Alex Bowman and the No. 23 Dr Pepper Toyota Camry team finished 33rd at Charlotte Motor Speedway on Sunday night. The Sunoco Rookie contender overcame challenges related to the balance of his car and fuel pickup problems, before fighting back from damage sustained in a late-race incident to finish the race in the 33rd position.
Facing the longest race of the season, Bowman and his BK Racing team knew they would face several challenges on Sunday night as drivers, crews and equipment are all pushed to their limits in NASCAR's only 600-mile event. Bowman rolled off 29th on Sunday afternoon, but fell 10 positions during the opening laps as he fought a tight-in, loose-off condition. The Dr Pepper team made a series of adjustments during each pit stop to work on the condition, as well as keep up with the changing track. With air temperatures dropping 11 degrees throughout the span of the race, teams had to adjust their cars as the track also changed.
On lap 380, Bowman was running directly behind his teammate, Ryan Truex, when Truex suffered a motor failure. During the incident in turn three, Bowman ran through the oil and debris field and sustained some damage to his No. 23 Dr Pepper machine. Bowman visited pit road for his car to be assessed and repaired by his BK Racing crew, before returning to the track to finish in the 33rd position.
"We had a bit of a tough night here in Charlotte with our Dr Pepper team," commented Bowman. "However, with the length of this race, you never know exactly what you'll come up against. My guys did a good job continually looking for ways that we could improve our car to keep up with the changing track. Unfortunately, with the race kicking off with a long green flag run, we lost some ground that we just weren't able to recover. When Ryan [Truex] lost the motor, we were just in the wrong place at the wrong time, but the guys did a good job making quick repairs after that incident. Dover [International Speedway] is a bit of a different animal with its concrete surface, but we're looking forward to getting there next week and giving it our best shot."
BK Racing PR