Posted: Monday, May 19th 2014 at 8:35am
Anderson Bowen scores JEGS/CRA Pro Late Model victory at I-44
By Series PR
Suwanee's Anderson Bowen sports the unique Masters Green Jacket in victory lane after scoring the JEGS/CRA All-Stars victory Saturday night at I-44 Speedway. / Photo: Courtesy CRA Media
LEBANON, MO – Sixteen year old Anderson scored the biggest win of his young career Saturday night, as he scored the second annual Mercy Masters of the Pros 144 for the JEGS/CRA All-Stars tour at I-44 Speedway in Lebanon, MO.
The Suwanee, GA driver in his #29 Copper Creek Hardware / Anderson Bowen Racing / Chevrolet fought off a determined Dave Gentile Jr., over the final 18 laps to secure the victory, the coveted green jacket and a cool $8,000 payday.
Bowen’s win also gives the state of Georgia a lock for winning the event, as the inaugural running was won by Dawsonville, GA’s Chase Elliott last year.
"Wow, this is unbelievable,” said Bowen in victory lane. “Without a doubt the biggest win of my career. We've went winless last year and we've been so close all year long in the Southern Super Series. I'm just so happy for everyone on this team
"We were fast all weekend long and it was really cool to break Chase Elliott's track record in this car, which is the same car he raced here last year. To repeat what he did, fast time and the win, that is really something special and I won't forget it."
Bowen's only other JEGS/CRA victory came on October 27, 2012 at Watermelon Capital Speedway in Senoia, GA, in a non-points race.
After Bowen broke the track record in Boyne Machine Company Qualifying, he then drew a five for an inversion which placed two-time Daytona 500 winner, Sterling Marlin and Kaleb Allison on the front row. Marlin would beat Allison and the rest of the field into the first corner to grab the early lead while the rest of the field settled in behind him.
Cole Williams quickly moved up into second place and stalked Marlin for the first segment of the race. On lap 18, Williams made the pass for the lead on Marlin and he brought Bowen, who started fifth, with him. Bowen would never let Williams stray too far out in front of him as the two drivers stayed glued to each others' bumpers. Williams earned the halfway leader award and would bring the field into the lap 100 break.
As the break came to a close, Williams pulled off of pit road after changing only one tire and then proceeded to pull off the track with suspension problems, giving the lead to Bowen, with Gentile, Jr., running in second. Gentile, Jr. followed in Bowen's tire tracks until lap 126 when he began his charge against the race leader. Gentile, Jr., tried numerous times to make the potential winning pass, utilizing the inside lane, but each time, Bowen kept his momentum on the high side to retain the point. Gentile, Jr., kept pressuring throughout the rest of the race, but Bowen was up to the challenge and crossed the stripe first for the win.
"My mom and dad are the main reason I'm able to do what I'm doing,” Bowen said. “Without them, my crew chief, Ricky Turner and this whole team all working so hard we wouldn't be here.
"This is just great. Definitely makes the long trip home worthwhile. I really appreciate Dave (Gentile Jr.) for racing me as clean as he did. For that much money, he could've taken me out a number of times, but I'm glad he chose not too."
Gentile, Jr., Matt Wallace, Chad Finley and Harrison Burton rounded out the top five.
The JEGS/CRA All-Stars Tour teams are back in action on Saturday, May 24 with the third event of the 2014 racing season at the 1/3 mile Columbus Motor Speedway in Columbus, OH.
JEGS/CRA All-Stars Tour
Mercy Masters of the Pros 144 (Unofficial) - May 19, 2014
1. 29 Anderson Bowen
2. 6 Dave Gentile, Jr.
3. 6w Matt Wallace
4. 42 Chad Finley
5. 12B Harrison Burton
6. 77 Mike Slone
7. 47A Kaleb Allison
8. 54 Jake Griffin
9. 20 Cole Rouse
10. 99 J.J. Haley
11. 28 Grant Quinlan
12. 8 Marc Jacobs
13. 15 Tony Jackson, Jr.
14. 3 Brennon Willard
15. 4 Dalton Armstrong
16. 97 Jaxson Jacobs
17. 24S Amber Slagle
18. 24 Chris Hacker
19. 88 Garrett Jones
20. 12 Dan Leeck
21. 35 Steve Holt
22. 13 Hunter Baize
23. 1 Sterling Marlin
24. 47 Dakota Stroup
25. 40 Jordan Miller
26. 46 Cole Williams
27. 5 Dominique Van Wieringen
28. 71 Corey Deuser
29. 0 Josh Nelms
30. 27 Joe Ross
31. 81 Tristan Van Wieringen
Link: CRA Racing Series
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