The #99 SchoolTipline.com Toyota Camry came into Richmond International Raceway with high hopes of a good finish coming off RAB Racing’s first NASCAR pole award at Texas Motor Speedway. Richmond was also the second track on the 2013 NASCAR Nationwide schedule that Alex Bowman had raced on before this year, “Richmond is a track I really enjoy and instantly became accustomed to in the K&N East Series, and was really looking forward to,” said Bowman. “I also visited a middle school in L. Douglas Wilder Middle School in Richmond, VA with Kevin Wright and everyone at School Tipline, on my 20th birthday, and gave away the School Tipline service to the entire school. I hope it changes the lives of the students like it already has all over the country, and at the other schools we’ve already visited. We are still looking for donations so that we can get the School Tipline service into the schools that can’t afford it, so please go to SchoolTipline.com to find out more information.”
Practice started off on Thursday with the #99 setting the 2nd fastest time of the day and working well under all conditions. Friday morning practice was much of the same with the 13th fastest time with the team primarily working on their long run setup on old tires.
The #99 SchoolTipline.com Toyota Camry qualified solidly in the 12th position and was ready for 250 laps at “The Action Track.”
Early in the event a fan that cools the right front tire began to malfunction, and along with extreme heat from the brakes the #99 blew a right front tire on lap 102 and sent the car into the wall. Immediately the RAB Racing team fixed the body damage, fixed the fan that caused the initial problem, and adjusted the font suspension that was damaged from the contact with the wall and only lost 4 laps throughout the rest of the race. After the initial contact Bowman slid back to 36th but salvaged a 27th place finish.
Alex Bowman: “A really disappointing race tonight after we had such a great car in practice, our RAB Racing team was really communicating well, and finding some big gains during the course of the day. I can’t say enough about SchoolTipline.com and what we’ve accomplished with visiting all these middle schools across the country, and I’m so proud of my team for working harder than they should with multiple pit stops to adjust the car and repair all the damage. Just an unfortunate set of events with a small part failure that caused a crash, but we’ll learn from it and make sure it doesn’t happen again. To think we only lost 4 laps all night with a car that was badly damaged and not driving correctly is impressive, and its all because of the team I have behind me and my crew chief Chris Rice, that was by far the fastest crashed car I’ve ever driven. I’m excited to move on to Talladega where we have a great superspeedway package, and proved that with a 3rd place at Daytona in February, and excited to visit another middle school in the Talladega, AL area with my friends at SchoolTipline.com.”