Bow­man wrecks car

Antelope Valley Press (Sunday) - - Sports - By DOUG ALDEN

Alex Bow­man will drive team­mate Jim­mie John­son’s spare car Sun­day af­ter wreck­ing his backup in the fi­nal prac­tice at New Hamp­shire Mo­tor Speed­way. Bow­man, one of five driv­ers al­ready in back­ups for the Cup race, struck a wall com­ing out of a turn in Satur­day’s prac­tice. Bow­man was al­ready in a backup Chevro­let.

LOUDON, N.H. — Alex Bow­man will drive team­mate Jim­mie John­son’s spare car Sun­day af­ter wreck­ing his backup in the fi­nal prac­tice at New Hamp­shire Mo­tor Speed­way.

Bow­man, one of five driv­ers al­ready in back­ups for the Cup race, struck a wall com­ing out of a turn in Satur­day’s prac­tice. Bow­man was al­ready in a backup Chevro­let af­ter blow­ing the drive train in his main car dur­ing qual­i­fy­ing Fri­day.

“We don’t have an is­sue. We’ve had a run of bad luck — ex­tremely bad luck,” said Jeff An­drews, vice pres­i­dent of com­pe­ti­tion for Hen­drick Mo­tor­sports.

An­drews gave an up­date in the garage as crews worked to switch John­son’s car into one for Bow­man, and An­drews said the car will be fine for Bow­man on Sun­day. Bow­man won his first ca­reer Cup race three weeks ago at Chicago.

“It is pretty rare,” An­drews said of hav­ing to re­place a backup car the day be­fore a race.

Four other driv­ers will be in back­ups Sun­day. Denny Ham­lin wrecked his main Toy­ota dur­ing prac­tice Fri­day. Ryan New­man also hit the wall dur­ing prac­tice Fri­day and will run his backup Ford.

“I’ve been here quite a few times and never hit the fence, es­pe­cially there, but it just caught me off guard,” New­man said.

Kyle Larson and Wil­liam By­ron will both be in backup Chevys af­ter bump­ing the wall dur­ing prac­tice Satur­day. HOME­COM­ING Points leader Joey Logano will be start­ing eighth Sun­day in his Team Penske Ford as he goes for his third vic­tory at New Hamp­shire, which he calls his “home track.”

Logano, from Mid­dle­town, Con­necti­cut, said New Hamp­shire is the first place he saw a Cup Se­ries race and loves rac­ing in front of New Eng­land fans. “There’s noth­ing like win­ning at your home track so you re­ally want to make it hap­pen there,” Logano said. Logano has won twice at New Hamp­shire and fin­ished in the top 10 the last two races here. “I en­joy the chal­lenge of it. It’s def­i­nitely one of the most technical race tracks that we go to. You have to be so pre­cise about where you place your car,” he said. “It’s very flat. Cars don’t do what you want them to do at all as flat as it is, try­ing to get the car to turn and try­ing to get it to ac­cel­er­ate is al­ways a tough thing and there’s a lot of vari­ables.”

FAST TRACK

Ryan Blaney’s Ford had the fastest lap in Satur­day’s fi­nal prac­tice ses­sion, av­er­ag­ing 133.572 mph. Toy­ota driv­ers had the next two fastest times with Ham­lin — in his backup — av­er­ag­ing 133.226 mph and Kyle Busch at 132.739 mph.

Brad Ke­selowski, who clinched the pole in qual­i­fy­ing Fri­day, was sixth fastest at 132.591 mph. Ke­selowski will be start­ing from the pole for the first time in nearly two years as he tries to win at New Hamp­shire for the first time since 2014.

BACK AGAIN

Kyle Larson put an end to any spec­u­la­tion about him and his ride for next sea­son.

Larson said he’ll be back with Chip Ganassi Rac­ing, which has him un­der con­tract through next year.

“I like be­ing at Chip’s place. He’s an amaz­ing boss and gave me my shot. I’m very grate­ful for ev­ery­thing he’s done,” said Larson, who will be start­ing 15th on Sun­day.

As­so­ci­ated Press

BE­FORE — In this Fri­day pho­to­graph, Alex Bow­man heads down the track dur­ing a NASCAR Cup Se­ries auto race prac­tice at New Hamp­shire Mo­tor Speed­way in Loudon, N.H.

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