Hendrick Motorsports: one of the most successful teams in NASCAR history. The All-Star race: an event that, in effect, celebrates the legacy of the sport. If you think about it, these two should almost be synonymous, considering Rick Hendrick’s team has 307 Cup Series wins, the most owners and drivers’ championships (14), and the most points-paying race victories (301). Not to mention, it’s leading both the owners and drivers’ championship in 2024. So, yes. The All-Star race and HMS should be synonymous. However, that’s the case for only three of its four drivers, and luck just hasn’t been on Alex Bowman’s side.

Yet again, the Hendrick Motorsports #48 driver will be forced to watch his teammates race for the million-dollar All-Star glory from the sidelines at North Wilkesboro. However, this time, it will hurt him even more, considering how he failed to claim a spot through both the ‘Open’ and the fan vote, which saw Stewart-Haas Racing’s Noah Gragson emerge as the winner for the second straight year.

Ever since the wider sentiment amongst fans online has often labeled Bowman’s advances as consistently ‘average’ – with a winless streak dating back almost 82 races to Las Vegas in 2022 – some of those claims may be justified. What makes the situation even worse is how Bowman was once a fan favorite to compete in the race.


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Notably, the driver was elected to compete in the non-points race through fan vote back in 2019, in only his second year as a full-time Hendrick driver. However, things have taken a turn for the worse as fans seem to have disregarded his race pace. But what led to this? Interestingly, if we compare Bowman’s 2024 stats to fan vote winner Noah Gragson’s, the HMS racer leads the race with five Top-10s and four Top-5s, as opposed to Gragson’s four Top-10s and two Top-5s. As for how his season has been compared to his teammates: –

DriverWinsTop-5sTop-10sLaps LedStage Wins
Alex Bowmano4860
Kyle Larson2664372
Chase Elliott1561311
William Byron3481870

Perhaps the #48 driver’s recent performances miss the mark for fans, who still hold him to a high standard, looking at his pre-2023 form, where he amassed four wins in 2021 (his best season so far). And perhaps these stats are what led Bowman to give himself a sad yet hilarious moniker. Also, what can be a more glaring example of his underwhelming performances than Bob Pockrass’ tweet that failed to feature the former fan-favorite driver’s name?

This was definitely a shock for the racer, who was looking forward to testing himself on the renovated track. In an interview with Frontstretch, Bowman revealed how excited he was to return to the venue after a decade, saying, “I’m excited for the challenge. I think it looks like a fun place. I ran my first stock car race here in 2010. So, I got to race the old track, which was fun. I’m excited to see what the new track’s like. Excited to watch the progress of it, watch it widen out, and then go from there.” But he didn’t get to do it in the main race.

2023 also saw an All-Star tragedy for Bowman, who had a berth for the fourth consecutive year when the Cup Series returned to North Wilkesboro Speedway for the first time in 26 years! But a sprint car crash in Iowa in April left him recovering from a back injury, eventually relegating him out of competing as he missed four races, including the All-Star race.

Now, as Joey Logano and Brad Keselowski gear up to lead the field from green for the 200-lap All-Star spectacle, Pockrass’ post also revealed many different narratives surrounding Alex Bowman and his lackluster fortunes as of late.

Does Bowman still have the HMS magic, or does he need to “give up his ride to a real driver?”

It seems NASCAR fans were equally shocked to see Alex Bowman out of contention. Many Hendrick faithful were quick to voice their frustrations, and one seemingly enraged fan bluntly expressed, “f*ckkkkk why not Bowman.” Many others were also taken aback by the revelation, with one user writing, “Shocked it wasn’t Bowman.”


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The fan vote running through the week aimed at providing a shot for any driver who fell outside the criteria for the initial 19 spots for the 200-lap main event after the 100-lap Open. The contest featured quirky campaigns from unlikely contenders like Carson Hocevar, asking for votes to get into the all-important All-Star super-spectacle. But most of the replies concerned Bowman, painting a picture of receding faith in him. A harsh critic opined, Bowman is mid and needs to give up his ride to a real driver.” 

Another X user was understandably frustrated by seeing Bowman getting outrun by a Rick Ware car” in P4 finisher Justin Haley.

Perhaps Alex Bowman was also expecting this result as heartbreaking self-realization hit him. In an interview, the racer compared himself to his teammates and assigned himself the aforementioned hilarious yet sad moniker. “We have Kyle Larson: the greatest race car driver of our generation. Wins in everything he literally sits in and could win the Indy500. Chase Elliott: the most popular driver, super-fast, Cup Champion. You have William Byron: the fastest guy in the garage right now by far. Then you have me, who’s like the village idiot,” he said.  


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USA Today via Reuters

As it stands, this reply added spice to the dissent in comedic fashion, stating, “BOWMID MISSED ALL-STAR RACE IN A HENDRICK CAR.” Although the critics have certainly been loud for Bowman, 4 consecutive top-10 finishes signal a breakthrough on the horizon for the #48 Hendrick Chevy. Will it be a driven attempt or a false alarm? Only the current driver will reveal the answer to that question in the coming weeks, starting at the Coca-Cola 600.