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Mike Bowen Goes Wheels-Up to Second NMRA Factory Stock Championship

Posted By: Mary Lendzion
Written by Mary Lendzion
Photos by NMRA Staff
By inclination, Mike Bowen is a calm and composed person.
Between racing in NMRA Richmond Gear Factory Stock and running PowerHouse Automotive in Girard, Pennsylvania, he is busy, but he tackles each task one at a time, and to the best of his ability, and the results are personally rewarding.
Bowen, who has been competing in the wheels-up category for several years, earned a championship in 2022, and was a fan-favorite in 2023 in his 1971 Maverick, which marches to the beat of its own drum with a Gen I Coyote engine and G101A by G-Force Transmissions.
At the first race of the year, the Ryno Classifieds NMRA Spring Break Shootout presented by Nitto in March at Orlando Speed World Dragway in Florida, he qualified in the second spot with a 10.16, and won the first round with a 10.18. He then ran to a 10.15 on a solo pass in the second round and later went to the high-energy NMRA Winner’s Circle with a 10.17 against Matt Williams. Also at that event, Bowen set the category’s mph record with a 132.15, and that record stands.
The following month, Bowen headed to the NMRA/NMCA All-Star Nationals presented by MAHLE Motorsport in April at Rockingham Dragway in North Carolina, where he qualified in the second spot with a 10.14, won first round with a 10.15 and exited in the second round of eliminations.

The NMRA/NMCA Super Bowl of Muscle Car Drag Racing in May at World Wide Technology Raceway in Illinois was the next event on the tour, and Bowen set the pace in qualifying with a 10.05. He won the first and second rounds with a 10.17 and 10.21, and went on to runner-up with a 10.31 to Mark Anderson’s 10.07.

From there, Bowen turned his focus to the 3rd Annual Mickey Thompson NMRA Ford Homecoming in June at Summit Motorsports Park in Ohio. At the event with several special elements, he qualified in the third spot with a 10.18, and won the first round with a 10.20. He zipped past the second and third rounds with a 10.16 and 10.08 before finishing as the runner-up after a close race against Matt Williams that saw Bowen clock a 10.17 to Williams’ 10.15.
With just two races remaining on the 2023 schedule, Bowen pulled into the TorqStorm NMRA/NMCA Power Festival presented by Paul’s High Performance in July at U.S. 131 Motorsports Park in Michigan. He qualified in the sixth spot with a 10.25, and stayed in the throttle to a 10.17 after his opponent turned on the red light in the first round. He won the second round with a better reaction time than the racer in the other lane and a 10.18, and he had a solo pass in the third round. After that, he finished as the runner-up after a frustrating -.012 red light against Justin Fogelsonger.

Putting that behind him, Bowen had fun on his mind when he headed to the Whipple Superchargers NMRA World Finals presented by Competition Clutch featuring the Holley Intergalactic Ford Festival in late September, early October at Beech Bend Raceway in Kentucky. His relaxed approach helped him lead qualifying with a 10.02. He then won the first and second rounds with a 10.10 and 10.03, and had to lift to a 10.76 to runner-up against Justin Fogelsonger, who stopped the timers at 10.09.
His unwavering work ethic helped him wrap up the 2023 NMRA Richmond Gear Factory Stock championship, which backed up his 2022 championship.
“My goal at the beginning of the year was to just have a good time doing something I love,” said Bowen. “Being able to runner-up, win and earn my second championship in Factory Stock were bonuses and felt great. There is pride involved in this. I would like to thank my wife, Angela, son Cash, and friends Brett Foutz, Chris Niebauer, Chris Hammond, Shawn Olson, James Meredith, Michael Rauscher and L&M Engines.”
Bowen will be honored among his fellow champions at the Holley NMRA Ford Nationals Awards, held during the Performance Racing Industry Trade Show, Dec. 8, 2023, at the Indiana Convention Center, and in the upcoming Champions Issue of Fastest Street Car.

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