This has not been a great last 48 hours for Hendrick Motorsports. First it was released on Tuesday that William Byron was penalized for his actions during last Sunday’s AutoTrader EchoPark 500 at the Texas Motor Speedway. Among his punishment was 25 driver points which took him from inside of the cut line to outside.
The team will appeal but there’s no real hope that it gets dropped.
Then on Thursday afternoon, Alex Bowman and Hendrick Motorsports both announced that he’ll skip this weekend’s YellaWood 500 (2 p.m. ET, NBC, MRN) at the Talladega Superspeedway due to concussion-like symptoms.
These are each massive storylines because it greatly affects HMS’ championship chances.
Byron heads to a wildcard race -8 with Bowman -26. Without Bowman racing his No. 48 Chevrolet, he’ll be facing a must-win scenario next weekend on the Charlotte ROVAL so long as he’s cleared to race.
Kurt Busch had a qualifying crash back on July 23 at Pocono and hasn’t been back since.
Bowman was 4th, 2nd, 8th and 10th respectively in his four ROVAL tries. He also was runner-up at COTA earlier this season. However, his other 4 road course finishes (16th, 12th, 32nd, 14th) leave more to be desired.
While Bowman’s health comes to focus first, you can’t help but to notice that his championship hopes take a big hit here too.