Three Races in Three Days, South Boston, Pensacola & Mobile
It isn’t very often that a 16-year-old driver gets the opportunity to put his talents up against the likes of NASCAR Sprint Cup Series stars Kyle Busch, Denny Hamlin and Matt Kenseth. It’s also one of the few opportunities top racers from different disciplines of short track racing can converge in one event to prove who is the best of the best.
Rising Late Model star Anderson Bowen will have his opportunity to do just that on Thursday evening when he enters the Denny Hamlin Short Track Showdown at South Boston Speedway in Virginia.
Bowen will pilot the No. 29A Carolina Speed Shop Chevrolet for car owner Kenyon Davidson on Thursday night. The Suwanee, Georgia driver finished eighth in the 2013 Denny Hamlin Short Track Showdown racing for Davidson.
Bowen, who has finished in the top-five in five of his last six straight-rail chassis Super and Pro Late Model events, is looking forward to the opportunity to shine on the big stage in a NASCAR Late Model Stock Car.
“It’s a different series and you want to prove yourself against those guys,” Bowen said. “You’ve got Timothy Peters and guys like that racing that normally don’t get into the straight-rail (Super Late Model) stuff. It’s going to be a big deal competing with those guys.
“Ryan Preece, he runs Modifieds and he’s the real deal. He’s one of the best guys out there and I’ve followed him a long time. He can win in almost anything there is to win in. To race with guys like Ryan is going to be an awesome experience.”
Despite his travels all across the southeast and beyond racing Late Models, South Boston Speedway is one of the few tracks the young driver has yet to visit. Bowen has been busy using iRacing software to attempt to get some sort of feel of the track. Come Thursday, Bowen plans to make as many laps as he can during practice to familiarize himself with the 4/10-mile oval.
“This will be me first time at South Boston,” said Bowen. “I’m pretty excited about it. I’ve never seen the track, but I’ve done some racing on iRacing there. It helps, but you really don’t know what kind of track it is until you experience it yourself. I’ll just go out there to make some laps and try to figure out the race track.”
Riding a string of three straight top-three finishes, Bowen is hoping to capitalize on his early season momentum. The 16-year-old remains confident going into South Boston and hopes to come away with a top-10 or better finish against stiff competition.
“Finish top-10,” Bowen said about his goals for the event. “It’s such a big event. It’s one of those big races where finishing top-10, keeping your fenders intact and keeping your nose clean is going to be like a win. Staying out of trouble will be a big key. A top-10 or top-five finish would be like a win for me going up against the talent we’re up against.”
Following the conclusion of Thursday night’s event in Virginia, Bowen will drive south to Pensacola, Florida for Friday’s Southern Super Series event at Five Flags Speedway. He will then race again on Saturday night at Mobile International Speedway in Mobile, Alabama. The busy weekend of racing is one that Bowen looks forward to.
“After we leave South Boston, we drive all the way to Pensacola to race the Southern Super Series race down there,” said Bowen. “Then we head over to Mobile for the back-end of the Southern Supers Series Gulf Coast weekend. We’re racing Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, and Saturday. It doesn’t get much better than that.”
Bowen enters the Southern Super Series Gulf Coast doubleheader with an eleven point advantage at the top of the point standings.