Bowman endures first race at Martinsville, comes home 36th
Alex Bowman and the No. 23 Dr Pepper Toyota Camry team finished 36th at Martinsville Speedway on Sunday afternoon. Competing for the first time at NASCAR's oldest speedway in the hills of Virginia, Bowman suffered mid-race contact that left significant damage to the left rear of his car. Initially unable to fuel their car, the BK Racing team performed substantial repairs to allow Bowman to finish the event.
With significant damage to the left rear, Bowman brought his car down to pit road to the attention of the crew. The team spent several laps addressing the severe damage to the car, including damage that would prevent the fueling process. A subsequent caution allowed the team to finish repairs and refuel the car; however, sheet metal damage would plague the team later in the race as Bowman cut a left rear tire on lap 306. Continuing to work on the car with each pit stop, the Dr Pepper team soldiered through to finish the race in the 36th position.
"Martinsville Speedway is a very unique track," commented Bowman. "We were having fun right up until we got caught in an accident. My Dr Pepper team did a good job assessing the damage and making repairs without getting us too far behind on track position. It's important for me to get in as many laps as possible at tracks where I haven't raced before, so I'm happy that we were able to continue on until the finish. I think we learned a lot, and I'm excited that we'll get another shot at Martinsville this fall. Until then, I'm looking forward to getting to Texas Motor Speedway next weekend and putting some more work into our intermediate track program. I was able to win the Nationwide Series pole at both Texas races last year, so I have high hopes going into the weekend."