RAB Racing and the No. 99 ToyotaCare Camry driven by rookie of the year contender Alex Bowman made just their second career start at Richmond International Raceway, and attempted to shake off their recent bad luck streak. Bowman who had a top 10 run going in April at Richmond only to be dashed by a blown tire, came back looking for redemption. The No. 99 ToyotaCare Camry qualified in the 6th position and never gave up through adversity to finish in the 15th position.
The green flag flew on the Virginia 529 College Savings 250 and Bowman was able to stay in the top 10 in the early stages, but began fighting a loose race car. The loose condition became worse through multiple green flag runs and halfway through the 250 lap race was mired back in traffic in the 18th position. The No. 99 ToyotaCare crew never gave up, and with less than 100 laps to go crew chief Chris Rice made a bold decision and made several changes to the car under a yellow flag pit stop. This was exactly what Bowman needed, as the extra time in the pits relegated him to restarting in 17th position, but within just a few laps found himself in the 11th position chasing down the top 10. With only 16 laps to go the field saw its first of three wild restarts to conclude the Virginia 529 College Savings 250, but Bowman sustained heavy right side and rear damage from a three wide altercation. From that point on, the car No. 99 ToyotaCare Camry just didn't have the same handling characteristics, coupled with being in the wrong place at the wrong time in the two remaining restarts, Bowman finished in the 15th position. The 15th place finish was the team's 14th top 15 finish out of the 25 race season so far.
Alex Bowman: "Talk about never giving up, I've really got it hand it to my RAB Racing crew and my crew chief Chris Rice. We were just about dead in the water, and none our adjustments through the first half of the race seemed to be making a difference, but just like so many other races this year, my crew chief came to the rescue. We took a pretty big swing at tightening the car up and it was definitely the right call, it was almost a completely different car from then on until the last few restarts at the end of the race. The restart where we passed a bunch of cars in 5 laps was a ton of fun, true short track racing at its finest with fighting for every available inch of real estate. One of the last restarts with 16 laps to go we were in the middle three wide and there just wasn't enough room for all three of us on the entry into the corner and our car sustained a good amount of damage on the right side and rear bumper, it completely changed the feel and balance of the car so we. Got passed by a few cars in the closing laps. We will take this finish and move on to Chicago where RAB Racing and Toyota are always contenders, I'm extremely excited to get back to a mile and a half racetrack."
The 15th place finish allowed Bowman to hold on to the 11th place in driver point standings and Robby Benton stayed in the 16th position in owner point standings. The next race on the NASCAR Nationwide Series Schedule is the Dollar General 300 at the Chicagoland Speedway on Saturday, September 14th and will be televised live on ESPN2.
RAB Racing PR