(MOORESVILLE, N.C. - July 30, 2012) - The Messina Wildlife Animal Stopper 200 at Lucas Oil Raceway didn’t go as Alex Bowman and Cunningham Motorsports planned.
In addition to fighting the thunderstorms, the team fought a car that crew chief, Paul Andrews couldn’t get to Bowman’s liking. The two scheduled practice sessions were broken up into mini sessions between the rain showers. After making many changes, Bowman posted the 13th speed in the final session. The one day event continued with Bowman qualifying 10th.
After struggling with the set-up on the #22 St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital car (chassis #71-driven at Mobile, Elko, and Toledo) throughout practice, Alex Bowman took the green flag pleasantly surprised with the changes that crew chief, Paul Andrews had made to the Dodge. The #22 Dodge appeared to be set up to Bowman‘s liking, as he picked up 2 spots on the first lap. Bowman had worked his way to 5th by lap 13, but his excitement was short-lived as he ran over something on the track, causing a left rear flat, sending him into the turn 1 wall on lap 20 of the 200 lap event. Bowman brought the car behind the wall so the crew could get a look at the damage. After assessing the damage and giving Bowman new left side Hoosiers, the crew sent Bowman back on track, 3 laps down in 30th. After telling Andrews, “We are stupid tight and we had such a good car,” Andrews brought the car in to take another look at the left front tire rub. Bowman returned to the track after the crew thoroughly inspected the left front, making adjustments so the car would handle better.
The rest of the race tested Bowman’s ability to make the best of a tough situation. Even though his car remained competitive, Bowman moved over and allowed the leaders to fight the battle at the front. Bowman came in for right side tires and a rubber in the left rear during the next caution. As Bowman continued to “ride around”, his disappointment was obvious when he said, “this is so sad, because I could pass all these guys.” The #22 came into the pits two more times, during caution, for fuel, tires and track bar adjustments. As the race wound down, Bowman picked up a handful of positions, finishing 22nd. After the race Bowman said, “This was such a shame how things went. We had an awesome race car and cut a left rear getting into 1. We had one of the best cars out there, but ended up limping home 22nd.” The finish dropped Bowman to 4th in the championship points battle, losing all of the points that were gained in his victory at Iowa Speedway two races ago.
Looking forward to the next race on the ARCA Racing Series 2012 season schedule, Bowman said, “We ran really well at Pocono in June. I am excited to return to the tricky triangle and improve on our 3rd place finish.” The Pocono ARCA 200 on Saturday, August 4 will be the 55th ARCA Series race on the 2.5 mile triangular track. The lone practice session is scheduled for Friday from 1:40-3:00, with Menards Pole Qualifying presented by Ansell following at 5:15. The 50 lap, 125 mile race will be covered live on SPEED Saturday at 3:00 (all times are EST). Live updates for all on-track activity will be available on twitter @cunningham_race.
Follow Alex Bowman on twitter @AlexBRacing
~Cunningham Motorsports Press Release ~