NASCAR: Kevin “Bono” Manion named crew chief for Alex Bowman, No. 7 team

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On the heels of announcing second-year Sprint Cup driver Alex Bowman as driver of its No. 7 Chevrolet, Tommy Baldwin Racing has confirmed that Kevin “Bono” Manion will stay with the team as Bowman’s crew chief.

Manion was crew chief on the No. 7 last year when it was driven by Michael Annett. This past week, Annett was announced to drive a second car for HScott Motorsports.

Now, Manion will be guiding another young driver in Bowman, whose best finish for the BK Racing team last year was a 13th place finish at Daytona in July.

“With Bono leading the No. 7 team again this year, Alex Bowman driving and all the changes put in place at the shop, we looking forward to the drop of the green flag at Daytona,” said owner Tommy Baldwin Jr. in a release. “As always, we are happy to be a part of Team Chevy for another year.”

Manion won the 2010 Daytona 500 and Brickyard 400 with Chip Ganassi Racing as crew chief for driver Jamie McMurray. He is also a two-time championship winning crew chief in the Xfinity Series (2004 and 2005, with current Furniture Row Racing Cup driver Martin Truex Jr.).

Today’s release from TBR also mentioned several other personnel changes within the team, including the promotion of Mark Gutekunst to lead engineer on the No. 7 and Doug Campbell coming on as the car’s spotter.

Report: Spencer Pigot out at Ed Carpenter Racing

Joe Skibinski / IndyCar
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Spencer Pigot will not return to Ed Carpenter Racing in 2020, according to a story Thursday by RACER.com.

The 26-year-old Floridian, who won the 2015 Indy Lights championship, is expected to be replaced in the No. 21 Chevrolet by 2019 Indy Lights runner-up Rinus VeeKay.

“I’m appreciative of the opportunity ECR gave me,” Pigot told RACER.com. “I understand the reasons they had to go in a different direction, and wish them all the best.”

In 56 NTT IndyCar Series starts, Pigot has 15 top 10 finishes, with a best finish of second at Iowa in 2018. He finished 14th in the 2019 point standings.

VeeKay, who tested in an Indy car twice for ECR in 2019, has six wins in 18 Indy Lights starts, including a weekend sweep of the final two rounds of the season at Laguna Seca in September.

A representative from ECR told NBC Sports Thursday that the team currently could not comment on any driver rumors as the team currently does not have any drivers under contract for the 2020 season, although it is presumed that owner/driver Carpenter will return to the No. 20 entry for the oval rounds.

NBC Sports will provide updates on the story once more information becomes available.