top of page

Countdown to Daytona - 32 Days

(Cover Photo Credit: Jared C. Tilton/Getty Images)

By Adam Carabine

In case you missed it, StatChat is counting down the days ‘til the 2023 Daytona 500. Every two days, we will have a new article featuring one of the 36 charters of 2022.

16th Place – Alex Bowman – 2,106 pts


5 Races Missed due to Injury in 2022 – After a nasty crash at the Texas playoff race in September, a concussion sidelined Alex Bowman for the next five races. While the crash didn’t look all that bad compared to some of the spectacular wrecks we’ve seen in the past, it became clear that the back end of the Next-Gen car was maybe not as safe as had been previously thought. NASCAR promised to take a closer look and make changes for 2023, but the damage to Bowman’s season was done. He returned for the final race of the year at Phoenix.

137 Laps Led in 2022 – Despite missing five races, Bowman’s season wasn’t a complete wash. His 137 laps led were only a few less than he’d had in 2021, and he had five less races to do it. He surely was on pace to pass his 2021 total had he not been injured.

1,881 Quality Passes in 2022 – Another area that Bowman improved in 2022 was his Quality Passes (Green-flag passes while riding in the Top-15). That is 177 more Quality Passes than he had in 2021, and again with less races. The reason Quality Passes are a better metric than just passes, is that as you get closer to the front of the field, the competition gets harder. It would be easy to stay in the back and pass back-marker cars all the time and claim good passing numbers. Quality passes add the extra wrinkle of stiffer competition while under green.

-16 Pass Differential in 2022 – It goes to show that you can be better at passing, but still be allowing others to pass you at a faster rate too, which is not great. This means that Alex Bowman had 19 more cars pass him than he passed. Certainly it wasn’t the worst number of all the Cup Series charters, but anything in the negative is bad news. Throw in the fact that Bowman’s 2021 differential was +176, that is a clear step back – and missing races wouldn’t even change this that drastically. Whether the new car made it easier for everyone to pass, or Bowman just had a tougher time holding off the competition, it’s hard to say.

202 – Fast Laps in 2022 – Another Top-15 stat in this category for Alex Bowman, again despite missing some races. The No. 48 might currently be the weakest of the Hendrick stable – Bowman only finished ahead of his teammates in 11% of the races – but being the weakest Hendrick car is still better than being the best in many other organizations. What’s clear is that Hendrick builds fast cars, and Bowman’s 48 was no exception this year.

In June of 2022, Alex Bowman signed a contract extension with Hendrick Motorsports to continue driving the No. 48 Chevrolet into 2023. Bowman’s crew chief Greg Ives stepped down from the role, and was replaced by Michael McDowell’s former crew chief Blake Harris.

Coming up next in the Countdown to Daytona series – Tyler Reddick!