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Alex Bowman Perseveres Without Power Steering to Finish 14th at Sonoma

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.”

Toby Christie View All

Toby is the Founder, Editor and go-to man for TobyChristie.com. He is also the co-host of The Final Lap Weekly Podcast. Additionally, Toby is a NMPA (National Motorsports Press Association) award winning writer, and has followed NASCAR as a fan since 1993.

4 thoughts on “Alex Bowman Perseveres Without Power Steering to Finish 14th at Sonoma Leave a comment

  1. Damn, that’s kinda’ amazing…poor guy
    so Hendrick cars sucked today…..am I right?

    • Actually, they were all decent all race. Just bad luck. Chase was top-5 all race until a belt broke ending his day. Byron led every lap of the opening stage but poor pit strategy did him in. Johnson and Bowman were solid top-10 all day but Bowman lost power steering.

  2. The ‘strategy’ decisions that the stage racing introduces is frustrating. The objective of stage racing was to create two shorter races that teams wanted to win badly enough to fight it out and create more great racing. Now its more ‘hard-to-understand’ BS that confuses the hell out of any new fan. I want to see the guys that are the fastest running at the front, not struggling in mid-pack because the team decided to win a stage. Stage racing really screwed up this race.

    • Hey John, thanks for stopping by. I agree. Stage Racing did not help make the race at Sonoma any more compelling, in fact, it negated a lot of what is compelling about road races (when there are not wild crazy moments that lead to cautions) and that is strategy. By making set spots where the race will pause, teams know exactly what to do if they want to try for the Stage win or what to do if they want to go for a race win instead. I’m not impressed.

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