GRAND: Series All-Star spotlight - Jason Bowles

Bowles Returns To California For NASCAR Toyota All-Star Showdown
2009 NASCAR K&N Pro Series West Champion Heads Home

DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (Dec. 28, 2010) -- Jason Bowles, the 2009 champion in the NASCAR K&N Pro Series West, will be returning home next month to compete in the NASCAR Toyota All-Star Showdown at Toyota Speedway at Irwindale (Calif.).

The prestigious postseason event on Jan. 28-29, 2011, attracts the top racers from across North America for the sport's premier short-track racing showcase.

Bowles grew up near Irwindale in Ontario, but moved to North Carolina after winning the series title a year ago. He will be traveling back to the West Coast to compete in his fourth NASCAR Toyota All-Star Showdown, driving for Gaunt Brothers Racing. He had top-five finishes in two of three races he ran with the team this season in the NASCAR Canadian Tire Series presented by Mobil 1.

The all-star event will mark Bowles' return to his home track where he experienced great success in the NASCAR K&N Pro Series West. He won three consecutive series races at Toyota Speedway in 2008 and 2009. He also had a third-place finish there in the NASCAR Toyota All-Star Showdown two years ago.

"Obviously, I'm excited to return," Bowles said. "Trying to get that win at the Showdown is a big thing for me. We've never seemed to quite get that one. So, that's what we're shooting for."

Bowles joins a trio of 2010 champions -- Eric Holmes (NASCAR K&N Pro Series West), DJ Kennington (NASCAR Canadian Tire Series), and German Quiroga (NASCAR Mexico Series) -- and 2009 NASCAR K&N Pro Series West rookie of the year Paulie Harraka among the drivers who have committed to running the all-star race. In addition, sports action star Travis Pastrana has said he hopes to make his NASCAR debut at the event.

Bowles plans to try something different at this event to see if he can match the success he experienced with car owner Bob Bruncati and the Sunrise Ford team during the regular season races at Irwindale in the past.

"When I was at Sunrise, we seemed to struggle in the winter at the Showdown for reasons that we couldn't really pinpoint," Bowles said. "We had some decent runs and our speed was okay, but it was never what it was in the summer. So, hopefully we can come back with a little different program than what I took there the past three years and see if that can change how we run in the winter."

In addition to racing in Canada, Bowles returned to compete in three NASCAR K&N Pro Series West races in 2010. His best finish was at Phoenix International Raceway in April, where he took the runner-up spot in a Golden Gate Racing Team entry. He won the pole at Infineon Raceway in Sonoma, Calif. -- but ended up finishing the race in 22nd place after running out of gas, while leading, less than 100 yards from finish line. His third appearance in the series -- in which he finished ninth at All American Speedway in Roseville, Calif. -- reunited him with Bruncati, who he was with for three seasons, including the championship year.

Bowles is a former multi-time go-kart champion, who raced in the open-wheel ranks before making a successful transition to stock cars. He raced in the Late Model division at Toyota Speedway in 2006. His move to the NASCAR K&N Pro Series West in 2007 resulted in the Sunoco Rookie of the Year Award. Bowles finished second in the championship standings in 2008 and then won the crown in 2009.

The NASCAR Toyota All-Star Showdown main event is broken up into three sections -- two 100-lap segments preceding a 25-lap dash to the finish. The race features secured starting spots for the 2010 champions of NASCAR's developmental series and race winners of the NASCAR K&N Pro Series from the 2010 season.

The schedule also includes a 75-lap NASCAR Whelen All-American Series Super Late Model race and a 50-lap NASCAR Whelen All-American Series Late Model race. The top five NASCACR state champions in attendance will have secured starting spots in the Late Model race. New to this year, the 25-car fields for each of those races will be set by a pair of heat races -- 25 laps for the Super Late Models and 20 laps for the Late Models.

Both nights of racing will air live on SPEED as part of full weekend of racing on SPEED that includes the Grand-Am Rolex Sports Car Series' Rolex 24 at Daytona.

-source: nascar

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