Tuesday, February 27, 2024

DragChamp Racer Spotlight with Nick Bowman

Nick Bowman is in the DragChamp spotlight. Learn more about Nick in this Q&A with DragChamp.

Pennsylvania-bracket racer Nick Bowman has been racing for 14 years. After his dad introduced him to the sport, Nick joined his father, sister, and two uncles into drag racing.

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In a relatively short time, Nick has become one of the stars of the sport capturing wins on a consistent basis. Along with numerous big money victories, he has accumulated two track championships as well.

Learn more about Nick Bowman in this Racer Spotlight Q&A with DragChamp.

Which class or classes do you compete in?  Where do you normally race?

All the bracket classes that I can! I race No Box and Box with No Box/Footbrake being my main class.

My local track is a beautiful place called Keystone Raceway Park in New Alexandria, PA about 40 miles east of the City of Pittsburgh.

Tell us about your current race car.

1970 Plymouth “Valiant” Duster aka Mean Green Nadine. It was an original Slant 6 Powered grocery-getter. It’s seen many combinations but currently is a powered by Bowman Performance 408 cubic inch Mopar stroker built by my father, Tim Bowman.

It’s a simple hydraulic roller cam setup, Wiseco internals, Mopar Magnum R/T steel heads topped with an APD 750cfm alcohol carb. Flowing through a 3 inch Fat Head Performance exhaust with mufflers built by my best friend Mark Brewer.

nick bowman drag racing

The car is a TANK weighing in at 3310lbs with my very light 125lb body in it. Geared up with a 1st built Garry Fleenor Racing Transmissions powerglide with a 1.98 low gear set. Backed by a top notch Moser Engineering Dana rear end with 4.30 pro gears.

Calvert Racing Suspension Cal-Trac rear suspension. Stock front end minus tubular control arms and Viking Performance Double adjustable front shocks. Sitting on top of a set of Mickey Thompson Drag tires front and rear.

Caged and built precisely by my father, which is the reason for the cars undeniable consistency. The car was mint when I bought it but sadly in 2015 a freak accident happened as my opponent rear ended me at high speed in the shut down area at Summit Motorsports park.

Nick Bowman

The car was mangled and took almost two years to rebuild and a year’s worth of salary. The amazing work was done by Wellington Collision Center in Wellington, Ohio.

Blaine Hurst and Andy Bailey were the two geniuses who found a way to turn scrap into gold. The car has turned heads since.

Please list your major racing accomplishments.

  • 2X Pittsburgh Raceway Park Modified/No Box Class Champion
  • Multiple race wins including $2K/$5K/$6K/$10K Wins
  • A $20,000 Runner up at the World Footbrake Challenge will always stand out.
  • 2015 Loose Rocker Driver of the Year award
  • 2015 Loose Rocker Colonial Classic Fri $5K Win/Sat $10 Win/ Sun. $5K R-up In DORIS!
  • But the most meaningful win of all, 2018 Summit Motorsports Park No Box Bonanza  $10,000 Winner
nick bowman duster

What’s on your bucket list, future goals, what do you hope to achieve?

I would love to achieve the next level of pay and win a $20K + to win race. One of my other long time goals is to be titled a world champion for a year.

Lastly atop my list is to win both the Friday night Super Roller No Box Race at the Summit Motorsports Park Halloween Classic  and the Main event + Grand Championship of the event!

My goals are to be a more versatile in the sport. Being able to hit the top or bottom bulb any time, becoming better running both lanes left and right and gaining a better focus on the tree for night time racing.

What is your favorite race car, and why?

I don’t really have one, but if I had to choose it would be my Dad’s 1964 Plymouth Fury

Tell us what you do for a living?

I work for Bayer Healthcare.  I receive, disinfect, and prep Bayer Medical Injectors coming in from field engineers for our in house repair shop.

How do you support your racing, side hustle, sponsor, partner, etc.?

My full time job is my main source of income. I rely on occasional race winnings to continue to compete weekly.

Who do you hate to see in the other lane, and why?

