A late caution and little strategy are all that Anderson Bowen needed to score the win in the 50th running of the Alabama 200 at Montgomery Motor Speedway Saturday night. The Suwanee, Georgia driver became the third consecutive driver from the Peach State to win the Alabama 200, joining Mason Massey in 2012 and Chase Elliott a year ago, which was the first year the event was held under the Southern Super Series presented by Sunoco banner.
"Everything finally played in to our favor tonight and luck fell our way," said Bowen. "Our car was really good and we made the right call to have two sets of right side tires at the end. Ricky (Turner) my crew chief knows his stuff and tonight we're winners."
Bowen led twice for 24 laps and captured the biggest win of his career in the final extra distance race of the year for the Southern Super Series. The victory was Bowen's second in the SSS this season. He won his first career series event in July at Georgia's Gresham Motorsports Park.
"Gresham was a big win, but this is the Alabama 200. There are so many big names that have won this race and now we have too," said Bowen. "Maybe we can go to the final two races and win and have a shot at the Championship."
Bowen took on two right-side tires after a caution came out with 19 laps to go. The Georgia driver worked his way forward to race leader Augie Grill and Donnie Wilson to make a three-car battle for the lead. The turning point in the race came when Grill, who had dominated much of the 200-lap race, went spinning wildly out of the lead and into the wall.
"I was on the outside of Wilson and he came up and they got together," said Bowen. "I was lucky I didn't get collected in it."
Wilson also had damage that hindered his chances of a fourth Southern Super Series victory in 2014.
"We just all got together and Augie got the worst of it," said Wilson, who finished fourth. "It knocked my toe out and I couldn't hold him off after that. Hey we got another top five. That's all I can say."
Grill led a race high 174 laps, but saw yet another victory escape his grasp in the final laps.
"I knew everybody was going to be racy and maybe it's the wrong attitude to have, but I knew we'd end up wrecked," said Grill. I have been in that situation too many times this season. At least we have it running right again."
The wreck allowed defending Southern Super Series champion Daniel Hemric to post a second-place finish over Casey Roderick, who had already captured wins in two other SSS extra-distance races, the Rattler 250 and the World Crown 300.
"We had the worst and made the best out of it," said Hemric. "We had to change engine to race today. Big thanks to Jeff Hamner and Hamner Racing Engines and the Carswell Motorsport crew for making this happen."
Wilson and Nathan Davis made up the top at the end of the race.
Hunter Robbins started the night by capturing the $500 Pole Award presented by Hamner Racing Engines, McGunegill Engine Performance, Progressive Racing Engines, Ford Racing and RW Racing Engines.
Anderson Bowen was the Dubz Thermal Products halfway leader an pocketed $100 for leading lap 100.
Results are still listed as unofficial until early in the week while Southern Super Series officials review scoring to ensure the results are 100-percent accurate.
The Southern Super Series presented by Sunoco will end the season with a Gulf Coast weekend doubleheader beginning at Five Flags Speedway on Friday, September 19 for the Buddy's Home Furnishing Blizzard Series finale. The final race of the year will be run the next night on Saturday, September 20 at Mobile International Speedway, which will be a race to decide the 2014 Southern Super Series championship.
For more information on the Southern Super Series, visit SouthernSuperSeries.com. The Facebook page for the Southern Super Series is located at www.facebook.com/southernsuperseries. The series is also on Twitter at @SoSuperSeries. For advertising or sponsorship questions, please contact the track representatives. For media inquiries, please contact Matt Kentfield at 51 Sports via [email protected]
Click Here to replay the Speed51.com Trackside Now coverage of the Alabama 200.
SOUTHERN SUPER SERIES
50th Alabama 200
Montgomery Motor Speedway
|6||13||Bill Bethea III||197|
|14||30||Bobby Knox, Jr.||86|