Monday, June 25, 2012

Alex Bowman Snares ARCA Win at Winchester

Alex Bowman  takes the checkers at Winchester to snag his 4th career ARCA Series win
Sunday's ARCA Series Herr's Chase the Taste 200 race at Winchester Speedway was another day for the young guns as Alex Bowman grabbed his second win of the season and fourth overall in the series. The summer heat didn't appear to slow any of the competitors down on this track which bills itself as the "World's Fastest Half Mile." Unlike the Salem race earlier this season on the circuit's other high banked half mile, this race was clean and fast with very few on track incidents. The Winchester surface is less bumpy than Salem and lends itself to two and three wide racing all around the track, whereas racers at Salem must negotiate Turns 3 & 4 in single file up against the wall. This was my first opportunity to work as a contributor to ARCA's race coverage and I look forward to my next chance to do that at Lucas Oil Raceway near the end of July.

Winchester ARCA Pole winner Chris Buescher
Bowman had a spirited duel with second place finisher Brennan Poole over the last 25 laps or so but a tire problem by Poole on the last lap doused any chance he had of knocking Bowman out of the win. Erik Jones took third ahead of pole winner Chris Buescher. Buescher was fast early but faded as he couldn't come to grips with the hot race track after starting the weekend from P1 nearly setting a lap record in qualifying. Matt Lofton brought his Strut Masters machine home fifth as eight cars finished on the lead lap in a race that seemed to be over almost as soon as it started, taking only an hour and 13 minutes to complete. The biggest challenge for the frontrunners all day was dealing with lapped traffic as a number of cars couldn't match the leaders' pace from the drop of the green flag but trundled around on the low line in a race of their own for best in class. Such is life in ARCA these days as the top third of the field is usually comprised of up and comers who you will see in a couple of years in the higher levels of stock car racing. ARCA continues to be the top series for stock car racing's future stars and is the only series to include dirt tracks, road courses and paved ovals of all sizes on its season schedule. These guys put on some of the best races you'd ever want to see at any level and the drivers are always approachable, and most events include a fan friendly autograph session. One fan told me her daughter is already signing autographs as Miss ARCA, so keep an eye out for the future trophy queens here too!

I've put in a great deal of effort the last three years to expanding my options for racing photography and I'm grateful to have the chance to work directly with the ARCA Series this weekend. It's a very family oriented organization and you can't question the love of racing those involved share once you get to know them. I've been covering ARCA on a regular basis now for almost six years and I love the fact that their races are chances to get up close and personal with the future stars of stock car racing. I know that my ARCA work for American Motor Journal, through this blog and through my website have only been small contributions to the promotion of this exciting series, but I wouldn't trade my days at an ARCA race for most any other series. You should get out soon and experience it for yourself. Until next time, here's more pix from yesterday's race at Winchester Speedway.

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