Over the past year, Alex Bowman has proven himself quite capable on road courses. Sunday, in the Toyota Save Mart 350 at Sonoma Raceway the driver of the No. 88 Axalta Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 looked to be heading to yet another top-10. Then, he wasn’t as he faded to 14th.
On paper it simply looked like Bowman lost the handle on his car, but there was more at play than that. The reason for Bowman sliding down the leader board in the closing laps: he lost his power steering with 26 laps to go. For Bowman, he was just happy he has been getting in better physical shape recently as that aided him down the stretch in this race.
“We were sitting pretty good there towards the end and then we lost power steering,” said Bowman. “I hate losing spots like that at the end, but I’m glad we still brought home a top-15 finish. I’m glad I’ve been working on being more fit because I’m worn out and that would have been way worse.”
Wheeling a 3,300 lb. stock car around a technical 2.52-mile road course like Sonoma with no power steering does not sound like a recipe for success, however Bowman was able to hang on to salvage a decent result. Needless to say, he earned a frosty beverage for his efforts.
Bowman has now finished inside the top-15 in the last seven races. Bowman had just four top-15 finishes in the first nine events of the season, so it’s been quite a turnaround. Bowman heads into Chicagoland Speedway solidly in the 10th spot in the championship standings.
“We’ll move on to Chicago next week,” said Bowman. “We should be phenomenal there. My guys did a really good job. My car was really fast, we just missed it a little bit there for the race.”