Alex Bowman Cherishes Win in the NASCAR No. 48 on the Day Jimmie Johnson Makes IndyCar Debut – “Really Really Cool”

Published 04/19/2021, 7:30 AM EDT
Apr 18, 2021; Richmond, Virginia, USA; NASCAR Cup Series driver Alex Bowman (48) celebrates after winning the Toyota Owners 400 at Richmond International Raceway. Mandatory Credit: Amber Searls-USA TODAY Sports


In a poetic moment of sorts, Alex Bowman took the iconic No. 48 car to Victory Lane in the NASCAR Cup Series, on the same day Jimmie Johnson – the man who made the No. 48 iconic – took to the track in his IndyCar debut.

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Bowman held off two very strong competitors in Denny Hamlin and Joey Logano on Sunday, claiming the lead in the final laps for the win. He showed great pace all day and eventually made the most of it to win his first race in the car, formerly driven by Johnson.

Apr 18, 2021; Birmingham, Alabama, USA; Indy driver Jimmie Johnson (48) at Barber Motorsports Park. Mandatory Credit: Marvin Gentry-USA TODAY Sports

While Bowman competed in the NASCAR No. 48 at Richmond Raceway, Johnson took his No. 48 car in the IndyCar Series to a 19th-place finish on debut.

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A special day for both Alex Bowman and Jimmie Johnson

“Yeah, it’s really cool,” Bowman said about winning on the same day that Johnson returned to racing.

The Hendrick Motorsports star said that with focusing on his own race and thinking about Johnson’s IndyCar debut, he almost forgot it was his first-ever win in the No. 48. It was also the first Cup win in four years for the 48.

“There’s so many different things going on right now, I almost didn’t even remember that it’s my first win in the 48, getting a 48 back in Victory Lane,” he said.

Johnson‘s last win in the No. 48 came in 2017, with primary sponsor Lowe’s on his car. Sunday’s win was the first for sponsor Ally, who teamed up with Johnson in his final few seasons and is now with Bowman.

Bowman is happy to get the win for them. At the same time, he also dedicated his win to Rowdy Harrell – a former Hendrick pit crew member – and his wife, both of whom lost their lives in an accident last year.

Apr 18, 2021; Richmond, Virginia, USA; NASCAR Cup Series driver Alex Bowman (48) celebrates after winning the Toyota Owners 400 at Richmond International Raceway. Mandatory Credit: Amber Searls-USA TODAY Sports

Meanwhile, Bowman was also eagerly awaiting updates on how Johnson’s race went.

“Really special for a lot of reasons”

“No, it’s really special for a lot of reasons, just to win for Ally, to get the 48 back in Victory Lane. Obviously really emotional, losing Rowdy and Blakley this off-season. It’s been a lot,” Bowman said further.

“Obviously Jimmie making his INDYCAR debut today, really cool. It’s probably over by now. Somebody fill me in on how he did, how eventful it was or wasn’t for him. Really, really cool,” he expressed.

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It really is quite fitting that Bowman produced his best run so far in the No. 48 on the same day that Johnson started his new racing season in a series other than NASCAR for the first time in two decades.

Johnson would certainly be a proud man, both for himself and Bowman.

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Aayush Majumdar

1006 articles

Aayush Majumdar is a NASCAR content strategist, a Tennis Writer, and a sports analyst at EssentiallySports. He is well-tenured as a tennis and NASCAR writer, with over 900 articles across both sports. After pursuing a Post Graduate program in Sports Management, Aayush explored various roles in Sports Media, including a Sports Reporting role at a leading English daily.

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