RAB Racing and the No. 99 Nationwide Children’s Hospital Toyota Camry piloted by Alex Bowman came into Watkins Glen International racing for a cause in the Zippo 200. Bowman raced to raise money for the Nationwide Children’s Hospital based out of Columbus, Ohio by spreading the word to text ‘KIDS’ to 50555 to donate $10 to the Children’s Hospital.
On track activity began on Friday with only one rain shortened practice session to get Bowman, who had never completed a lap at The Glen, experience racing around the 2.45 mile road course. The No. 99 recorded the 14th fastest lap with a lap time of 73.727. On Saturday Bowman qualified in the 19th position with a lap of 73.409, reporting less grip in the track and car from the previous day in practice.
The green flag flew on the Zippo 200 and Bowman methodically moved through the field, using the first part of the race to continue to gain experience around the course. On lap 28 Bowman and crew chief Chris Rice began to roll the dice with pit strategy and stayed out under a caution, putting into motion Rice’s fuel strategy for the end of the race and restarting in the 12th position. Throughout the race and multiple pit stops, Bowman and Rice were able to once again play pit strategy and pit for fuel only with 21 laps to go and restarted in the 13th position. Bowman raced hard in the closing laps and held off a hard charging Brendan Gaughan and Travis Pastrana to finish in the 13th position. The finish was RAB Racing and Bowman’s twelfth top 15 finish of the 21 race season, and the third straight top 15 finish.
Alex Bowman: “I’m really happy to be getting out of Watkins Glen with a 13th place finish, I am definitely a true rookie when it comes to road course racing and learned a lot over the course of these two days. Luckily we have a road course race next week at Mid Ohio, and our team also learned a lot that will help with our performance. A really solid day and finish for me and the race team, I feel like we are continuing to build momentum these last races and its showing up in our results. Previously if there was a track where I didn’t have any experience at and we made changes to the car all day we wouldn’t have finished in the top 15, so this is a big step forward and we will definitely bring this momentum into Mid Ohio.”
With the 13th place finish Bowman continued to hold onto the 11th place in driver point standings, and owner Robby Benton maintained the 15th place in owner point standings. The next race will be on Saturday, August 17th, the Nationwide Children’s Hospital 200 at the Mid Ohio Sports Car Course, and will be televised live on ESPN2.
RAB Racing PR