Alex Bowman and the No. 23 Dr Pepper Toyota Camry team finished 36th at Martinsville Speedway on Sunday afternoon. Competing for the first time at NASCAR's oldest speedway in the hills of Virginia, Bowman suffered mid-race contact that left significant damage to the left rear of his car. Initially unable to fuel their car, the BK Racing team performed substantial repairs to allow Bowman to finish the event.
Bowman qualified 19th for his first-ever race at the historic Martinsville Speedway to mark BK Racing's best qualifying effort of the season. Continuing to gain experience on the tricky paperclip-shaped track, Bowman worked closely with his team to adjust the handling of his Toyota Camry throughout the first half of the race. After receiving the free pass on lap 199, Bowman was on the lead lap of competition and racing inside the top-25 competitors nearing the halfway point of the race. However, on lap 220, another competitor made contact with Bowman and sent the No. 23 Dr Pepper machine into the turn 4 wall.
With significant damage to the left rear, Bowman brought his car down to pit road to the attention of the crew. The team spent several laps addressing the severe damage to the car, including damage that would prevent the fueling process. A subsequent caution allowed the team to finish repairs and refuel the car; however, sheet metal damage would plague the team later in the race as Bowman cut a left rear tire on lap 306. Continuing to work on the car with each pit stop, the Dr Pepper team soldiered through to finish the race in the 36th position.
"Martinsville Speedway is a very unique track," commented Bowman. "We were having fun right up until we got caught in an accident. My Dr Pepper team did a good job assessing the damage and making repairs without getting us too far behind on track position. It's important for me to get in as many laps as possible at tracks where I haven't raced before, so I'm happy that we were able to continue on until the finish. I think we learned a lot, and I'm excited that we'll get another shot at Martinsville this fall. Until then, I'm looking forward to getting to Texas Motor Speedway next weekend and putting some more work into our intermediate track program. I was able to win the Nationwide Series pole at both Texas races last year, so I have high hopes going into the weekend."
BK Racing PR