Alex Bowman and the No. 23 Dr Pepper Toyota Camry team finished 22nd on Sunday afternoon at Auto Club Speedway in Fontana, Calif. After racing inside the top 20, Bowman recovered to finish 22nd despite incurring slight damage in a pit road incident during the Dr Pepper team's final stop of the afternoon.
Feeling a bit under the weather throughout the Auto Club 400 race weekend, Bowman rolled off 40th for the 400-mile race in Southern California. Picking up several positions prior to the first caution of the day, Bowman reported that his Dr Pepper machine had a slight tight-in, loose-off condition, and requested some minor chassis adjustments during the opening caution period. With the changes, Bowman was able to continue his climb through the field and was racing as high as the 20th position by lap 130. As track conditions varied throughout the afternoon, the BK Racing team continued to make minor adjustments to fine-tune the handling of Bowman's Camry. By lap 146, Bowman was able to turn his fastest lap of the race, while continuing to race solidly inside the top 25.
When the caution flag waved on lap 199, it was obvious that the race would go into overtime as the field completed a green-white-checkered finish. With tire wear at a premium, Bowman visited pit road one last time for four fresh tires. However, when pulling into his pit box, the No. 23 Toyota had contact with the car in the stall behind them causing slight damage to the left front fender and a slower-than-normal pit stop. Bowman was able to recover from the incident to finish in the 22nd position, which also marks the Sunoco Rookie Contender's season-best finish to date.
"My Dr Pepper Toyota Camry team put in a lot of hard work this weekend," commented Bowman. "I appreciate all their effort. I wasn't feeling so great earlier in the weekend and we didn't have the best starting position, but once the race began we were all in and racing for the best finish we could get. My BK Racing team provided a great racecar and we only needed to make minor adjustments throughout the race. We almost had a setback on that last caution flag, but we were still able to fight back from that to get our best finish of the season. I'm excited to see what all we will be able to accomplish together this season, and I'm really excited to get to Martinsville Speedway next week."
BK Racing PR