Racing in more than one event during a 24-hour span has become a normal occurrence for Anderson Bowen, of Suwannee, Georgia, during the 2014 racing season. The trend of competing in two events in one day continued for Bowen and the No. 29 Copper Creek Hardware team this weekend when they traveled to The Milwaukee Mile in West Allis, Wisconsin.
As has become the trend for Bowen this season when pulling double-duty, the 16-year-old impressed again by finishing fourth in the 100-lap JEGS/CRA All-Stars Tour event and sixth in the prestigious ARCA Midwest Tour Howie Lettow Memorial 150 on Sunday afternoon.
After two days of practice on Friday and Saturday, Bowen kicked-off the weekend with a bang by winning the pole award for both the JEGS/CRA All-Stars Tour 100 and the Howie Lettow Memorial 150.
While doing so, Bowen’s blistering speeds around the one-mile Milwaukee oval during time trials put his name in the record books as the track record holder for both divisions.
“Overall, I’d say it was a great weekend for the team,” said Bowen. “We may not have exactly got the finishes we thought we were capable of, but I think it was a great weekend for our team. We showed a lot of speed all weekend long. A few small mishaps held us back during each race, but I think we have a lot to work with for when he come back here next time.”
Following an invert of seven, Bowen would start Sunday’s JEGS/CRA All-Stars Tour event in the seventh position. With a fast race car underneath him at the start of the event, would keep a steady pace with eventual race winner John Hunter Nemecheck while charging towards the front of the field.
On lap seven, when Bowen and Nemecheck went to make their pass on Dave Gentile’s No. 6 car, Bowen found himself in the middle of a three-wide battle for position. As the drivers entered turn one, contact was made between Bowen and Gentile forcing both drivers towards the outside wall.
“The six car (Gentile) kind of came down just a little, but I just got in too hot and tapped his left rear,” said Bowen on the incident. “I really didn’t mean to get into him. I feel like it was more like a racing incident in my opinion.”
With very little, if any, damage Bowen returned to the tail end of the field to begin his charge to the front. Throughout the remainder of the event, Bowen maneuvered his way through the field passing many cars before crossing under the checkered flag in the fourth position.
“We had a fast race car and definitely made progress after that incident happened, but there just wasn’t enough time to get where we wanted to be.”
In the second event of the day for Bowen, the 150-lap Howie Lettow Memorial, the Georgia driver would start from the 12th position following a post-qualifying invert of 12.
Making quick work of the cars in front of him, Bowen jumped into the seventh spot by lap 20 and cracked the top-five before the first competition caution on lap 37.
Following the caution, Bowen engaged in a battle for the race lead with eventual race winner Erik Jones and Chris Weinkauf. That battle continued until lap 72 when the second competition caution flew. Bowen would pit under caution for right side tires hoping that would be enough to put him in a situation to battle for the race win.
Battling loose conditions following the pit stop, Bowen was forced to pit out of the fifth position during the lap 112 competition caution for left side tires. Restarting from outside of the top-10, Bowen would charge to the front before running out of time and finishing the race in the sixth position.
“We were fighting loose conditions off the corner and when we put right side tires on that made us even freer,” said Bowen. “We were originally only scheduled to do a one-stop race, but it didn’t work out that way with the handling of the car so we came in on lap 112 to put left side tires on to tighten us up.
“Track position is so critical on a flat track like this and once your momentum gets bogged down trying to pass somebody, you’re just a sitting duck waiting to just ride behind them.”
After racing 250 miles over the course of just over four hours on Sunday, the 16-year-old Bowen didn’t show any signs of fatigue following the checkered flag in the Howie Lettow Memorial 150.
“I feel like I’m pretty good,” said Bowen. “It’s a mile race track so it’s not like a short track. I feel like a short track, 250 miles would be a whole different game. Since it’s just a mile race track, it’s not as hard on your body.”
Anderson Bowen will return to action on Saturday, June 14 when he travels to Anderson, Indiana to compete in the prestigious Redbud 300 at Anderson Speedway.
-51 Sports Press Release. Photo Credit: Speed51.com