GRAND: All-Star Showdown: Jason Bowles race report
Bowles and GBR Win Toyota All-Star Showdown
Bowles wins fourth K&N Pro Series race at Irwindale...
Irwindale, CA (January 29, 2011) Jason Bowles took the last restart for keeps Saturday night at Irwindale Speedway winning the Toyota All-Star Showdown in his Rusty Wallace Racing Experience Toyota Camry. Lining up second with seven laps to go, Bowles had a great jump and held off NASCAR Canadian Tire Series champion DJ Kennington in the closing laps. The win was the first for Gaunt Brothers Racing in its first NASCAR K&N Pro Series race.
"I can't believe we won this race!" said an excited Bowles aftewards. "We had a great car and we were there all night long, but it's so tough to win this race. We were better as the tires heated up, so the restarts were not as good as I would want. That last restart though, I saw Pursley cleaning his tires on the apron and that must be where he picked up his puncture, I don't know. I got a good jump though and I needed it to hold off DJ.
"This is big, I've won here but I've never been able to win the Showdown - this is a great way to start the year. Jeff Fultz and all the guys, they worked so hard to get this car ready, it was a max effort and it all paid off. It's just awesome when it works out like this."
Bowles started the night 9th and climbed into the top-5 by lap 50. He would remain there the rest of the race, his only complaint being the car was a little slow to get going on restarts and a little too tight in the center of the corner. Lap after lap the battle was for control on the high line. When Bowles would pass for position and find daylight ahead, he would pull away, especially on longer runs.
"This track and this race are really brutal," explained Bowles. "It's not easy to pass here, you have to have a fast car for one and you have to work hard for everything you get. If you're two-tenths faster than everyone else, that's one thing, but tonight the guys up front all had good cars. You have to be patient all night to get to that last 25, which we did. Then it's all out.
"I still can't believe we won!"
For Gaunt Brothers Racing owner Marty Gaunt, the last few laps were a test of patience as well.
"When we took the lead, I just kept saying to myself, ok - please don't make us go through another restart! We raced DJ in Canada last year and he's a hell of a racer, so we know what he can do. Jason did a great, great job though. From rolling off the truck and working to find what he knew the car needed to win, to actually winning the race. I've been so impressed with him - I think it's the first of many wins to come for him.
"It's just a great feeling to win, period. For everybody that put in the hours at GBR, I'm so proud of the whole team. We started this team less than a year ago to race in Canada and here we are holding the Toyota All-Star Showdown trophy."
Next up for Jason Bowles will be the Daytona ARCA race with Eddie Sharp Racing driving the No.6 Toyota Camry.
-source: gaunt brothers racing
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