NASCAR championship contender Alex Bowman will miss a second straight race with a concussion.
Bowman was in the Round of 12 in the NASCAR playoffs when he crashed in Texas. He told his team at the time of the crash that it was one of the hardest hits of his life. He went on to finish another 231 laps and was diagnosed with a concussion four days later.
Bowman missed last week’s race at Talladega and will miss the Charlotte Roval. Noah Gragson filled in for Bowman last weekend and will do it again.
“With my health continuing to be my number one priority, I will not return to racing this weekend at the NASCAR Cup Series race at Charlotte Motor Speedway,” Bowman said in a statement. “I am continuing to make strides in my recovery to make sure I can return to competition at 100%.
“I appreciate Noah stepping into the No. 48 Chevrolet again and will be cheering hard for my Ally Racing team this weekend.
“Thank you to everyone for your support during this time. It has not gone unheard or unseen and I’m overwhelmed by your support.”
Bowman’s absence means he will be cut from the playoffs.
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“Alex’s health is our first priority,” Hendrick Motorsports general manager and president Jeff Andrews said. “We’re focused on supporting his recovery and seeing him back in his race car when the time is right. Alex has a long career ahead of him, so we will invest the necessary time and take our guidance from medical experts. We’re putting no pressure on him to return before he’s 100 percent ready.”
Cody Ware is also out for the Charlotte race after he suffered injuries in a bad crash in Texas.
Bowman and Kurt Busch missed Sunday’s race with injuries suffered in crashes in NASCAR’s Next Gen car. NASCAR on Wednesday plans to crash test some computer models of changes that can be made to the rear of Next Gen car, which drivers have complained is too stiff and causing injuries from what had usually been seen as routine accidents.
NASCAR plans to meet with team owners and drivers later in the week.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.