Hendrick Motorsports driver Alex Bowman not a fan of Bowman the Showman nickname


DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. — Alex Bowman isn’t known as a quitter.

But he has quit something in the past year — trying to fight the “Bowman the Showman” nickname.

He doesn’t consider himself “a showman,” but he has other things to worry about, such as driving the Hendrick Motorsports No. 88 car as he replaces Dale Earnhardt Jr. for the 2018 season.

“It’s whatever at this point,” said Bowman, 24. “I feel like I’m pretty used to it. I think it’s just kind of an odd nickname, but I haven’t heard a better one honestly.

“There hasn’t been a great nickname suggestion so far, so I guess it’s kind of stuck. It’s just weird. It’s just kind of random. I don’t know where it comes from. I think [Darrell] Waltrip started it. Who knows?”

In reality, he can’t fight it, considering that Earnhardt has embraced it.

“I think it’s a great nickname,” Earnhardt said on his podcast last year. “Maybe he’s not telling us the full truth. Maybe he doesn’t know if it’s OK to say he likes it. Maybe he’s staying humble, pushing that modest approach.

“I think secretly behind closed doors, he loves it. Of course he does. ‘Showman’ is a great nickname: Bowman the Showman.”

Eh …

“At this point, I’ve just got to own it, right?” Bowman said. “I don’t see it changing anytime soon. I’m not the biggest fan of it, but it kind of is what it is at this point.”

Bowman apparently feels he is better at giving nicknames than receiving them. He calls crew chief Greg Ives “The Riddler” because he often speaks in code on the radio to keep other teams from understanding what he’s saying.

“As long as you’re calling my name, I don’t care,” Ives said about the nickname. “Whatever it is, as long as it’s in good spirit and good fun, it doesn’t matter to me. Riddler is who I am, I guess, so as long as I’m winning races, that’s all that matters to me.”

Bowman suggested that Ives will, at some point, get a costume to go along with the nickname.

“No, that’s not going to happen,” Ives said.

Kind of like the prospect of “Bowman the Showman” T-shirts happening.

“I’m not in charge of the T-shirt department,” Bowman said. “If they put that on a T-shirt, you won’t see me wearing it, I can tell you that much.”

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