(MOORESVILLE, N.C. - August 13, 2012) - Berlin Raceway provided the backdrop for the most recent disappointment for Alex Bowman and his Cunningham Motorsports team.
Hoping to rebound from their dry spell since winning at Iowa Speedway, the team wanted to pick up their flat short track program. They struggled through both of the 45 minute practice sessions for the Berlin ARCA 200 presented by Hantz Group, before qualifying 14th.
As the green flag flew for 200 laps of short track racing, Bowman quickly picked up 4 spots to 10th on the first lap. By lap 25, the St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital Dodge had started to tighten up. With the leaders setting a blistering pace, the #22 lost a lap on lap 53. With only 10 cars on the lead lap, Bowman hung onto the “Lucky Dog” spot for 7 laps. As the leaders continued to lap more cars, Bowman picked up the pace, moving to 7th to regain the “lucky Dog” spot on lap 92. At the halfway point, Bowman radioed crew chief, Paul Andrews, "I heard a popping sound in the right front a few laps ago. Now it’s a vibration, but it’s not getting any worse.” As the race remained caution-free, Bowman stayed in the top 10, until lap 130 when he fell to 11th. On lap 140 after falling to 12th, Bowman told Andrews, “I am having to turn the car with the throttle.” With the race still under green, Andrews brought the Dodge in for four fresh Hoosiers and fuel on lap 154. Shortly after Bowman returned to the track in 16th the first caution flag flew, on lap 161. Bowman again expressed concern about the right front of the #22 when he told Andrews, “Something is still up on the right front..but it’s still driving alright.” After the restart Bowman picked off a couple of cars on his lap, finishing in 13th.
After the race, Bowman said, “We are no longer looking at the points when we come to a track. We are looking for wins. We are really disappointed in our results this weekend, but I am excited to experience the Springfield dirt next week. I hope to catch on to racing there quickly, since we have only one short practice session.”
Looking to bounce back, the Cunningham team will head to the Illinois State Fairgrounds, in Springfield, Illinois Sunday, August 19 to tackle the 1-mile dirt track. The lone practice for the Allen Crowe 100 is scheduled for 10:00am EST, with Menards Pole Qualifying presented by Ansell at 12:00pm. The 100 lap race will begin at 2:00pm EST, with live timing and scoring coverage at arcaracing.com. Audio will be provided for the race on the site with ARCA Racing Network hosts Charlie Krall and Tim Clagg. Cunningham Motorsports’ twitter will cover all on-track activities @cunningham_race.