(MOORESVILLE, N.C. - July 24, 2012) - Alex Bowman and his Cunningham Motorsports team unloaded Friday at Chicagoland Speedway in high spirits following their victory the previous weekend at Iowa Speedway.
After gaining 100 points in the championship battle last weekend, Bowman was hoping to make up more of the 75 points remaining between his third place spot and the current leader.
The two hour practice session ended with Bowman posting the 7th quickest time on the speed chart. After qualifying 7th and taking the green flag, Bowman quickly settled into 8th with a “real, real loose” race car. During a quick caution for a spin in turn 2, Bowman radioed to crew chief, Paul Andrews, that the St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital Dodge was “tight in…free back to the throttle. Good in clean air.” Shortly after the green flag flew on lap 10, Bowman dropped to the 10th spot. Once again, he contacted Andrews, telling him that he felt a “really bad vibration..like a right front.” The next caution flew 36 laps later, on lap 46. Since Bowman hadn’t said anymore about the vibration that he had felt, Andrews asked how the car was. Bowman reported that the #22 was “tight in 1. I need to be able to get back to the throttle.” With the pit crew waiting with 4 fresh Hoosiers and 2 cans of Sunoco fuel, Bowman came in to the pits. The crew picked up 4 positions for their driver on the stop, sending Bowman back on track in 6th.
At the halfway point in the 100 lap event, the green flag was shown. A quick caution returned to the track 3 laps later, on lap 53. The final 43 laps ran under the green flag, with Bowman running as high as 5th and finishing 8th. Bowman couldn’t hide his disappointment after the race, when he said, “We were hoping for more here at Chicagoland Speedway. We just missed the set-up today. Thanks to my pit crew for a great stop that got me 4 spots on pit road. We will be ready to get to LOR Friday to put this race behind us.”
The eighth place finish kept Bowman third in the season long championship battle.
The Messina Wildlife Animal Stopper 200 is a one-day event on Friday. Two 45 minute practice sessions will take place, with the first one beginning at 1:35 EST and the second at 3:00. Menards Pole Qualifying Presented by Ansell will follow at 5:00. The 200 lap event at the .686 mile Lucas Oil Raceway in Indianapolis, IN is scheduled for a 9:00pm EST start. SPEED will cover the race live, with online coverage on arcaracing.com. Cunningham Motorsports will cover all on-track activities on twitter @cunningham_race. Follow Bowman on twitter @AlexBRacing.