Robersonville, NC – With just a week left on the calendar to accumulate points for his run at the NASCAR Whelen All-American Series National Championship, Matt Bowling took to the road this weekend competing in seven races at four tracks in three states. After a cut tire took him out of the running at Dominion Raceway on Thursday, Bowling headed south to Anderson Speedway and competed in a pair of 50-lap features with moderate success. After heading back to North Carolina, Bowling was able to grab a win at Southern National before heading over to East Carolina Sunday afternoon to earn a win and second place finish.
Competing in seven races in three states over four days, Bowling gained valuable points over northeastern ace Keith Rocco. With a victory and a second place finish this past Sunday in a full field of cars; Bowling has put a thirteen-point cushion between himself and Rocco – seventeen points between third place driver Ty Majeski.
Bowling would start the first race on the outside pole next to track points leader Brenden Queen. Took two attempts to get the race under way as the flagman Terry Bullock did not like the initial start. Once officially underway it only took Bowling six laps to get around Queen to take the lead. After that it was all but Bowling’s race to lose as he showed complete dominance.
The first caution of the evening came just past lap fifteen and when Louis White moved Tyler Matthews up the hill to take the third position. The caution however was for the #91 of Justin Carroll, whom if it were not for bad luck he would have no luck, spun off of turn four – we were not able to see with our own eyes if he had help. Officials were quick to get things taken care of so we could get back to green flag racing.
We got back under green just as we reached the half way mark of the first feature. Bowling and Queen had a decent battle for a bit before Queen tucked in behind the #83 and was immediately meet with an onslaught of attacks from Late Model veteran Louis White – who sits second in points to Queen in the track championship. White applies the ole’ chrome horn as they liked to say back in the day a few more times to the rear bumper of Queen and eventually gets by. Queen however was not going to go unheard and returns the favor as they exited two the next lap to retake the second position. Down the back stretch the two would go – White applying the breaks hard looking for what looked to be a cross over move but ended up being a bump and run to move Queen back up the hill in turn three and regaining the second position. Queen would fall from the top five.
A couple of late caution would bunch the field up yet again. One for debris in turn three at the top of the racing groove. The other due to a wreck in turn two after the restart after Louis White and Thomas Burbage looked to make contact. Thomas Marks and Paul Williamson were not able to get slowed up in time and both drivers got some damage. White and Marks taking the brunt of it.
Racing resumed after a brief red flag for extensive cleanup from wall to wall in two – was all water from a broken radiator hose so nothing to crazy. Matt Bowling got a huge jump on the final restart of the race to cruise to the victory. Tyler Matthews, who had been bidding his time all race and able to make it through the wreck would finish second. Queen Burbage and Jeff Shiflett would round out the top five.
“Its been a wild weekend full of racing,” Bowling said after the races. “Kind of glad to see it come to an end. I just cannot thank all my guys enough who put in all the work. A whole lot of work this past week went into this and to come away with two wins is big for us.”
Bowling car was pretty much untouchable in the first race however fell off just a bit in the second. However, a few factors must be noted, the Southern Mods put 150 laps of rubber down and the second feature was run later in the afternoon after the track had cooled down.
“We knew the modified rubber was going to change the track some,” Bowling told The Weekly Racer. “We kind of just swung for it because we knew we had to be better if we were going to win the second one and we just missed it a little bit. We put in a good effort this weekend and that’s all you can ask for and we are just really happy to come home with two wins.”
The NASCAR Whelen All-American Series points will come to an end this weekend. Bowling will be at his home track of South Boston Speedway to compete in a set of twin features where he looks to not only clinch the track title but both the Virginia State and National title.
P1. #83 Matt Bowling; 40
P2. #63 Tyler Matthews; 40
P3. #03 Brenden Queen; 40
P4. #9 Thomas Burbage; 40
P5. #01 Jeff Shiflett; 40
P6. #91 Justin Carroll; 40
P7. #7 Louis White; 40
P8. #12 Wesley Johnson; 40
P9. #33 Ryan Haddock; 40
P10. #5 Paul Williamson; 39
P11. #88 Thomas Marks; 35
P12. #25 Kenneth Mercer; 35
P13. #12 Dean Shiflett; 24
P14. #26 Eric Wnslow; 15
P15. #67 JT Jackson; 10
P16. #10 Madyson Mulligan; 10
P17. #83x George Brunnhoelzl III; 8
P18. #01b Mark Wertz; 5
P19. #0 Justin Snow; 3