Alex Bowman and Hendrick Motorsports (HMS) are mulling over whether to change engines in the No. 48 ahead of the Daytona 500. They will rely on the final two practice sessions today (currently on hold due to rain) to arrive at a possible conclusion.
Bowman pitted mid-race during the Daytona Duel 1 qualifying race on Thursday night, facing issues with his engine. More unscheduled pit stops followed as the 27-year-old finished four laps down in 20th place.
“Definitely a bummer there. We had something going on and a big vibration with the car. We had some radio issues and couldn’t hear anyone," Alex Bowman said.
HMS VP of Competition Chad Knaus had a conversation with Bob Pockrass on Twitter regarding the evaluation of the No. 48 car.
Alex Bowman won the pole during Daytona 500 qualifying on Wednesday and along with second-fastest teammate William Byron, sealed up the front row for the Great American Race.
Byron was, however, involved in a wreck on Lap 56 of Duel 2 and decided to make the move to a backup car.
What will an engine change mean for Alex Bowman?
An engine change for Alex Bowman would mean he would have to let go of his inside front row starting position at the Daytona 500.
As a result, the HMS driver would fall to the rear of the 40-car field for the Valentine's Day race and Duel 1 winner Aric Almirola will move up to the inside first row for the start of NASCAR's version of the Super Bowl.
There have already been multiple teams that have decided to make the move to a backup car already. They will all start from the back of the field.
As it stands, some teams, including Alex Bowman, have taken their cars through inspection ahead of practice.