoff week=anxiety,” he tweeted. “Roval week=more anxiety Rain=I’m going to go throw up now.” Most fans were thrilled that he spoke so openly about mental health.
Prior to the race, he also told UpRoxx that he was feeling stressed. “[The Roval] is a tough racetrack, obviously,” he admitted. “It’s definitely a stress and anxiety-filled weekend. I don’t think anyone knows what to expect with the weather and how much it’s rained and how wet it’s going to be. So trying to learn as we go and have a good solid day, and we should be OK.”
Bowman also spoke to reporters about his anxiety. “I feel like it’s not super common in the race car,” he said. “Before races and high-pressure situations that you’ll have that, I guess. I feel like I was just really stressed out. It means a lot to me to make the Round of 8. Was really something I felt like with the points situation we were in we had to do. With the race team that [Rick Hendrick] has given me and put me with, all the resources we have, I feel like it was pretty necessary to make the Round of 8. It means a lot to me and I put a lot of pressure on myself to make that happen.”
The Media Response
A prominent member of NASCAR media created an #AnxietyAlex hashtag to mock him. Jim Utter is an editor for Motorsports.com and sent a series of tweets degrading Bowman’s outspokenness.
He updated the race using the hashtag. “New leader, #AnxietyAlex,” he wrote. “#AnxietyAlex closing on the leader.” Finally, “#AnxietyAlex to p3,” he concluded.
See the tweet, below.
Fans quickly stood up for Bowman and replied back at him. Almost all of the fans were appalled at his unprofessional actions. Fans pointed out that mentioning someone’s mental health as the but of a joke was not something the media should do.
Furthermore, one fan pointed out that it was National Mental Health Day on October 10. Other fans asked Motorsport and NASCAR to remove him from his position.