BOWMAN RETURNS TO DEFEND WSOPM TITLE WITH REBUILT CHEVELLE
There was no way Mike Bowman was going to miss it.
With a broken race car, a crunched Chevelle body, and the odds stacked against him, the defending World Series of Pro Modified champion refused to accept he wouldn't have a chance to defend his unlikely title next weekend at Bandimere Speedway during the second annual running of the event.
Bowman crashed earlier this season during the NHRA Four-Wide Nationals at zMax Dragway. Even seven months after the fact, Bowman was still beaming from the $100,000-to-win triumph.
"I couldn't miss this race," Bowman said. "These guys worked really hard and I really needed to be at that race. It’s super important to me one, to go up there to be there because that is a big deal. The biggest race I ever won. I just keep thinking, 'hey how amazing would that be, I know it’s a long shot, but how amazing would it be if I could go do that again?”
"I think that would just be like the most incredible thing ever. I don’t think I could ever top that. But I’m going to try."
Bowman has won a big event before, the Street Car Super Nationals in Las Vegas, the premier event for the Pacific Street Car Association, when in 2016 scored an upset victory over Mike Maggio. He repeated as last year's champion.
And he did so in the same fashion which propelled him to victory at the inaugural WSOPM event - he killed them with consistency.
"At the streetcar race, I went between a 5.74 and 5.78 six times in a row," Bowman said. "That’s dead consistent racing and if you can do that, you can win. You’ve got to be just fast enough to beat the other guy or be right with him and then they’ll try to step it up and run you over."
Not that Bowman needed validation for his approach, but received it from an iconic champion over the past week while at Jerry Bickel Race Cars. Rickie Smith spent some one on one time with Bowman and confirmed one doesn't need to be the quickest and fastest in order to win.
"Rickie said, 'These guys go out and they want to swing for the fence because they just want to kick my ass and I’m just consistent.”
Bowman was at Bickel's shop getting his Chevelle repaired after pancaking it in the Charlotte crash. As it turned out, the incident rendered the carbon fiber body useless and there was structural damage as well. The ironic part of the deal was that Bowman was scheduled to bring the car into Bickel for four-link updates and other chassis enhancements. Bickel just happened to have a Chevelle body in stock
Bowman advises the changes he made to his refurbished Chevelle should prove to make him quicker and faster. And for Bowman, he knows he will need the bump in performance because there's a bullseye on his back.
Recent comments made by fellow turbo racer Shane Molinari provided all the confirmation he needed.
"All that mattered to him was beating me at Denver," Bowman said. "So okay, that’s cool. If I was him I’d want to beat me too. "