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Hendrick Motorsports Icon Dodges Question as President Is Reportedly Following Joe Gibbs’s Controversial Path

Published 05/15/2023, 1:19 PM EDT

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A series of unfortunate events seem to have struck the Hendrick Motorsports drivers recently. Initially, Chase Elliott was sidelined due to a recreational injury, and then Alex Bowman suffered a similar fate. However, Bowman’s injury was not recreational but rather occurred during an extracurricular sprint car race.

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Lately, rumors have swirled around a potential policy reassessment within the Hendrick Motorsports team. The rumors suggest a possible ban on drivers participating in extracurricular racing events. This speculation arose after a journalist queried Bowman about his stance on such a potential policy change, particularly in regard to sprint car racing.

Hendrick Motorsports icon dodges question regarding reassessment of extracurriculars


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Would he push back if the President and General Manager at HMS, Jeff Andrews, decided to limit the drivers’ off-track activities? This question has ignited a fresh debate in the racing community, considering that it was Joe Gibbs who had elected a similar controversial path earlier.

Answering the question, Bowman responded, “Nobody has really said anything to me. I’m super appreciative to be at Hendrick Motorsports. I’m going to do whatever they are comfortable with and supportive on.”


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“Obviously, I’ve really enjoyed sprint car racing in the last year,” he said, adding that he might continue with sprint car racing, whether as an owner or a driver.

“I don’t know, we’ll just have to wait and see, and cross that bridge once we come to it,” he concluded.

However, one thing is sure, he might not have had such liberty had he been a driver at Joe Gibbs Racing—at least that’s what Christopher Bell‘s recent comments suggest.

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What is the controversial path that Joe Gibbs is headed towards?


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Several Cup drivers choose not to confine themselves to a single series. They opt to diversify their experiences and compete in various racing series. Previously, Christopher Bell, an avid dirt racer himself, had expressed his discontent vociferously when his team owner decided to curtail all racing activities outside of their primary commitment.

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A few months earlier, Bell had expressed his fondness for participating in dirt races, a sentiment seemingly not shared by his team’s owner. During an interview, Bell discussed the issue, saying, “Joe Gibbs has been extremely vocal about his—I don’t want to use the word hatred—but it’s pretty close to hatred towards dirt track racing. He does not love dirt track racing or open wheel racing at all.”

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Moreover, following Bowman’s injury from an off-track race, Hendrick Motorsports might consider adopting a policy similar to Joe Gibbs’. While such a decision would aim to prevent a Cup Series season from being derailed by an injury, it could also be seen as restricting the drivers’ freedom to engage in extracurricular racing activities.


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Srijan Mandal

1061 articles

Srijan Mandal is a NASCAR writer at EssentiallySports. With a Master's Degree in Journalism from a top institution, Srijan has written over 1000 articles across various platforms. His passion for racing began at a young age and has only grown stronger over time.

Edited By: Nischal Kandpal