The familiar territory of Langley Speedway yielded a positive result for Cameron Bowen, as the Chesapeake, Virginia native overcame an up-and-down evening to bring his #19 Cameron Chemicals / South Norfolk Trucking home in the seventh position.

Bowen’s finish in the Who’s Your Driver 125 has been his best in five CARS LMSC Tour starts in 2019 and he is optimistic that the momentum from his strong performance at Langley will help turn around what has been a difficult season for him and his team.

“We’ve had some tough luck this year,” Bowen said. “This is the first year we’ve run the CARS Tour and there’s been a lot of tough competition, but we’ve also had a lot of mishaps and mechanical failures. It definitely feels good to finally put a whole race together.”

After primarily competing at tracks such as Langley and Southern National Motorsports Park during the first few years of his career, Bowen elected to join the CARS LMSC Tour in 2019 after taking notice of the incentives offered to full-time competitors as well as the strong car counts in every event.

Although Bowen was unable to earn a position inside the series’ main incentive program in the Touring 12, he wanted to obtain as much experience as possible competing against drivers such as Josh Berry, Bobby McCarty and Layne Riggs on a weekly basis so that he could emerge as a consistent threat for victories.

Bowen’s first race in the Solid Rock Carriers 300 at Southern National saw him finish two laps down in the 17th position, but his Late Model program would take a hit in the following event at Hickory Motor Speedway when he was involved in an accident during practice.

Bowen and his team did everything they could to get his Late Model ready for the 150-lap feature, but he was ultimately forced to start and park after only two laps, which relegated him to a finish of 29th.

The bad luck for Bowen carried over into the inaugural Old North State Nationals at Orange County Speedway, as he was one of five cars that did not qualify for the prestigious Late Model event. Mechanical issues would knock Bowen out of the next two CARS LMSC Tour races at Ace Speedway and Motor Mile Speedway, which kept him outside of the Top 20 in the standings.

Despite struggling through the first half of the season, Bowen was ready to tackle the inaugural Who’s Your Driver 125 on June 8, as he believed that his prior experience on the track’s flat surface would give him an advantage over a majority of the field.

“We were positive going in, especially since we knew the track,” Bowen said. “Langley is my home track, so it was definitely refreshing to go to a place where I’ve logged some laps and had some notes on. We also expected a lot of those guys that were used to running the high-banked ovals in North Carolina to have trouble, and I think that showed a little bit during the race.”

Bowen struggled to find speed in his Late Model in qualifying, as he posted the 16th quickest time out of 25 cars, but he stated that his team’s objective for every event at Langley is to get the car properly set up for the long run, and they did not deviate from that strategy for the Who’s Your Driver 125.

Cameron Bowen at speed during qualifying for the inaugural CARS Tour race at Langley Speedway on June 8, 2019. (Andy Newsome photo)

Bowen spent most of the race occupying a position outside of the Top 10 after struggling to find the long-run speed in his Late Model and being forced to overcome from minor damage sustained in a multi-car accident on the 34th lap of the race.

Bowen would be involved in another accident on Lap 105 when he lost control of his car coming off Turn 2, but he was able to avoid any more damage and brought his car to the pits for adjustments.

During the final 20 laps, Bowen finally got the car to his liking, as he managed to carve through several faster cars and finished in the seventh position after narrowly avoiding the spinning car of Riggs on the last lap and being nipped at the line by Justin Carroll for sixth.

Bowen believed that he could have contended for the win if he had a few more laps at his disposal, but he plans to use the seventh-place finish as motivation for the next CARS LMSC Tour race at Dominion Raceway.

Bowen does not have much experience at Dominion, but he is confident that he can secure his second consecutive Top 10 finish if he can find more speed in his Late Model and avoid the trouble that hindered him prior to Langley.

“I haven’t run [at Dominion] much, but I do know that you have to get the car real tight to run well there,” Bowen said. “A lot of guys are going to be strong there, so it’s going to be a tough race for sure.”

Bowen and the rest of the CARS LMSC Tour drivers will make the trip up to Fredericksburg, Virginia for the series’ return to Dominion Raceway for the first time since 2017 on Saturday evening. The CARS LMSC Tour will be the first of four features to take place, with the green flag expected to drop at approximately 7:30 p.m.

Cover photo by Andy Newsome.