NASCAR: Noah Gragson Will Replace Alex Bowman at Talladega Superspeedway

by Jonathan Howard
(Photo by Adam Davis/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

Following news of Alex Bowman’s concussion-like symptoms, it was announced NASCAR Xfinity Series driver Noah Gragson will drive the No. 48 at Talladega Superspeedway. While Hendrick Motorsports would love to have Bowman driving on Sunday, Gragson is a great grab.

If we’re being completely honest, Noah Gragson is the perfect replacement for Alex Bowman during this time. He is on the hottest streak of any driver this season. Gragson won his fourth Xfinity Series race in as many races on Sunday at Texas. He has Cup Series experience – why not?

Noah Gragson to Replace Alex Bowman

There is a future where we could see Gragson full-time with Hendrick Motorsports, but that remains a while away. For now, it will be a temporary arrangement as Bowman sits out at least one race.

Hendrick Motorsports made the Noah Gragson announcement as part of their general statement on Alex Bowman’s health.

“Noah Gragson will fill in for Bowman this weekend. The Las Vegas native has 13 Cup-level starts in 2022 with a best finish of fifth Aug. 28 at Daytona International Speedway. The 24-year-old driver won the April 23 NASCAR Xfinity Series event at Talladega.”

This season ahsn’t been the easiest on any of the Cup Series drivers. However, one issue they can all agree on is the fact that these Next Gen cars just hit hard. They do not take care of the driver how they should and it has led to general soreness after major incidents to issues like this where drivers have sat out.

Of course, Kurt Busch is the best (or worst) example. He was hurt at Pocono and has not raced since then. Let’s hope that Noah Gragson isn’t a long-term replacement for Alex Bowman the way Ty Gibbs is for Busch.

Talladega Uncertainty

The thing that makes the Noah Gragson and Alex Bowman situation so good is the fact Talladega is what it is. A crap shoot. We could see this one go chalk and a playoff driver just take control and win this thing running away. However, we know what NASCAR is like this time of year and at this venue specifically.

Getting a win at Talladega isn’t just luck, but there’s a lot of that going around. Gragson has run well at superspeedway and will have a real shot on Sunday. The No. 48 Ally Chevy Camaro is probably the best equipment that Gragson will sit in until he starts driving the No. 42 for Petty GMS in 2023.

Let’s see what this Noah Gragson and Alex Bowman swap does. It could turn out to be the perfect choice for Hendrick Motorsports.