Bowles and GBR Finish Second on Streets in Toronto Toronto, ON (July 17, 2010) Jason Bowles capped a wild last few laps on the Streets of Toronto in Saturday's NASCAR Canadian Tire Series Jump Start 100 with a second-place finish. Driving the ...
Bowles and GBR Finish Second on Streets in Toronto
Toronto, ON (July 17, 2010) Jason Bowles capped a wild last few laps on the Streets of Toronto in Saturday's NASCAR Canadian Tire Series Jump Start 100 with a second-place finish. Driving the Rusty Wallace Racing Experience Toyota, Bowles recorded his second podium finish in as many starts this season. It was also Gaunt Brothers Racing's top result of the year; after four 2010 events, GBR has finished in the top-5 three times.
When the NASCAR Canadian Tire Series returned to the street race ticket in Toronto for the first time in five years, it wasn't without excitement. Bowles knew going into Friday qualifying that starting in the front two rows was all but mandatory to having a shot to win.
Starting fourth, Bowles actually tied series points leader DJ Kennington by posting an identical time in qualifying, third-quickest overall. The No.11 GBR machine, however, lined up on the outside of row two for the green flag based on points standing.
Bowles dropped a spot on the start to 5th, but quickly gathered it back, and by lap 6, was the fastest car on the track. A caution on lap 9 slowed the field and gave Jason a breather to radio in that the car took awhile to get going.
On the subsequent restart, recent rival Kerry Micks got a run under Bowles off the back straight into turn three, but couldn't hold the braking zone at the end and found himself behind on his steering trying to get the car back in shape for the tight right hand corner that leads up a short hill. Bowles crossed underneath trying to avoid the rainbow-shod No.02, tapping Micks in the process, but gaining back the position.
"He got a good run going off turn two because I slid a little on the exit of two. He tried to finish the pass under braking in three," said Bowles. "I think he just went a little too deep, got out of shape and there was no time for me or anyone else to wait for him to get the car back together so went by on the inside."
By lap 22, Bowles was really reeling in third-place DJ Kennington, passing the No.17 machine on lap 23. Ahead were leader Andrew Ranger and JR Fitzpatrick, but with only a dozen laps to go it was going to take some help to get a chance at them for the win. That chance came with five laps to go when a full course caution allowed Bowles to close the gap, cool his tires and line up behind leader Andrew Ranger for what would turn out to be a green-white-checker finish.
As only NASCAR can have it, the restart was not without drama. One of GBR's spotters radioed that a significant amount of oil was on the track in the back tight sections. When the green fell, Bowles tried to dive in behind Ranger but was forced to follow Fitzpatrick through turns one and two. Kennington was directly behind and the drag race down the back straight into the passing zone had the top five cars spread out. Kennington took a run, but couldn't make a pass, so the cars headed up the hill into the tight section. Bowles dove into the right-hand turn 7 trying to stay on Fitzpatrick's bumper to make a move at the end of the ensuing straight, only to hit the oil slick and slide wide into the tires. His GBR machine bounced off the tire barrier like a pinball, continued as Kennington dealt with the same fate and blasted off towards turns 8 and 9.
As Bowles drove into the turn nine braking zone, Fitzpatrick ahead of him over-cooked the corner and slid straight into the access road. The error handed second-place over to GBR for a one lap dash to the checkered flag. But shortly after Ranger and Bowles crossed the stripe taking the white flag a big pileup littered the track and ended the race. Bowles would coast across the stripe with a personal and team-best result in the NASCAR Canadian Tire Series.
"We all knew there was oil back there, but there wasn't really anything we could do about it," said Bowles after his podium celebration. "I thought for sure I was going to see DJ drive by me underneath as I came off that tire barrier but I guess he had the same thing happen to him. Then JR, it looked like he took one big shot at Ranger in the last passing zone and just got in too deep. We'll take the spot, you have to be in position to take advantage of those things and we were. Our car was really good, but we have some more things to work on. It took a few laps to get going, then would be really fast for a little while, but would taper off which means we still have some thins to work out."
"Overall, the team did a really good job of making the car fast; none of us had ever been to a street course, so to come here and sit on the podium again is a cool thing for everyone."
Gaunt Brothers Racing will take the next week off as the series shifts to Edmonton for another road racing event before swinging out to the west coast for two ovals. Driver John Gaunt will take over again for the oval events.
-source: jason bowles racing