Alex Bowman would hold off Grant Enfinger on a late race restart to win the Prairie Meadows 200 at Iowa Speedway. It marks Bowman’s third win of the season as he became the seventh different driver to pull into victory lane on the short track.
“I definitely got to thank everybody – Paul Andrews, Mannats for coming on board,” the driver of the No. 22 St. Jude’s Children’s Hospital/Mannats Dodge says. “They called at the last minute and wanted their name on the hood.”
The 21-year-old gave credit to his veteran crew chief Paul Andrews for the adjustments he made following practice.
“We’ve ran this chassis three times this year and won those three times,” Bowman adds. “I think it’s just ‘cause of the crew chief, Paul Andrews.”
Bowman would pass Frank Kimmel for the lead with 49 to go after a caution and go on to lead the rest of the way, despite a pair of restarts.
“We’re looking forward to Chicago,” Andrews says looking forward. “We felt like we got short-changed at Michigan, so we’re excited to go there. He says it’s all about me, but it’s all about him. He makes me look good.”
Grant Enfinger would finish second for the fourth time in his career, tying his career best finish.
“Really it was a bunch of hard work by everybody,” Enfinger says. “Appreciate everybody for pushing to make this race happen. We came up a little short again, but that was everything we had. We had a strong car on the long run; they all had a little bit of a better car on short run. They would get away from us, but we would reel them in on the long run.”
Chad Boat would finish third in his ARCA debut, followed by Clay Rogers and Frank Kimmel.
“A lot of those guys were having the problem where they were spinning the tires on the restart and I was able to get off the line better,” Rogers says. “We were also able to cut the center better than our competitors before the tires got hot.”
Chad Hackenbracht would finish sixth, followed by Matt Lofton, Spencer Gallagher, Ryan Reed and Mason Mitchell.
Short track tempers would flare near the end of the race as there were two separate incidents involving drivers.
With four laps to go, Gallagher and Erik Jones would make contact multiple times while battling for sixth, ending with Jones going around after contact from Gallagher.
“I think at the end of the day, we pulled everything out and finished strong,” Gallagher says. “Do I wish that would’ve gone differently? Yes, but welcome to short track racing. Those things happen and it’s part of the short track mentality.”
Also, Lofton would give Reed a bump to get by him late in the race and as a result, Reed spun Lofton after the race.
The first 75 laps of the race would run green with pole sitter Brennan Poole leading every one of them, though he would bring out the first caution when he’d hit the wall with a flat tire. That pretty much ended his chances as he struggled for the rest of the night and got into the wall again on lap 115.
Brandon Davis would also have a bad night as he would get into the turn two wall after getting loose on lap 127. Davis would then get caught in another accident on lap 185 when Milka Duno would get loose, collecting both Davis and Jared Marks. Ralston would also get spun in the wreck by Robert Mitten.
It was also a weekend to forget for Nelson Canache as he would run into problems during practice, followed by a hard hit to the inside wall as he tried to miss hitting Zach Ralston when he spun.
“A couple cars in front of me were fighting and got side-by-side,” Canache says. “One of them spun in front of me and I was holding the car to see which way he was going to go. I went down and couldn’t avoid. We were working on the car in the race. I think we got the car good by that point to move up, but these things happen. I’m okay, but it is what it is.”
The next race for the ARCA Racing Series is the Ansell ActivArmr® 150 at Chicagoland Speedway on July 21st.