Alex Bowman’s weekend goes from bad to worse

LOUDON, NEW HAMPSHIRE - JULY 20: Hendrick Motorsports crew members work on the damaged car of Alex Bowman, driver of the #88 Axalta Chevrolet, during practice for the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series Foxwoods Resort Casino 301 at New Hampshire Motor Speedway on July 20, 2019 in Loudon, New Hampshire. (Photo by Brian Lawdermilk/Getty Images)

Alex Bowman’s weekend at New Hampshire Motor Speedway received a second dose of misfortune Saturday with a crash during the final Monster Energy Series practice.

Bowman was already using a reserve No. 88 Chevrolet after a drive shaft failure in Friday’s Busch Pole Qualifying damaged his primary entry for Sunday’s Foxwoods Resort Casino 301 (3 p.m. ET, NBCSN/NBC Sports App, PRN, SiriusXM NASCAR Radio). Saturday, Bowman’s No. 88 slid out of the groove entering Turn 1 and clouted the outside retaining wall midway through the final session.

Bowman’s crew went to work preparing the backup car of Hendrick Motorsports teammate Jimmie Johnson for Sunday’s 301-lapper.

“It’s certainly more difficult here, obviously, but honestly we’ve got a great crew of guys,” said Jeff Andrews, Hendrick Motorsports’ vice president of competition. “Unfortunately we’ve been putting them through a lot the last couple of days in this heat, but we’ll get through it and we’ll line up and go racing (Sunday). Been a tough day, but we’ll get through it.”

Johnson shared a humorous outlook about the situation on Twitter and used it as a teaching moment for his children and others.

The incident was the latest in a rash of crashes during practice at the 1.058-mile track. Denny Hamlin and Ryan Newman crashed late in Friday’s opening practice, and Kyle Larson and Bowman teammate William Byron were also forced to reserve cars after making contact in Saturday’s earlier practice session.

Greg Engle