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PIT PLACE­MENT An­other dis­crep­ancy in NAS­CAR’s in-race of­fi­ci­at­ing ap­peared dur­ing Sun­day’s Bank of Amer­ica 500 when Jim­mie John­son’s pit crew failed to se­cure lug nuts cor­rectly dur­ing a late-race stop. John­son’s crew chief Chad Knaus caught the er­ror and told John­son to stop and re­verse to the pit box to cor­rect the gaffe. But when John­son’s front tire changer se­cured the re­main­ing lug nuts, the nose of John­son’s Chevro­let was sev­eral feet over the front line of the team’s as­signed pit box. A NAS­CAR rule in­di­cates per­form­ing pit work beyond the bounds of the box gar­ners a one-lap penalty, but NAS­CAR didn’t cite John­son for the in­frac­tion thanks to an un­writ­ten pol­icy that al­lows the in­frac­tion for safety rea­sons. An NBC Sports in­ter­view with Martin Truex Jr. crew chief Cole Pearn re­vealed that not all com­peti­tors were aware of the al­lowance. BOW­MAN BREAK­THROUGH The next driver of Dale Earn­hardt Jr.’s No. 88 is of­fi­cially a NAS­CAR win­ner. Alex Bow­man went to Vic­tory Lane Satur­day night in the XFIN­ITY Se­ries race at Char­lotte af­ter en­dur­ing a multi-hour rain de­lay and eight cau­tion pe­ri­ods. Bow­man, 24, led the last 32 laps af­ter pass­ing fu­ture Hen­drick Mo­tor­sports Cup team­mate Wil­liam Byron for the lead. The race was Bow­man’s 51st XFIN­ITY start but his first of the 2017 sea­son — an op­por­tu­nity that came in a Hen­drick-spon­sored Chevro­let en­try op­er­ated by Chip Ganassi Rac­ing. The Char­lotte suc­cess came one full sea­son af­ter Bow­man, work­ing as the in­jured Earn­hardt’s re­place­ment last sea­son, put the No. 88 on the pole for the Phoenix fall Cup race in 2016. Bow­man has worked in re­cent years as a test and sim­u­la­tor driver for Hen­drick and earned the nom­i­na­tion to the No. 88 seat over the sum­mer.

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