TALLADEGA, AL - OCTOBER 22: Jimmie Johnson, driver of the #48 Lowe's Pro Services Chevrolet, and Alex Bowman, driver of the #88 Mountain Dew Chevrolet, stand on the grid prior to qualifying for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Hellmann's 500 at Talladega Superspeedway on October 22, 2016 in Talladega, Alabama. (Photo by Jerry Markland/Getty Images)

Jimmie Johnson said this driver should take over the No. 88 car next season

Dale Earnhardt Jr. is retiring after the 2017 season, and his No. 88 car will be available for Richard Hendricks Motorsports.

The team hasn't made a decision on who should take over for Earnhardt, but seven-time Cup champion Jimmie Johnson thinks Alex Bowman is deserving of the car on a full-time basis.

Bowman filled in for Earnhardt during the 2016 season when Junior was out with concussions. Bowman split time with Jeff Gordon. Johnson said Bowman would be a great choice for Richard Hendrick Motorsports.

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"How he came in and stepped in seamlessly, he was really impressive for me," Johnson said.

"He handled the pressure. Won a pole. Was up there duking it out for some race wins. ... He had a heated moment or two with some of the veterans and wasn't rattled.

Johnson said Bowman did an "amazing job," and he believes Bowman would be a great fit for the No. 88 car.

Matt Kenseth has also been linked to the No. 88 car after Joe Gibbs Racing opted to go with Erik Jones in the No. 20 car for the future, and Johnson said the team will have to consider Kenseth given his success in the past.

Bowman has competed in the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series and the XFINITY Series since 2013. He hasn't registered any victories, but he has a combined four poles and 16 top-10 finishes.

William Byron is also an option for Richard Hendricks Motorsports, but Johnson believes it is too soon for the 19-year-old to make the jump to the Cup Series.

It's a big decision for the team to make, and they will have to decide between young drivers and a veteran such as Kenseth. Whoever they choose will have big shoes to fill.

(h/t AutoSport)