Matt Bowling Wins 2016 South Boston Speedway, Virginia State, and National Points Championship
The road to any National Title is never an easy one. For Matt Bowling, the Ridgeway, Virginia native, that road consisted of forty-nine starts at eight different NASCAR Hometracks throughout four states in the Mid-Atlantic region. After six months, fourteen wins, thirty-four top fives and over forty top ten finishes, Matt Bowling was finally able to call himself a National Champion.
NASCAR made things official earlier in the afternoon on Wednesday, September 21, 2016 via the Hometracks Twitter feed that Bowling (678) locked up his first championship over Northeastern Modified ace Keith Rocco (672), Ty Majeski (669), Nick Smith (638) and three time national champion Lee Pulliam (629). Bowling had his fair share of ups and downs along that road with dealing with new tracks, new drivers, and various mechanical failures with the car.
Bowling entered the weekend looking for what you could call the trifecta of championships – the national title, your home state, and your home track. With a third and twenty-first place finish in the season finale at South Boston, Bowling was able to do just that.
The afternoon started out well for Bowling after setting the fastest time in qualifying to lead the field of twenty-sex cars to green. He would also lead a good portion of the first 75-lap feature before defending National Champ, Lee Pulliam, had other plans. The two would battle for position momentarily before Pulliam took back the lead and eventually the race win. A potentially scary moment in race number two for Bowling having his engine expire regulating him to the twenty-first place finish. It did not take long for news to spread through pit road the guys Bowling was racing also did not win this past weekend which all but locked up Bowling’s first national title.
Now that the regular season has concluded Bowling will now focus his attention to one of the most prestigious races one can enter – the Valley Star Credit Union 300 at Martinsville Speedway. A race that has plagued past National Champs in the past.
“The last thing left on my checklist is to win Martinsville,” Bowling said in an interview earlier this week with Martinsville Speedway. “For me personally, I grew up watching races there. It’s in my hometown. I’d really love to get that one.”
No better way than to cap off a national title with your very own grandfather clock to boot. Bowling is looking to break the streak that the Paperclip has had on drivers in the past year – no driver that won the national title has won the Grandfather clock.