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After becoming a winning driver in the NASCAR Cup Series driver the hard way, Alex Bowman now has something that all racers covet: Long-term stability with one of the best race teams.

On Friday, Hendrick Motorsports announced that it has signed Alex Bowman to a two-year contract extension to continue driving the team's No. 48 Ally Chevrolet. Bowman, a Cup driver since 2014, originally joined Hendrick in 2016 as a substitute driver when Dale Earnhardt Jr. missed the second half of the season due to concussion symptoms.

Bowman celebrated his contract extension with his race team, surprising them with the announcement at Hendrick Motorsports' race shop on Thursday.

"It's been a great experience to watch Alex come up through our program and mature not only as a driver but also as an individual," Hendrick Motorsports general manager Jeff Andrews said in a team press release. "I think the biggest thing that's been great to watch with Alex is his confidence in himself and his race team.

"He and (crew chief) Greg Ives have done a great job. They have a great relationship – a lot of confidence in each other – and I think that is something that has really improved with him through his time here at Hendrick Motorsports."

After entering the Cup Series in 2014, Bowman drove for lesser race teams his first two seasons before receiving the opportunity to substitute as driver for Hendrick in 2016. After scoring three top 10s and winning a pole in 10 races, Bowman was kept in the fold and then tabbed as the replacement for Earnhardt Jr. following his retirement at the end of the 2017 season.

Bowman has since won four races for Hendrick, including two this season at Richmond and Dover, while also winning the pole for the Daytona 500 in 2018 and 2021. Entering this weekend at Nashville Superspeedway, Bowman is currently 11th in points with four top fives and eight top 10s to go with his two wins.