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John Bolen Takes Home First Late Model Win at Birmingham
Aug 25, 2008 - updated Aug 25th, 2008 1:58pm
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Concord, NC. --

Jasper, Alabama Driver Wins Big at Historic Home Track

(August 25, 2008)

The legendary Birmingham International Raceway (AL) has launched the careers of some the biggest names in racing. The “Alabama Gang” got its start on the flat 5/8th of a mile oval. For Jasper, Alabama’s John Bolen it’s been the hometown track ever since he was a little boy. Bolen has since grown up and made Birmingham a part of his history as he scored his first career Late Model win in the Iron Man 100.

“It was a big sigh of relief when we did win the race,” said Bolen. “We had been close other times this season, but this one we get to take home. We were the dominant car all night, so it felt good to seal the deal.”

It was almost a surprise for Bolen to go to victory lane, as the team’s primary car was damaged extensively and they had to roll out a new car that they were planning on saving for some bigger races later this season.

“We ran our new car which we built for the Snowball,” said Bolen. “We weren’t going to run it, but with some of the problems we have had with our others cars we figured it was time to roll it out. All the GARC (Grand American Race Cars) cars we have are great and we knew it wasn’t going to be an issue.”

Bolen knows his way around the Fairgrounds track pretty well after finishing second there earlier in the season in the Davey Allison 100. But he also knew they were going to need a little extra to pull off the victory. In practice, Bolen and his pit crew worked on the car to get it to maneuver on the high side and the low side.

“It’s hard to run on the bottom at Birmingham, we actually made all of our passes down low,” said Bolen. “It was a lot of fun to come up through there. We practice a little bit on the bottom in case we had to use it during the race. When we rolled into victory lane there wasn’t a scratch on the car.”

The night wasn’t all fun and games as he had to start deep in the field after winning the pole. A few years back Bolen watched Charlie Bradberry take the bonus for starting on the rear and winning the race. Bolen kept Bradberry’s performance in mind when he started blowing by the other cars on the way to the front.

“I have seen it done before,” added Bolen. “I know it takes a real good car. I remember one time that the track gave Charlie Bradberry extra money if he could start from the rear and win the race. I watched him come from the back to win it. You know I kind of felt like him coming from eight, it was definitely in the back of my mind. I have a lot of people who are around us and helping us that were racing with Charlie, so it’s something you think about.”

For Bolen and his team, this will be a big boost as they prepare for there next race with the ASA Southeast Series. Bolen is currently second in the overall points as the tour heads to Lanier National Speedway (GA) for 100-lap feature on September 13th.

“We knew it was an opportunity where we could come home and run well,” said Bolen. “It’s nice to have a track like Birmingham that has so much history. We have wanted to put our name on the list of guys who have won there. We knew we could go there and race for the win and not have to worry about points or anything. We are defiantly ready for Lanier.”

For more information on John Bolen, contact Elgin Traylor at (704) 788-2134 ext: 4. Be sure to stay tuned for the new John Bolen web site.


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