Bowles shows well in first Pro-Mazda outing After putting together a last minute deal between Hearn Motorsports and a few of Jason's sponsors, Jason was able to step into a Pro-Mazda for the first time in his career. "I have been talking to...
Bowles shows well in first Pro-Mazda outing
After putting together a last minute deal between Hearn Motorsports and a few of Jason's sponsors, Jason was able to step into a Pro-Mazda for the first time in his career. "I have been talking to Richie for along time about doing something and after Sears Point he presented me with a great opportunity to run Portland."
At the conclusion of Thursday and Friday's test sessions Jason was able to place the Hearn Motorsports Mazda solidly inside the top ten on the time sheets, and was confident that he had a good car for qualifying and the race. "I think we have a car that is going to race quite well, we spent a lot of time working on the set up with used tires so that we can make sure the car will be there at the end of the race."
The first time on track Saturday morning was qualifying, although Jason did not spend a lot of time working on a qualifying setup, the plan was to go out and just put the car in the top ten and just race from there. Early in the session Jason was as high up as third on the time charts, but the time the checkered flag had flown he fell back to eight on the grid. "I think the car had a bit left in it, I didn't get the most out of the tires when they were best but there is not much that we can do now. I know we will race well." Jason said at the conclusion of qualifying.
The start of the race was an exciting one, with the first start being waved off due to the pole sitter not keeping a consistent pace. Bowles got a great jump when the green came out and went right up the middle of the two rows heading down into the famed festival curves at Portland International Raceway. After moving into the fourth position through turn one, Jason turned into turn two when he was struck in the left rear by another car. When this happened it spun Jason around and in the process bent the left rear wishbone. While Jason was on the track he was not aware of the damage to the car. He could tell there was some damage but it was not visible to the crew from pit wall so Jason choose to stay on the track and see how many positions he could pick up. Once the green flag flew at the restart Jason was determined to make up as many positions as possible. "The car was quite difficult to drive, the damage made the car understeer in the right hand corners which made it difficult to get on both straights and made it even more of a challenge to pass." As the race went on Jason slowly picked off his competitors and when the checkered flag flew he ended the day in the twelfth position.
"It's not quite the result I was looking for, but I think for the car I had after the contact we finished up alright. I think I could have ran in the top five if we wouldn't have gotten knocked back but that's just how it goes sometimes. I need to thank Richie and all the guys at Hearn Motorsports for their hard work. I would also like to thank all of my sponsors for helping me out this weekend, with out them it would not have been possible."
Watch for the race to be televised on Speed Channel August 27, at 1p.m. eastern.