KANSAS CITY, Kan. – Alex Bowman drove to his fourth victory of the ARCA Racing Series season Friday night at Kansas Speedway while Chris Buescher secured the 2012 series championship.
Bowman dominated much of the Kansas Lottery 98.9 aboard his No. 22 Dodge, but had to battle his way back to the front with less than 20 laps left. With 15 laps left Bowman made his move, going three-wide to take the lead away from Brennan Poole and Grant Enfinger.
A wild crash involving Chris Windom, Brandon Davis and Nelson Canache brought out the final caution flag of the night shortly after Bowman retook the lead and gave the field one final shot at Bowman.
The restart came with six laps left. Bowman rocketed away as Enfinger engaged in a battle for second with Poole and Kevin Swindell. With the field battling behind him, Bowman easily pulled away to a 4.444-second triumph.
“It is good to finally get one. It has been awhile,” Bowman said in victory lane. “The race car was perfect. The motor guys didn’t want a big burnout and I wanted to do a backwards lap for Paul (Andrews, crew chief). It is something he has history with so it was really cool to get to do that for him.”
The victory also guaranteed Bowman the Team Messina Rookie Challenge Award.
Swindell ended up finishing second, followed by Enfinger, Poole and Brennan Newberry.
Buescher, wheeling the No. 17 Roulo Brothers Racing Ford, simply had to finish in the top-12 to secure the series championship. He did that, finishing eighth to become the youngest champion in the history of the series at 19 years old.
“That is just absolutely amazing,” Buescher said. “We’ve had so much help throughout this whole year and worked so hard for this.”
The championship was the first for Roulo Brothers Racing, which has competed in the ARCA Racing Series for four decades. This year Buescher and Roulo Brothers Racing scored four victories, 12 top fives and 16 top 10s.
“I’ve been working for a moment like this since I was 10 years old,” Buescher said. “To finally get here is absolutely awesome.”
Frank Kimmel, who was seeking his 10th ARCA championship, entered the race 85 points behind Buescher in second. He finished sixth Friday at Kansas Speedway and ended the season 75 points behind Buescher in the championship standings.