RAB Racing and the No. 99 ToyotaCare Camry driven by Alex Bowman came into "Thunder Valley" poised to continue their top 15 finishing streak, and march up the driver and owner point standings. A fast car in the opening laps of the Food City 250 proved the team had the speed to contend, but an ignition box failure dashed any hopes for a good finish.

Alex Bowman
Alex Bowman

Photo by: Action Sports Photography

Practice on Friday morning started off with Bowman running the fastest lap for two out of the three hours in practice, showing the speed of RAB Racing as Bowman was fastest with Kenny Wallace running the second fast lap in the early stages of practice.

The team then worked on long run situations throughout the remaining two hours of practice and logged a total of 112 laps. The No. 99 ToyotaCare Camry qualified in the 14th position, with Bowman noting that the car had much more speed in it than their starting position.

As the green flag flew Bowman immediately began to conserve his car's brakes and tires, maintaining the 14th position, but on lap 34 the car lost all power and had to come into the pits to diagnose the issue. Crew chief Chris Rice immediately diagnosed the problem, and the team changed the car's ignition box in the pits.

Although they only lost 14 laps, the team's hopes for a strong finish were gone. Bowman rejoined the race in 37th position and ended the 250 lap race in the 33rd position.

Alex Bowman: "What a disappointing day, we started the day off in practice with a top 10 race car that I knew I could contend with because the drivability was so good, I could run any line and maneuver with ease. At the start of the race I was just starting to gain on the cars infront of me 30 laps in and the car just started to shut off, and lose all power.

I've got to hand it our crew for only losing 14 laps since changing ignition boxes is a large undertaking, but that was pretty much the end of our day. Disappointing but we have to keep up our heads up and go to Atlanta, a mile and a half track where we always show speed."

With the 33rd place finish Bowman still holds onto the 11th place in driver point standings and owner Robby Benton maintained the 15th position in owner point standings. The next race for the RAB Racing ToyotaCare Camry will be at Atlanta Motor Speedway for the Great Clips / Grit Chips 300 and will be televised live on ESPN 2.

RAB Racing