Alex Bowman Reveals Difference Between Replacing NASCAR Greats Jimmie Johnson and Dale Earnhardt Jr

Published 01/14/2021, 9:10 AM EST
DAYTONA BEACH, FL – FEBRUARY 11: Alex Bowman, driver of the #88 Nationwide Chevrolet, and Jimmie Johnson, driver of the #48 Lowe’s for Pros Chevrolet, stand on the grid during qualifying for the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series Daytona 500 at Daytona International Speedway on February 11, 2018 in Daytona Beach, Florida. (Photo by Jerry Markland/Getty Images)


Alex Bowman’s NASCAR career has transpired unlike most others in the sport. Very rarely does a driver find himself as the successor of not just one, but two NASCAR legends. After replacing Dale Earnhardt Jr. in the No. 88 car a few years ago, Alex Bowman now replaces Jimmie Johnson in the No. 48.

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Recently, the new driver of the iconic no. 48 car at Hendrick Motorsports spoke about replacing them, as well as the difference between the two NASCAR greats.

Bowman admitted that when he replaced Dale Earnhardt Jr. in the No. 88 car in 2016, there was a lot of pressure on him to be more like Dale Jr. However, the youngster chose to not let that pressure get to him.

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Going into the [No.] 88, there was a lot of pressure to be like Dale. I wasn’t going to do that. I was only going to be like myself,” Bowman said during a recent interview.

DOVER, DE – SEPTEMBER 30: Dale Earnhardt Jr., driver of the #88 Nationwide Chevrolet, stands in the garage area during practice for the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series Apache Warrior 400 presented by Lucas Oil at Dover International Speedway in Dover, Delaware. (Photo by Sean Gardner/Getty Images)

How Alex Bowman sees replacing Dale Earnhardt Jr. and Jimmie Johnson

He then spoke about the difference between the two drivers, saying that replacing Earnhardt Jr. was more about matching up to the personality that Dale Jr possesses. Whereas, for Johnson, it is mainly about the sheer brilliance and numbers he has produced behind the wheel.

“Dale is such a huge personality. Not that Jimmie isn’t a huge personality, but Dale is looked at so much because of his personality,” Bowman added. He further praised Jimmie Johnson, calling him one of the nicest people around.

“Jimmie is a great human being, a great person, and one of the nicest guys in the garage. But he is going to be remembered for his stats a ton,” the 27-year-old expressed.

INDIANAPOLIS, INDIANA – SEPTEMBER 07: Alex Bowman, driver of the #88 Nationwide Chevrolet, talks with Jimmie Johnson, driver of the #48 Ally Chevrolet, during qualifying for the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series Big Machine Vodka 400 at the Brickyard at Indianapolis Motor Speedway on September 08, 2019 in Indianapolis, Indiana. (Photo by Chris Graythen/Getty Images)

Without a doubt, Bowman has big shoes to fill going into the 2021 NASCAR Cup Series season. However, he is expected to be well prepared for it, as this is not the first time he is doing so.

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Consistency is key for the new no. 48

Going into a new and potentially career-defining phase, Bowman wants to continue from where he left off in the 2020 season.

“If we can consistently run how we ran in the playoffs throughout the course of 2021, we can be so strong and have a lot of playoff points going into the end of the year,” said Bowman. Consistency will be his biggest strength, feels the Hendrick Motorsports driver.

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Bowman is a two-time Cup Series race winner, with a victory in each of the last two seasons. While he moves to a different car, Bowman will continue to work with crew chief Greg Ives and much of his No. 88 crew, who also move with him as he begins a new chapter.

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Aayush Majumdar

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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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