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Alex Bowman makes return at Coca-Cola 600

Bowman missed three races after suffering a fractured vertebra in April.

CHARLOTTE, N.C. — Hendrick Motorsports will have one of its drivers back at the team's home track.

Alex Bowman, driver of the No. 48 Ally Chevrolet for Hendrick Motorsports, will return from a three-race absence to compete at the Coca-Cola 600 at Charlotte Motor Speedway.

Bowman suffered a fractured vertebra in a sprint car race in Iowa on April 25, which happened to be his 30th birthday.

The injury forced Bowman to miss the next three points-paying NASCAR Cup Series races as well as the NASCAR All-Star Race at North Wilkesboro Speedway on Sunday. 

Before his injury, Bowman led the points standings for three weeks before being penalized 60 points after the Richmond race along with teammate William Byron for modification infractions. Even with the points deduction, Bowman remained in the top 10 in the standings until his injury.

"It’s a boost for all of us to have Alex return to the No. 48 car this weekend at our home track," said Rick Hendrick, owner of Hendrick Motorsports. "He’s still 17th in points, which says a lot about how well the team performed at the start of the year."  

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In Bowman's place during his injury was Josh Berry, who has essentially become a reserve driver for Hendrick Motorsports. Berry earned one top 10 during his drive in the No. 48 and raced his way into the NASCAR All-Star Race by winning the open event.

Berry previously substituted for Chase Elliott when the No. 9 NAPA Chevrolet driver was out for multiple weeks after suffering a leg injury.

Berry will continue to compete full-time for JR Motorsports in the NASCAR Xfinity Series.

Bowman has scored one top five and four top 10s at Charlotte in his career with a best finish of fifth in the 2021 Coca-Cola 600.

The Coca-Cola 600 is on Sunday, May 28 at 6 p.m.

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