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Alex Bowman loses a tire, crashes on Lap 272 at New Hampshire

Alex Bowman, the replacement driver for Dale Earnhardt Jr. who is out with “concussion-like symptoms”, suffered a blown tire and hit the wall on Lap 272 of the New Hampshire 301.

Bowman was able to pit for repairs and stay on the lead lap and finished 26th.

Bowman, in his first Sprint Cup race since the 2015 finale, was running in the top 10 after starting 20th when the No. 88 lost a rear tire and hit the outside wall on the frontstretch right before Turn 1.

The tire was cut from damage that came from contact with Carl Edwards on pit road and then later with Kurt Busch on a restart.

“I think (Edwards) was backing up because he was blocked in as I was leaving the pit box,” Bowman told NBCSN. “My left rear hit his right rear as I was leaving. We thought we would be fine, but obviously when I got into (Busch) it was already going down. Got really loose, got up the race track and got into him. I hate that for Kurt, obviously.”

Busch had also made contact with Chase Elliott, who lost a tire just after Bowman’s accident and ultimately finished 34th, seven laps down.

Bowman had spent most of the day in the top 15 before getting into the top 10 during a pitstop. Driving with Hendrick Motorsports’ power, Bowman earned his best result in five starts at New Hampshire. His previous best was 28th.

“They took me to my worst track by far and made me look good,” Bowman said.