Radio communication

Alex Bowman’s radio communication after the crash in Texas revealed how bad his blow was long before doctors did it and it was made public

The news late Thursday afternoon that Alex Bowman will miss Sunday’s Round of 16 playoff race at Talladega sent shockwaves through the garage. Another injured driver seated due to a concussion. All because of a car that drivers have consistently said throughout the year that it was too stiff and the drivers were absorbing a lot of the energy on impact.

Although the condition of the Hendrick Motorsports driver was somewhat surprising when it was announced, it shouldn’t have been. The pilot’s communication on his team radio immediately after impact in Texas said it all. And unfortunately, it was an all too familiar sound.

Alex Bowman out with concussion

The 2022 Cup Series season was the story of two seasons for Alex Bowman. In the first 15 races of the year, the HMS driver recorded nine top 10 finishes, including a win in Las Vegas that locked him into the playoffs.

The 29-year-old has hardly looked like a playoff driver in the last 15 races, scoring just three top 10s and, more shockingly, five DNFs, his latest coming in the Bristol night race, where he finished 32nd .

Last week at Texas Motor Speedway, Bowman’s late-season struggles continued, as he finished 29th. He was one of the first drivers to have tire problems and on lap 98 punctured a tire, lost control and backed into the outside wall at the exit of turn 4 on the 1.5 track mile.

His team repaired the #48 car, and he returned to the track and finished the race, finishing five laps later.

Bowman reveals intensity of impact on team radio

The fact that Bowman finished the race is both remarkable and chilling, especially after listening to what he said on the team radio just seconds after hitting the wall.

“Done. I can’t drive the rest of the day,” Bowman said, feeling the effects of the impact. . »

Other drivers have said similar things

Bowman’s remarks, while alarming, unfortunately, are not new. Many drivers have made similar comments following crashes this year in the Gen 7 car.

“All good. That was the hardest hit I’ve had,” Bubba Wallace told Fox’s Bob Pockrass after a last-lap crash at the season opener in Atlanta. was harder than Pocono.”

“It’s been a pretty painful week,” Joey Logano said days after crashing into the outside wall in Charlotte in the Coca-Cola 600. “I’m not moving as fast as usual, but it looks like I can still drive the car fast, at least in practice. So that part is good. These cars, they hit harder than ever. They hit really hard. They’re solid. Yeah. It hurts.”

Kevin Harvick was one of the most vocal on the impacts and offered a detailed description of what it feels like a day before ending his 65-race winless streak at Michigan.

“It’s never the first item on the to-do list. I can tell you from a driver, every time I hit something, it’s a lot harder than any bump I’ve taken in any of the other cars,” admitted Harvick. “The only thing I can compare him to is hitting a concrete wall compared to what he was before. That’s the problem.

“It’s not that you look at the cars and say, ‘Oh man, they look great. This is the problem. Nothing flew away, did it? That’s the problem, and all that energy is absorbed by you. So you feel like you’re hit by the hammer and the car survives, but is that really what you want? The cars are all together. It looks good, but it doesn’t feel good.

Harvick’s comments line up perfectly with Bowman’s after Texas. The driver of HMS was in complete shock as the car continued to roll after his hit. It was driving so well that he drove it another 231 laps. And that is the problem.

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