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Mar 19, 2013 - 05:47 PM
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2013 Fontana: Alex Bowman NASCAR Nationwide Race Preview
Posted by: newsla on Mar 19, 2013 - 05:46 PM
2013 Fontana: Alex Bowman NASCAR Nationwide Race Preview

News & Notes:
• This Week's Toyota ... Alex Bowman will pilot RAB Racing Chassis No. 42 in Saturday's Royal Purple 300 at Auto Club Speedway. This chassis last saw action at Las Vegas Motor Speedway two weeks ago, when Bowman piloted this Toyota Camry to an eighth-place finish.


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• Welcome Back ... St. Jude Children's Research Hospital will serve as primary sponsor of the No. 99 Toyota Camry this weekend. Founded in 1962 by Danny Thomas, St. Jude Children's Research Hospital is a pediatric treatment and research facility focused on childhood diseases.
• First Timer ... Though Bowman has recorded laps at many of the tracks on the Nationwide Series circuit throughout his seasons in the K&N Pro Series and the ARCA Racing Series, he has not yet competed at Auto Club Speedway. As he heads out on the two-mile oval for Nationwide Series practice this Friday afternoon, these will truly be his first laps here.
• RAB Racing at Fontana ... RAB Racing with Brack Maggard has competed in six Nationwide Series events at Auto Club Speedway since their inaugural year of competition in 2009. RAB Racing has one top-10 and five top-20 finishes, including a best showing of seventh, which came with driver Kenny Wallace in 2012.
• Rice at Fontana ... Crew chief of the No. 99 Toyota Camry, Chris Rice, has sat atop the pit box at Auto Club Speedway seven times in his Nationwide Series career, amassing one top-10 and four top-20 finishes with drivers Stacy Compton, Shawna Robinson, Wallace, and Scott Wimmer.
• Toyota Triumph... Toyota Camrys have dominated the last five years of Nationwide Series racing at Auto Club Speedway. A Toyota driver has won the last eight Nationwide Series events here, dating back to February of 2008. The speedway also serves as home track to Toyota Racing Development, whose headquarters are located approximately 50 miles southwest of the Fontana area in Costa Mesa, Calif.
• Get to the Points ...As we head into the fifth race of the 2013 NASCAR Nationwide Series season, Bowman currently occupies the eighth position in the drivers' point standings, only 17 points out of the top five and 47 points behind leader Sam Hornish, Jr. Owner Robby Benton climbed two positions, moving into the 10th position in the Nationwide Series owners' point standings.
• Rookie Battle... Following his 14th place finish at Bristol Motor Speedway, Bowman gained the lead in the Rookie of the Year point standings, two points ahead of Kyle Larson.
• Catch the Action ... Saturday's Royal Purple 300 at Auto Club Speedway will be televised live Saturday, March 23 beginning at 5 p.m. EST on ESPN and broadcast live on the Motor Racing Network.
• Get Social ... Don't miss any updates from Bowman and RAB Racing. Follow them on Twitter @AlexBRacing and @RAB_Racing.

Alex Bowman Quotes:
"I'm excited to go to Auto Club Speedway because tire management is important here and I run well at tire-management tracks. I think our two-mile program has been really good in the past so although I've never competed here before, I think we'll have a strong run."

Chris Rice Quotes:
"Auto Club Speedway is our first two-mile track this season and downforce will play a big factor here. I like that California has gotten little bumpier, so handling and the shock package will come into play here. It will be a lot about the draft and about how you can place yourself at the end of the race. But I think Alex will do well here because it's something he catches a hold of quickly."

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