WS: Portland: Jason Bowles race notes

BOWLES EXTENDS NASCAR CAMPING WORLD WEST SERIES CHAMPIONSHIP LEAD IN OREGON Californian recovers from a late-race incident to finish fifth and score valuable points PORTLAND, ORE. (July 20, 2009) -- Jason Bowles continues to be the driver...

BOWLES EXTENDS NASCAR CAMPING WORLD WEST SERIES CHAMPIONSHIP LEAD IN OREGON
Californian recovers from a late-race incident to finish fifth and score valuable points

PORTLAND, ORE. (July 20, 2009) -- Jason Bowles continues to be the driver everyone is chasing in the 2009 NASCAR Camping World West Series title fight, after the championship leader added yet another top-five finish to his racing resume on Sunday (July19) at Portland International Raceway. The California finished fifth at the Oregon road course, extending his points lead to 33 points.

The BI-Mart Salute to the Troops 125 event at Portland International Raceway, the second road course race of the 2009, commenced on Saturday with Bowles immediately showing good speed behind the wheel of his No. 6 Sunrise Ford/Oakley/Joe Gibbs Racing Oil/GS 610/RPM 12/Justice Brothers/Bell/Ford entry. While the former karting and formula car standout did not lead either of the two timed practice session on the high-speed road course, he was among the top of the speedcharts, turning the second and sixth fastest times in the two sessions.

Given his day one speed and previous success on road courses, Sunday morning qualifying commenced with Bowles expected to be one of the drivers contending for the pole position. The three-time 2009 race winner did not disappoint, showing good speed throughout the session. eventually coming up just short when the checkered flag waved, posting the third fastest time.

Bowles returned to the cockpit of his Sunrise Ford a short time later confident he could not only challenge for yet another NASCAR Camping World West win, but also potentially extend his championship advantage. The California settled into a comfortable race pace early on, content to hold station in third place. Thanks to superb pit work by his crew, Bowles found himself in the race lead following the opening round of pit stops. Poised to extend his series win streak to three, his chances vanished in the final third of the 66-lap race, when he was struck by another competitor, resulting in an off-course excursion. Fortunate to rejoin the race with a damaged car, Bowles set about regaining some of the positions lost in the incident. Bowles promptly displayed the determination and skill of a potential champion, working his way back to fifth place when the checkered flag waved. In doing so, the talented American added 165 points to his season total, extending his championship lead to 33 points over second place.

"The results from the weekend were not what we were looking for sure," stated Bowles. "It was disappointing to get spun around with eight laps to go while leading, but at least we were able to continue and make up a few positions to bring home a top-five, and most importantly finish in front of Holmes and gain some points. The team did a great job getting me out of the pits in front of the two leaders. Although we didn't have the fastest car on single lap speeds, once we could put three-four laps together the car really started to come to me and I think we could have brought home the win. I have to hand it to my whole team for working hard and now we will just look forward to Miller and see if we can put the Sunrise Ford back in victory lane."

Bowles resumes his pursuit of the 2009 NASCAR Camping World West Series title on August 1, with Round 10 taking place at Miller Motorsports Park. Bowles captured the series win at the Utah road course in 2008 and started from the pole position in 2007.

-credit: jbPR

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About this article
Series NASCAR
Drivers Jason Bowles
Teams Joe Gibbs Racing