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HMS Star Takes a Sly Dig at Rick Hendrick’s Silence on NASCAR Robbing Him of a Daytona Title

Published 02/23/2024, 6:00 AM EST

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It was a miss by a whisker, but a regret of a lifetime for Alex Bowman. The curtain-raiser of the season, although lived up to its name of being the ‘Great American Race’, was marred with controversies. The one topping the list is none other than the declaration of the race winner. There have been several perspectives that have made headlines asserting whether William Byron was the befitting victor of the race or not. Although there has been endless furor in the NASCAR community, Hendrick Motorsports neither raised a question with the results declared by NASCAR nor demanded a justification for such a declaration.

This deafening silence by Hendrick Motorsports and its owner, Rick Hendrick, has created a whirlwind in the racing community, seemingly irking the other driver in question. Although content with his second-place finish, he seemed to hoard a sour aftertaste of the race and the stance of his team, which was apparent in his interview with DJD Download.

Alex Bowman heaves his disappointment with his team’s stance on the Daytona 500 results

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Although the incessant rains forced the Daytona 500 to be rescheduled, the pompous affair of the race stole the show. On the contrary, the conclusion of the Daytona 500 had left the fans demanding unambiguous answers from the racing community regarding the winner of the race. According to the rule book NASCAR, When the yellow flag is displayed and/or the caution lights are illuminated (yellow) during the white flag lap, cars will be scored based on their respective track position.”

This was the justification that NASCAR provided, along with a controversial snap of the aerial view of the race, reinforcing Byron’s lead over Bowman when the yellow was waved after the wreck that occurred in the final lap of the race. Owing to this, Byron secured his maiden Daytona 500 win while NASCAR fans deemed Alex Bowman the winner. Nevertheless, the driver of #48 does not hold any grudge against his teammate, except the fact that Rick Hendrick’s team could have asked more for a more transparent way of declaring the winner.

Bowman’s disappointment was evident in his interview, where he stated, I don’t have a trophy, so I don’t get the same cheque that William is gonna get, I didn’t go to New York, so I think he is the 500 winner but it was close obviously.”

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“I don’t have access to everything that NASCAR has and I am just happy for William, that’s an interesting situation where I think that teams would have dug into it more if it wasn’t two teammates but at the same time NASCAR would have made the same call. Like they have whatever they make their call off and it was going to be what it was going to be, so social media is interesting they all hated me for crashing the field down the back straightaway.”

Bowman in his interview with Dale Jr Download Reload also expressed to the hosts regarding the stance of the fans on social media, “Then five minutes later they loved me for losing the Daytona 500 by an inch, that’s how the world works these days and I don’t want to sit here and seem bitter over that by any means. That was a great day for us and a great day for the company, super happy for everyone at HMS, wish I had a trophy but I don’t and we will try to get one this weekend.”

The HMS driver tries to come clean after initiating the wreck

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Speaking of the wreck, which was caused by Bowman, he triggered the big one and entangled half of the field, and also knocked out six NASCAR champions out of the remaining laps in the race.

Trying to justify his move, Bowman asserted, I was lifting to try to get off him once he was aimed the wrong place. But we’re all just shoving each other. That’s what speedway racing has kind of become. If it my fault, I didn’t mean to crash anybody by any means.”

The melee occurred with just nine laps remaining in the race when Bowman bump-drafted his teammate William Byron, which led the driver of #24 to lose his control of the car and tap and turn Keselowski, initiating the Big One. However, both Byron and Bowman were able to emerge from the wreck unscathed and secured the top two positions for the night.

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Nonetheless, with the winner being declared and crowned, it is time to look forward to the second race of the season and see whether Alex Bowman is able to turn the table and secure a win in Atlanta.

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Written by:

Ayantika Maitra

760Articles

One take at a time

Ayantika Maitra is a NASCAR Content Analyst at EssentiallySports. Using her affinity for research and storytelling, this English major has also woven some attention-grabbing pieces that have brought the women in NASCAR into the limelight. An expert in identifying trends and understanding audience behavior, she loves taking part in core sport reporting.
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Edited by:

Rohan Karnad