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NASCAR Cup: reporter mocks Alex Bowman with Twitter hashtag

CONCORD, NORTH CAROLINA – OCTOBER 11: Alex Bowman, driver of the #88 Valvoline Chevrolet, and Michael McDowell, driver of the #34 Love’s Travel Stops Ford, race during the NASCAR Cup Series Bank of America ROVAL 400 at Charlotte Motor Speedway on October 11, 2020 in Concord, North Carolina. (Photo by Sean Gardner/Getty Images)

By AMANDA VINCENT

Alex Bowman, feeling the pressure to advance to the round of eight, or third round, of the 2020 NASCAR Cup Series playoffs during Sunday’s Bank of America Roval 400 at the Charlotte (N.C.) Motor Speedway Roval, expressed feelings of anxiety to his team via radio communications. Afterward, NASCAR writer Jim Utter seemed to mock Bowman’s anxiety via the Twitter hashtag, #AnxietyAlex.

Utter used the hashtag at least three times while tweeting (@Jim_Utter) his coverage of the race. Each time, Utter was criticized by fans and NASCAR insiders for seeming to make fun of a mental health issue. 

“As someone who struggles with this as a real mental issue, this is not funny,” former NASCAR driver Matt Tifft (@Matt_Tifft) tweeted.

On Monday, Utter released the following statement, also via Twitter:

“Yesterday during the race, I tweeted a hashtag about Alex Bowman. I responded to what I thought was humorous banter about anxiety between himself and his crew chief on his radio.

“I’d like to apologize to anyone who believed I was making light of mental health issues, which couldn’t be further from the truth.

“Alex and I had a great conversation this afternoon in which I reiterated that to him.”

Also on Monday, Bowman posted a tweet, thankful for support.

“Hey, everybody. Just wanted to say thanks for the support,” Bowman’s (@AlexBowman88) tweet read. “Millions of people deal with anxiety and everybody handles it differently. It was a stressful week and I’m glad to be through it and focused on Kansas.”

Bowman finished eighth at the Roval and advanced to the next round of the playoffs, scheduled to get underway Oct. 18 at Kansas Speedway.

“With the race team that (car owner Rick Hendrick) has given me and put me with, all the resources we have, I feel like it was pretty necessary to make the round of eight,” Bowman said after the Roval race. “It means a lot to me, and I put a lot of pressure on myself to make that happen.”

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Posted by on October 14, 2020. Filed under Breaking News,Cup Series,Featured,NASCAR. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry

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