Alex Bowman and the No. 23 Dr Pepper Toyota Camry team finished 32nd at Bristol Motor Speedway. After a battery malfunction and nearly a four-hour rain delay, the Sunoco Rookie of the Year contender fought back to regain over 10 positions to finish the race inside the top 35.
Following a soggy morning in Bristol, Tenn., Bowman rolled off in the 33rd position for the Food City 500 on Sunday afternoon. Despite it being his first time in a Sprint Cup Series car at the track known as the "World's Fastest Half-Mile," Bowman kept a steady pace to race into the top-25 and maintain his position on the lead lap leading into a scheduled competition caution on lap 50.
Shortly after the stop, a bit of bad luck would hit the BK Racing team. First, Bowman noticed the water temperature climbing on his Dr. Pepper Camry causing him to make an unscheduled pit stop to remove tape from the nose of his car. Then, just 10 laps later, the battery would fall out of Bowman's car, leaving him without power on the racetrack. A safety vehicle pushed Bowman back to the pit area where the Dr Pepper team was waiting to replace the part and send Bowman back on the track.
Not long after, on lap 125, the skies would open forcing a rain delay on the 500-lap event and nearly three-and-a-half hours would pass before engines would re-fire at the high-banked half-mile. Following the delay, Bowman found himself 8 laps behind the leaders, but with a car that was fast enough to still maintain pace. Continuing to make laps and avoid any on-track incidents, Bowman was able to finish the race in the 32nd position.
"I'm really proud of the effort of my Dr Pepper team this weekend," commented Bowman. "We had a great car early in the race, we were able to pick up positions, race inside the top 25, and stay on the lead lap. We aren't really sure what caused the battery to fall off the car, but the guys did a great job resolving the problem, replacing the battery and getting us back on track. We were left to play catch-up for the rest of the race, but we stayed calm and methodically picked up positions. We'll take a close look at the car once we get back to our shop in Statesville [N.C.] to determine how the battery came loose, and make sure that we don't have that problem again. I'm looking forward to getting back to the West Coast next weekend to race at Auto Club Speedway."
BK Racing PR