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NBCSN’s Ato Boldon lives a fan’s dream, takes actual laps on track, simulator

Ato Boldon learns how to navigate Charlotte Motor Speedway with the help of Alex Bowman and Chevy car simulator.

If you’re like most NASCAR fans, you’d give anything to get behind the wheel of a stock car and take a few laps around a racetrack.

And then there’s the other option, logging laps and miles in a simulator.

NBCSN’s Ato Boldon had the opportunity to do both recently at Charlotte Motor Speedway, Texas Motor Speedway and the Chevrolet Simulator.

Boldon was coached at Texas by NBCSN counterpart Jeff Burton, getting up to 91.525 mph, which still was quite a bit slower than Kurt Busch’s record-setting pole speed Friday for Sunday’s AAA Texas 500 of 200.915 mph.

And Alex Bowman, who will replace Dale Earnhardt Jr. in the No. 88 Hendrick Motorsports Chevrolet next season, coached Boldon as he made his paces in the Chevy Simulator.

Boldon hit the wall several times under Bowman’s tutelage, prompting Bowman to jokingly quip, “You are terrible, I don’t know where to start. ... They said if you spend every day here for the next five years, they’ll let you drive the NBC car.”

Added a laughing and good-natured Boldon, “After being in the simulator, I don’t want to go anywhere near that NBC car.”

Check out the video above.