Jason Bowles entered the sixth weekend of the Cooper Tires Zetec Championship, third in the overall point standings and leading the Rookie of the Year standings. After a tough weekend at Mid-Ohio Jason was looking to regain some points and get...
Jason Bowles entered the sixth weekend of the Cooper Tires Zetec Championship, third in the overall point standings and leading the Rookie of the Year standings. After a tough weekend at Mid-Ohio Jason was looking to regain some points and get back on the podium.
After Thursday and Friday's testing sessions, Jason was a bit worried. The team struggled to get a hold of the balance of the car, and at the same time was also trying to cope with some front tire wear issues. Going into qualifying Bowles hoped that he was going to be able to put the car in the top five to give him a decent starting position for race one and give him a chance to move up. At the end of the twenty minute qualifying session Bowles was able to put the car in the fifth position, and give himself an inside starting position for the race.
At the drop of the green flag Jason was on the move and was able to take over the fourth position by turn two. At the end of lap one Jason was still in the fourth position when the track went full course yellow to clean up a wreck from the opening lap. As the field went back to green flag racing Bowles tried to make a move up the inside for third position going into turn 2 but made contact and lost a position falling back to the fifth position. After the contact on the restart Jason's car had suffered damage to the alignment and was slowly losing ground to the lead pack. By the end of the 17-lap race Jason was able to hang on for a top ten finish and bring the damaged car home, a very disappointing eighth place. "It was not the result I was looking for today. On the opening lap I thought we were going to have a pretty fast car but after the contact the handling was so bad I was doing all I could just to hang on."
For the second race, qualifying was determined by your fastest lap in race one, and since Bowles was racing with a damaged car he was only able to put in a time good enough for the ninth position. At the start of the race Jason was on the move and was up to the seventh position by the end of lap one. At the conclusion of the second lap the race went full course yellow to clean up a wrecked car. On the restart Jason got a great jump but was slowed when another competitor pulled out of line directly in Bowles' path. With Jason slowing to avoid contact, three cars were able to go by. This move had put Jason back into the tenth position. At the end of lap four Jason had begun to move forward after losing positions and was determined to make his way to the front. Jason slowly kept moving forward throughout the race and with only two laps remaining was able to move into third position and take the final spot on the podium. "I think the result was pretty good of course. You always want to win, but after being as far back as I was on the restart, I have to think this is a great result for me and the team. I am pretty sure had I been able to start up front with the leaders we definitely would have had a great chance at the win. It was a good day because I was able to make up some points on the leader and put the car back on the podium. I would like to thank all of my sponsors for all of their support; City Wide Electronics, Sparco, Service Software Systems and JDC Motorsports."
Now we are going to have to go back to mid-Ohio and try to score as many points as we can. I think we are getting a better grip on the handling and balance of the car and what these tires will take, so I am looking for a big improvement at Mid-Ohio.