Alex Bowman and the No. 23 Dr Pepper Toyota Camry team finished 29th at Sonoma (Calif.) Raceway on Sunday, June 22. After short pitting near the halfway point and finding himself one lap behind the leaders, Bowman was able to regain the lost ground to finish 29th and on the lead lap.
Racing a Sprint Cup Series racecar at a road course for the first time in his career, Sunoco Rookie contender Alex Bowman rolled off 38th for the 110-lap Toyota / Save Mart 350. At only 1.99-miles, the Sonoma road course is known for its quick turns, but Bowman was able to quickly settle into a rhythm as he gained five positions in just the first 20 laps.
With only one caution period by the halfway point of the race, teams began looking at various strategies to get them to the finish line. Bowman's Dr Pepper team opted to short pit to allow them to make adjustments and get four fresh tires. However, an ill-timed caution caused Bowman to lose a lap to the leaders, and left him fighting to regain ground as the race progressed. Looking to gain time through the corners, Bowman's BK Racing team continued to fine-tune the handling of their car throughout the race.
The race's final caution flag on lap 92 gave Bowman the break he had hoped for, as the driver was granted the free pass for being the first car one lap down, and Bowman drove around the 1.99-mile facility to rejoin the lead lap of competition. With little time left in the event, Bowman went on to drive to a 29th-place finish.
"Our Dr Pepper team did a really good job today, just continually looking for ways to get ahead and never giving up," commented Bowman. "We got stuck a lap down just past the halfway point, but we just stuck with it and hoped that we'd catch the break we needed. We were finally able to get back on the lead lap during the final caution of the day, and we were able to regain enough ground to get a top-30 finish. It seems like we've stumbled across some bad luck the last couple of weeks, but we're still as determined as ever to keep improving. We're focused on the positive takeaways from each race weekend and how we can continue to get better."
BK Racing PR