WATCH: Jimmie Johnson Leaves a Special Message for Alex Bowman Who Takes over His No. 48 Car

Published 12/31/2020, 5:00 AM EST
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)


As Jimmie Johnson steps out of the No. 48 car at Hendrick Motorsports after 19 years, his former teammate Alex Bowman takes over the reins. Young Bowman has massive shoes to fill, as he carries forward the legacy left behind by a seven-time NASCAR Cup Series champion.

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Recently, Johnson himself left a special message for Bowman before moving to the IndyCar Series. In an emotional video posted by the primary sponsor of the no. 48 car, Ally Racing, Johnson arrived next to his famed car and took another close look at it.

He then wrote a note and stuck it on the car, before smiling and walking away. As he moved away, the note, which the champion driver left for his successor, revealed the message, “Crush it, bro!”

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Can Alex Bowman live up to the Jimmie Johnson legacy?

Bowman’s first task will be to bring the car back to Victory Lane as Johnson’s last win came back in 2017. Although Johnson could not win a race in his final three seasons, he still has as many as 83 Cup wins over the course of his career, leaving Bowman a big job on his hands as he aims to carry on the legacy.

Meanwhile, Bowman has two race wins in the Cup Series already, one each in the last two seasons. He also knows a thing or two about carrying on a legacy, as he has been driving another iconic car up to this point – the no. 88 car, previously piloted by Dale Earnhardt Jr.

Bowman is replaced by Kyle Larson in the Hendrick Motorsports squad, who will drive the no. 5 car, which replaces the 88. Both men have a huge task ahead in what could be the most important season of their careers so far.

LOUDON, NH – JUNE 27: Jimmie Johnson, driver of the #48 Lowe’s Chevrolet, performs a burnout to celebrate winning the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series LENOX Industrial Tools 301 at New Hampshire Motor Speedway on June 27, 2010 in Loudon, New Hampshire. (Photo by Drew Hallowell/Getty Images for NASCAR)

Johnson’s faith in Bowman

Johnson, on the other hand, moves to the IndyCar Series where he will continue to drive the no. 48 car. Talking about his successor Bowman, Johnson had expressed great faith in the 27-year-old and in his abilities to succeed in the 48.

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To see him develop as a driver and continue to apply himself more and more each and every year, to continue to mature and grow. He’s earned the right,” Johnson had said of Bowman.

The 2021 season promises a lot of excitement as these drivers and many others start new chapters in their respective careers.

Will Bowman use the added pressure to his advantage, further making Johnson proud? Only time will tell.

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Aayush Majumdar

994 articles

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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