(MOBILE, Ala. – March 24, 2014) — ARCA photo — It was a very long, but rewarding day on Saturday for Georgia driver Anderson Bowen.
At the young age of 16-years-old, Bowen pulled off a feat that many racing veterans would have a hard time accomplishing. Within the time span of nine hours, Bowen secured a fourth place finish in the ARCA Mobile 200, traveled nearly 200 miles on the interstate, and closed his day out in style by bringing home the second-place trophy in the Rattler 250 Southern Super Series event at South Alabama Speedway.
Bowen’s long day began at Alabama’s Mobile International Speedway, as he looked to get to victory lane from the third starting position in the Cunningham Motorsports No. 77. He battled with the leaders throughout the early stages of the event before an ignition box failure forced him to the rear of the field following the first round of pit stops.
Patience and composure proved to be a factor, as Bowen was able to steadily work his way back through the field while keeping his nose clean. After gaining positions on multiple late race restarts, Bowen was able to crack the top-five and leave Mobile with a strong fourth-place finish.
“We led some laps today, but what really hurt us was the ignition box going bad on us right before we went to pit,” Bowen said. “We came in the pits last and came out last. That hurt us really bad. We used our stuff up too much coming through the field. We hurt the tires and once we got up to the top 10 or so it was a battle to gain positions. We were just maintaining what we had and trying to gain as many spots as possible.
“At the end of the day, all four fenders are intact and we left Mobile with a solid finish. We can improve from there and the guys on the Cunningham Motorsports crew can work on the car to get it ready for Winchester and IRP.”
After wrapping up post-race duties at Mobile, Bowen piled into a car for the nearly-200-mile drive to South Alabama Speedway to compete in the Rattler 250. Due to his absence from qualifying one week ago and needing another driver to qualify his car, Bowen was forced to start from the rear of the field in the 23rd spot on Saturday.
Bowen quickly maneuvered traffic and was able to avoid multiple early-race incidents among the leaders to put his Copper Creek Hardware No. 29 in a position to win at the end of the race. Starting from the fourth position on a late-race restart, the Georgia native used strong moves on the high side of the race track to rocket into the second position.
Throughout the closing laps of the race, Bowen closed in on the bumper of eventual race winner Casey Roderick. After driving over 450 laps on the day, Bowen would end up needing a few more that he wouldn’t get. Despite coming up just one position short, the 16-year-old rising star was extremely pleased with the second-place finish.
“I’m very happy with our results today,” Bowen said. “I can’t thank the guys enough for what they’ve done from me this weekend. From my Late Model team to Cunningham Motorsports, they played a huge role in this weekend.”
For Bowen, being able to pull off a true double-duty day at two different tracks, with two different cars, is something that he believes will be a great experience for his career moving forward.
“It was a great experience for me this weekend,” said Bowen. “This was the first time I’ve ever done double-duty in a one-day deal. That really helped me. It just feels like it makes you a better driver because you’ve got to adapt to the car that you’re driving.”
Up next for Bowen will be a Pro Late Model doubleheader weekend on April 28-29 with 100 lap features at Five Flags Speedway (FL) and Mobile International Speedway (AL).