Alex Bowman finishes 11th at Kansas

"We truly had the total package this weekend in Kansas"

RAB Racing and the No. 99 St. Jude Children's Research Hospital Toyota Camry driven by Sunoco Rookie of the Year candidate Alex Bowman were confident of a good finish coming in to Kansas Speedway. Alex Bowman has two wins in just two starts at Kansas Speedway in the ARCA Racing Series, and RAB Racing utilized chassis No. 42 which has numerous top 10 finishes and captured the pole award at Texas Motor Speedway in April. It was evident early in the weekend that this combination of equipment and experience had the speed to contend as Bowman recorded the fastest time in the first practice session at 30.47 seconds at 177.223 miles per hour. Crew chief Chris Rice, knew the No. 99 had the outright speed the team was looking for, so he utilized the second and final practice session to work on long green flag runs, and recorded the 14th fastest lap. This translated into the 11th fastest lap for qualifying and a good starting position at a place where track position often plays a key role in a good finish.

Alex Bowman
Alex Bowman

Photo by: Action Sports Photography

The green flag flew on the Kansas Lottery 300 and Bowman maintained his 11th position on the track through the early stages of the 200 lap event. At lap 50 the car began to loose grip when around other cars in a pack, and with five caution periods in the first 50 laps the No. 99 was always locked in side by side battles. On lap 54 Bowman and another car were side by side when the other car spun and damaged the left side of the No. 99, forcing the team to pit to make repairs, adjustments, and get new tires. This pit stop under caution was a blessing in disguise, after restarting in the 26th position the No. 99 made a spectacular run to the front and by the next caution on lap 91, made it all the way to the fourth position. This track position was what the team needed to stay upfront, and for the rest of remaining 100 laps the No. 99 raced solidly in the top 10. There were five caution periods in the second half of the event, and each ensuing restart the No. 99 lost positions but was able to gain them back on long green flag runs. After intense battling and sometimes multiple laps racing three wide, Bowman in his St. Jude Children's Research Hospital Toyota Camry finished where he started, in the 11th position. Bowman earned the Sunoco Rookie of the Race award, and it was the 17th top 15 finish in 29 races so far this season.

Alex Bowman: "All I can say is a big thank you goes out to everyone at RAB Racing, Toyota, and Joe Gibbs Racing Engines, we truly had the total package this weekend in Kansas. We are all disappointed in an 11th place finish which shows how far we've come as a team and the momentum we are carrying into these last four races. At the beginning of the season we would have really been happy with a finish right outside the top 10, but we've come so far throughout the year that now we expect to run upfront each weekend. It was so exciting to come from 26th to fourth on the run halfway through the race, my crew chief Chris Rice made the right adjustment to the car at the right time and from that point on we could contend with pretty much anyone. The restarts at the end of the race were definitely wild and we lost a lot of time and positions battling with other cars, and even got pushed into the wall late in the race which hurt the balance of the car. We learned a lot, we've got momentum, and have our hometown race in Charlotte next weekend so I'm really excited for what the rest of the season has in store for this team."

With the 11th place finish Bowman maintained the 11th position in driver point standings and Robby Benton also held on to the 16th position in owner point standings. The next race for RAB Racing and Alex Bowman with be the Dollar General 300 at Charlotte Motor Speedway on October 11th which will be televised live on ESPN 2, and can be heard on PRN Radio.

Team RAB

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About this article
Series NASCAR-NS
Article type Race report
Tags bowman, kansas, nns, toyota