Earnhardt’s replacement set to make 2017 debut

Alex Bowman smiles to team members in his garage during a practice session. (Terry Renna/AP)

DOVER, Del. — The driver who will replace Dale Earnhardt Jr. next season in the NASCAR Cup series will race in the sport for the first time this year.

Alex Bowman will drive the No. 42 Chevrolet in two Xfinity Series races for Chip Ganassi Racing. Bowman will drive at Charlotte Motor Speedway and Phoenix International Raceway.

Bowman is set to replace Earnhardt next season in the No. 88 Chevrolet at Hendrick Motorsports. Bowman subbed last season in the 88 when Earnhardt sat out with a concussion. Hendrick Automotive Group’s HendrickCars.com will sponsor Bowman at Charlotte. No sponsor was named for Phoenix.

He has not raced in NASCAR this season. Bowman has never won a race in 133 NASCAR starts over Cup, Xfinity and the Truck Series.

When submitting content, please abide by our submission guidelines, and avoid posting profanity, personal attacks or harassment. Should you violate our submissions guidelines, we reserve the right to remove your comments and block your account. Sportsnet reserves the right to close a story’s comment section at any time.