Alex Bowman achieved something no other competitor in the NASCAR Nationwide Series has accomplished during the 2013 season
Concord, N.C. (November 3, 2013) - RAB Racing and the No. 99 Microsoft Windows Surface Toyota Camry driven by Alex Bowman achieved something no other competitor in the NASCAR Nationwide Series has accomplished during the 2013 season; consecutive pole awards at the same track. Bowman scored the pole award in April at Texas Motor Speedway and also recorded the fastest lap in qualifying this past weekend in Texas with a time of 29.002 and a speed of 186.194 miles per hour. The O'Reilly Auto Parts 300 at Texas Motor Speedway was also the team's second consecutive race that an untimely caution following a green flag pit stop caught the No. 99 two laps down to the race leader, after falling victim to the same circumstances at Charlotte Motor Speedway two weeks ago. Bowman and the No. 99 battled back and finished in the 18th position, one lap down to the eventual race-winner Brad Keselowski.
The green flag flew on the 200-lap event and the No. 99 lead the first three laps, battling with Sam Hornish Jr. and Brad Keselowski. Early in the first green-flag run, Bowman reported the car was extremely tight and progressively got worse as the tires wore down. The No. 99 dropped back to 11th position by the time crew chief Chris Rice could make his first adjustments to the Toyota Camry during the first pit stop. Through multiple chassis and tire pressure adjustments the No. 99 regained some speed but was always hindered by a tight condition which is especially detrimental at Texas Motor Speedway where momentum is a key factor and a tight condition forces the driver to scrub off speed in the corners. On lap 107 Bowman brought the No. 99 into the pits for the second pit stop of the day, taking on four tires, a full tank of fuel, and multiple adjustments. Three laps later the second caution flag flew, relegating the No. 99 two-laps down to the race leader and mired back in the field. This bad luck was the end of the No. 99's chances at a good finish but Bowman and team never gave up, clawing their way back to the 18th position and finishing one-lap down to the race winner.
Alex Bowman: "Well this is about as frustrating as it can get, to have a fast car like we did and not get the finish we deserved. I have to thank my RAB Racing team for preparing a great Toyota Camry and putting me in a position to win our second straight pole award at Texas Motor Speedway. It's always a pleasure to stand in victory lane with my team who's worked so hard for me this entire season, but to get caught multiple laps down two weeks in a row right after a pit stop is just heart-breaking. We battled a tight condition all race long which forced me to slow the car more than the front-runners, but my crew chief Chris Rice worked on the car setup every pit stop and increasingly made it better every time we came in. We will just have to move on to my hometown track of Phoenix International Raceway where we hopefully will not get caught by an untimely caution flag for the third consecutive week."
With the 18th place finish Bowman remains in the 11th position in driver point standings. Robby Benton maintained his 16th position in owner point standings. The next race on the schedule for the NASCAR Nationwide Series is the ServiceMaster 200 from Phoenix International Raceway on Saturday, November 9 and can be seen live on ESPN 2.