I would be lying if I didn’t hate running a known tough racer early in the race but it doesn’t matter. I am there to win and that means beating anyone who is there in my way. I find that you are usually better off having a tough competitor because it forces you to go for it all.

nick bowman winner circle

What’s the hardest part of drag racing?

The hardest part is the work that it takes to do this successfully. The cost, the stress, the time and dedication that it takes can be overwhelming.  Working  a job during the day and coming home to work all night. Life outside of racing can barely exist. I am just a weekend warrior but treat it like a world tour.

What’s your most embarrassing moment in a race car?

I forgot to set the delay box for crossover in a $5,000 final round.

What are you saying to yourself just before you stage the car?

Common baby, let’s do this.  Stick to the plan.

What do you enjoy the most at the racetrack?

Freedom! It feels like my real home at the racetrack.

Are you superstitious?  If so, what are they?

No, bring the #13, black cats and the 6.66 on over.

nick bowman keystone raceway

Do you love to win or hate to lose?

I hate to lose to myself or an issue but who doesn’t love to WIN!

Which are you better at the starting line or the finish line?

Sometimes I wonder anymore…but at least in my past, I would say I have a grasp on both ends of the race track with room for improvement always. This does not mean I won’t completely suck at either end. It happens, you can’t be good all the time.

What motivates you to continue racing?

The competition, the success, and the freedom it gives me for the time that I am away doing it.

If money were no object, what would your racing operation look like?  Car, trailer, class, race schedule, etc.

I think this is a question that anyone doing what I’m doing would answer the same. A TOTER AND STACKER, multiple race cars. Travel and race as much as possible to the biggest events available.

Nick Bowman tow rig

How often do you use a practice tree?

Occasionally I will get it out for a few minutes at the end of a night prior to a race weekend. I have probably pulled it out three times this season since I started back in March or April.

I prefer Bethesda Softworks IHRA Drag Racing PC game from 2000 to sharpen my skills, plus its more fun. One day I’ll get it rolling again, its been down a couple years now since windows 10 invaded all our PC’s.

I’m looking to build an old school PC and get IHRA up on my big screen TV. Maybe one day a bracket racing simulator will be developed again.

What is your daily driver?

1997 Jeep Cherokee Sport 2-Door 4×4 I love this thing!

Favorite movie or TV show?

Top Gun, Days of Thunder, and Breaking Bad

Favorite music, artist?


Where do you spend the most time on the internet?

GOOGLE and You Tube

Nick Bowman winners circle

What is your favorite sport?  Favorite team?

Hockey : Pittsburgh Penguins

Besides racing, what do you do in your free time?

Spending time with my beautiful girlfriend. Riding dirt bikes and working on them is something I have always loved to do. I take about two trips a year or so for some slot car bracket racing. Cooking and food festivals.  Outdoors. That’s ME

What are you really good at?

EATING FOOD and avoiding pot holes.

Name one thing most people don’t know about you?

I can’t leave the house without chapstick in my pocket.

Would you rather hang out with a crowd or have a quiet evening at home?

These days probably a quiet evening at home.

What’s your favorite thing to eat? 

Steak, Chicken Wings, Crab Legs and Corn on the Cob!  No space for dessert!

Nick Bowman drag champ

Who would you like to thank, who helps you the most?

My dad 100%! He does everything that I can’t. He is amazing.

My mom for always supporting us.

My girlfriend Niki for loving racing as much as I do and making it easy to do what I love. 

My friends have really been a help over the years, Mark Brewer has always been there for us. All of the gang down at Big Brewer Lane and more!

My dad’s got some great helpers at times to fill in, Mark S. and the Politowski’s, my Uncle Keith and Uncle Bruce.

Bill Bader at Summit Motorsports Park for the nicest and most professionally run race track in the world and his efforts to help me get what I needed to get my car back together.   

A very special thanks goes out to my man Vic Ellinger at Wiseco Performance. Vic gave me the car he grew up racing for a year and a half while my car was being repaired from the wreck. Not only was that incredible of him to do but it turned the distress in my life right back around.

Thank you all!

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