Doing the double is traditionally a reference reserved for a driver whom competes in both the Indianapolis 500 and Coca-Cola 600 in one day on Memorial Day weekend.
For short track standout Anderson Bowen, the term will also apply on Saturday afternoon in Alabama as he completes in two races across 250 miles in just less than nine hours.
The 16-year-old will wake up in Mobile on Saturday morning and compete in the ARCA Mobile 200 at Mobile International Speedway in Irvington, Ala. Following that race, which is set to begin at 2 p.m. CT and end around 4, Bowen will quickly traverse 250 miles and three hours northeast to compete in the Southern Super Series Rattler 250 at South Alabama Speedway in Kinston, Ala.
The latter was pushed back to an 8:30 start (estimated) to allow Bowen and Kyle Benjamin to compete in both races. Benjamin has since backed out citing financial and logistic reasons, leaving Bowen as the sole contender to chase the ‘Bama Binary.’
“Whatever I can get my hands on,” Bowen told Short Track Scene Friday at Mobile International Speedway. “I just hope we can make it time to the race at Opp. But hopefully they delay it for us.”
Bowen was going to do this one way or the other as the Rattler was originally scheduled for last Sunday before rain canceled the event. Bowen competed in the NASCAR K&N Pro Series East Pitt-Lite 125 at Bristol Motor Speedway and had planned to fly down to South Alabama Speedway the next day for the Southern Super Series season-opening event.
Bowen says the task that lies before him on Saturday is both challenging and rewarding.
“It’s pretty tough,” Bowen admitted. “It’s two different tracks and two different cars with the ARCA and Super Late Model cars. It is matter of a changing your mindset so you can provide appropriate data to the teams when making the adjustment from the heavier car to the faster car.
“I’ve got a lot to adapt to, I admit.”
Beyond competing in both races, Bowen believes he’s got a shot to win both races too. For the ARCA race, he’s powered by Cunningham Motorsports, in the No. 77, a satellite/development operation to Team Penske. For his Late Model team, his crew chief is Ricky Turner, long-time championship-level wrench for Chase Elliott.
Bowen is undoubtedly a double-contender on Saturday, having a chance to win both races and knows it.
“Both cars are good,” Bowen said. “I practiced both cars last week and we were top-10 in the ARCA car. Korey Ruble qualified our Super Late fourth but we’re going to have to start in the rear but it has real good speed. The ARCA car feels a lot faster today than when we tested (in the cold) and we can win with this car too.”