Alex Bowman Wins Third Pole in Six Races in 2012

Alex Bowman Wins Third Pole in Six Races in 2012

(ELKO NEW MARKET, Minn. - June 2, 2012) - With crew chief Paul Andrews sidelined at a local hospital and on the mend, Alex Bowman delivered in a way that would certainly make Andrews proud.

Bowman (No. 22 St. Jude Children's Research Hospital Dodge) drove a lap of 14.316 seconds (94.3 mph) to win the Menards Pole Award presented by Ansell at Elko Speedway, his third in six races this year. Bowman also won the pole at Mobile in March and Toledo two weeks ago. Tonight, he will start just ahead of Matt Lofton in the Akona 200 presented by Federated Car Care, ARCA's first race at Elko Speedway and first in Minnesota.

While poles are satisfying, Bowman wants to add to the lone victory he earned at Salem in April.

"We've got to get some race wins here," he said. "We've won three poles, but we've only won one race. I'm thinking of my crew chief Paul Andrews, who's actually in the hospital right now. He wasn't feeling too good so I hope he's better before the race. Everybody at Cunningham Motorsports really pulled together with the situation we've got today, and we have a really, really good race car. That Penske power made a difference in qualifying, and hopefully we'll be better in the race."

At just 0.375 mile, Elko Speedway is the shortest track on the ARCA schedule. The unknown surface presented challenges to many ARCA drivers who saw the facility for the first time this morning, and it appears Bowman has adjusted most easily.

"It's different, that's for sure," he said. "It's like a couple places we ran in the (NASCAR K&N Pro) East Series last year. It's pretty much a circle with very little grip.

"Our car's really set up for long runs, and to keep the right rear on it and stay turning. We should be pretty good."

Erik Jones, who turned 16 this week, will start third, ahead of Chris Buescher and Brennan Poole, who are second and third, respectively, in the point standings.

Points leader Tom Hessert will start the race sixth, ahead of 18-year-old Jared Marks. Joey Miller, who led the first practice and hails from nearby Lakeville, Minn. will start eighth. Chad Hackenbracht, who earned a national legends championship at Elko in 2008, will start just ahead of Fort Frances, Ont. native and former Minnesota resident Steve Arpin to round out the top 10. Arpin's start will be his first since driving at Daytona International Speedway in 2011. will feature live timing and scoring coverage of the 200-lap, 75-mile Akona 200 at 9 p.m. ET, along with live streaming audio coverage as presented by Charlie Krall and Tim Clagg of the ARCA Racing Network. The race will be the sixth of ARCA's 60th Anniversary Season.