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NASCAR notebook: Bowyer on probation for aggressive driving

NASCAR placed Clint Bowyer on probation until June 16 -- three Nationwide Series races -- for overly aggressive driving in the Nationwide race Saturday at Dover International Speedway.

Bowyer on probation
On a late restart in Saturday's Nationwide Series race at Dover International Speedway, Denny Hamlin (not pictured) touched off a multicar wreck when he made contact with Clint Bowyer (21), who had restarted second. During the caution following a red-flag period, Bowyer retaliated, running into Hamlin. NASCAR parked Bowyer and placed him on probation Wednesday. (Nick Laham/Getty Images)

NASCAR placed Clint Bowyer on probation until June 16 -- three Nationwide Series races -- for overly aggressive driving in the Nationwide race Saturday at Dover International Speedway.

The probation covers participation by Bowyer in any NASCAR series, and he could be subject to heavier penalties for a repeat violation while under probation.

Bowyer was parked for the final six laps at Dover for intentionally wrecking Denny Hamlin under caution. Bowyer was running second several laps earlier when Hamlin got into the back of him on a restart. Bowyer pitted, and when the cars began to circle the track after a red flag, he drove into the side of Hamlin's car.

Bowyer met with NASCAR officials after the race.

"(They said) you're not supposed to do that," Bowyer said after meeting with NASCAR officials. "We're professionals, and we're supposed to be out there putting on a show for the fans and not carrying on (like) that."

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Bowyer received the same penalty Carl Edwards and Jason Leffler received for retaliation in races earlier this year.

Mears replaces Vickers in Sprint All-Star Race

Brian Vickers will be replaced by Casey Mears in the Sprint All-Star Race this weekend at Charlotte Motor Speedway as Vickers continues to receive treatment for blood clots in his veins, Red Bull Racing announced Wednesday.

Vickers is being treated with blood thinners and missed last week's race at Dover. Mears finished 22nd at Dover in place of Vickers, who is scheduled to talk to the media Friday about his condition and when he possibly could return to racing.

Sprint Cup Series director John Darby had to approve the switch from Vickers to Mears for the all-star race because Mears had not qualified for the event. NASCAR could have required Mears to compete in the Sprint Showdown last-chance qualifying race.

"Certainly, these were special circumstances for a non-points race," NASCAR spokesman Kerry Tharp said. "Given that, it was the logical and right decision for the series director to make."

Vickers, 26, qualified for the all-star race by winning at Michigan last August.

New Nationwide car gets work out in draft

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Drivers focused on drafting Wednesday in the second day of testing the new Nationwide Series car at Daytona International Speedway.

"This afternoon, most of the teams came out to do a large drafting run," Nationwide Series director Joe Balash said. "We had most of the cars that were here go out and take turns leading the pack, running the inside lane and outside lane, trying to work their way up through the field."

The new Nationwide car debuts at Daytona in July and will be run in four races this season before becoming the series' full-time car in 2011.

NASCAR suspends two truck crewmen

Two Team Gill Racing crewmen from the Camping World Truck Series have been suspended for violating the NASCAR substance-abuse policy.

Clint Carter, who works with the No. 46 truck, and Jeremy Wilbert, who works with the No. 95 truck, have been suspended, NASCAR announced Wednesday. The trucks were driven by Johnny Chapman and Tim Andrews last week at Dover.

Eighteen crewmen and one driver have been suspended since the implementation of random drug testing in 2009.

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