Why Alex Bowman Changed How 88 Leaned After Replacing Dale Earnhardt Jr.

The man behind the wheel isn’t the only thing different about the No. 88 Nationwide Chevrolet this season.

For the entirety of Dale Earnhardt Jr.’s career in the famous Hendrick Motorsports car, the No. 88 was stylized so that it was leaning forward, rather than backward. Confused? Here’s some visual aid:

Former NASCAR driver Dale Earnhardt JR.

Matthew O’Haren/USA TODAY Sports Images

Earnhardt, of course, now is retired, with Alex Bowman taking over in the Nationwide Chevy. And if you’ve been paying extra close attention this season, you might’ve noticed the No. 88 now is leaning backward.

Here’s proof:

NASCAR driver Alex Bowman

Jerome Miron/USA TODAY Sports Images

We’ll be honest: We had no idea about this.

But Twitter user Bdlankford14 sure did, and he asked Bowman why the change was made.

OK, so, Bowman’s answer raises the obvious next question: Why did Earnhardt’s 88 lean forward in the first place?

Well, here’s your answer:

Somewhere down the line, all this information has to pop up in a NASCAR trivia question.

Just for good measure, let’s take a look at the other cars in the HMS garage:

Here’s Chase Elliott’s No. 9:

NASCAR driver Chase Elliott

Jerome Miron/USA TODAY Sports Images

Here’s Jimmie Johnson’s No. 48:

NASCAR driver Jimmie Johnson

Jerome Miron/USA TODAY Sports Images

And here’s William Byron’s No. 24:

NASCAR driver William Byron

Jerome Miron/USA TODAY Sports Images

At long last, the boys at Hendrick have a cohesive lean.

The team probably is more concerned with getting on the same page during races, however. Through 10 races, Hendrick has no drivers in the top 10 in the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series standings, with Bowman (12th place) ranking the highest.

As for Earnhardt, he and his wife, Amy, currently are focused on the recent arrival of their first child: Isla Rose Earnhardt.

Thumbnail photo via Jerome Miron/USA TODAY Sports Images

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