Alex Bowman and the No. 23 Dr Pepper Toyota Camry team finished 40th at Indianapolis Motor Speedway on Sunday afternoon. A tough day in his first Brickyard 400 appearance, Bowman lost valuable track position early but held on to bring home an unscathed racecar.
The iconic Brickyard 400 is a race that many young drivers grew up dreaming about. Held at a historic speedway that is different from any other on the NASCAR circuit, "Indy" is not an easy track, and Bowman was reminded of that on Sunday afternoon. After rolling off in the 35th position, Bowman collected some grass and debris on the nose of his car during the early laps. With the risk of overheating, the Sunoco Rookie contender was forced to pit road for an unscheduled pit stop. The stop both got Bowman on a different pit cycle, and caused the Dr Pepper team to lose valuable track position.
With the tone for the afternoon set early, Bowman was in a fight for the rest of the day. Challenged with an unbalanced car at times, Bowman and the Dr Pepper team made adjustments throughout the early stages of the race to improve their racecar. Still fighting a tight in the center, loose off condition by the halfway point, Bowman's team took a major swing at the car with spring rubber adjustments in both rear springs, along with chassis and air pressure adjustments. The changes improved Bowman's car, but unfortunately the driver still lacked the track position needed to make up lost ground. By the time the checkered flag waved, Bowman was scored in the 40th position.
"We had a challenging day here at Indianapolis Motor Speedway with our Dr Pepper Toyota Camry team," commented Bowman. "Track position is so vital here and when we got behind early in the race, it was very difficult to regain that ground. We fought the balance of our car early in the event, but my BK Racing team did a great job making adjustments and improving the car. Without being able to get back that critical track position, there just wasn't much we could do. I'm looking forward to the next few weeks we have coming up-going back to Pocono (Pa.) Raceway and Michigan International Speedway for a second time this season. We have notebooks that we can pull information from, so that should be beneficial. We're continuing to focus on improving with every race, and I'm looking forward to getting back in the car next week."
BK Racing PR