The announcement came late in the season that departing 7-time Cup Series champion Jimmie Johnson would have a replacement from within the team. The No.48 car will now be in the hands of Alex Bowman from the 2021 season.
Bowman, who previously drove the No.88 at Hendrick Motorsports, is undoubtedly going to take on a tremendous challenge from next year. After all, No.48 is a symbol of excellence and the legacy created by Johnson over the years.
But former Hendrick driver Dale Earnhardt Jr has said that the prospect of seeing Alex in the car excites him. And believes the pressure to deliver will get channelized positively by him, to continue bringing home more success for the team.
Replacing Jimmie Johnson an “even bigger” challenge says Earnhardt Jr
The former Hendrick driver stated, “I’m excited for Alex to get into the 48. He’s basically just gonna change the decals on his own car. But he followed in my footsteps as he stepped into the Hendrick car, the no.88 car at Hendrick Motorsports.”
Jimmie Johnson drove magnificently in a career that spanned over 2 decades. Most importantly though, it yielded 7 Cup Series championships that are a joint-record and placed him among the all-time greats.
“And now he takes on an even bigger challenge by putting on the Superman’s cape. You know he’s going to drive the no.48 following Jimmie Johnson, which would be tough for anybody.
“But I think that that pressure can motivate and push Alex to even more success.”
Chase Elliott will face a good fight from his teammate Bowman in 2021
Earlier last month, Bowman regarded the switch as an honor. He said at the time, “I’ve worked my entire life to be in a situation like this. The opportunity to drive a legendary car like the ‘48’ with incredible support from Ally, it truly can’t get any better.”
Of the 4 contracted cars to Hendrick, it was the No.9 of Chase Elliott that stood tall and strong to win the 2020 Cup Series championship.
Make no mistake though, Bowman will fight right back when the new season gets underway in Daytona in a few months’ time.