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Bowen Beat Some of the Best to Secure Factory Stock Championship

Posted By: Mary Lendzion
WRITTEN BY MARY LENDZION
PHOTOS BY NMRA STAFF
 
Mike Bowen is not one to blow his own horn.
 
He quietly puts in the work to quickly put down the power in his Maverick motivated by a 5.0L Coyote by L&M Race Engines, G101A by G-Force Racing Transmissions and a Spec clutch, and his effort and expertise have helped him win, one wicked wheelie at a time, in NMRA Richmond Gear Factory Stock.
 
“I try to focus on each event, or winning battles, and not necessarily the season championship,” said Bowen.
 
The Pennsylvanian was on a mission in 2022, and he made that known at the first race of the season, the NMRA Spring Break Shootout in March at Bradenton Motorsports Park in Florida. He set the pace in qualifying with a 10.10, won the first round of eliminations with a 10.22, and later went to the NMRA Winner’s Circle with after defeating Chris Niebauer with a 10.11.
 
Full steam ahead, Bowen led qualifying again, this time with a 10.06, at the Scoggin Dickey Parts Center NMRA/NMCA All-Star Nationals presented by MAHLE Motorsport in April at Rockingham Dragway in North Carolina. He won the first round of eliminations with a 10.14 before posting a 10.09 on a solo pass and then picking up his second win of the season, this time with a 10.12, against Chris Niebauer.


 
Showing no signs of slowing down, he led qualifying with a 10.20 at the NMRA/NMCA Super Bowl of Street Legal Drag Racing presented by Fuelab in May at World Wide Technology Raceway in Illinois, and proceeded to put up a 10.13 on a solo pass in the first round of eliminations. It took a 10.26 to win the second round of eliminations, and ultimately, a quicker 10.17 to win the final round of eliminations against Chris Niebauer
 
Coming up to the midway mark of the season, Bowen led qualifying with a 10.14 at the NMRA Ford Performance Nationals in June at Summit Motorsports Park in Ohio, and landed a 10.13 on a solo pass in the first round of eliminations, followed by a 10.11 and 10.24 to win the second and third rounds of eliminations. He was prepared for a powerful pass against Chris Niebauer in the final round of eliminations, but ran into trouble and was forced to lift to a runner-up finish.
 
Bowen qualified in the second spot with a 10.24 at the Arrington Performance NMRA/NMCA Power Festival presented by TorqStorm Superchargers in July at U.S. 131 Motorsports Park in Michigan, and won the first round of eliminations with a 10.28. With repeated rainfall at that event, he and other racers had to finish eliminations during qualifying at the final race of the season, the Whipple Superchargers NMRA Ford World Finals presented by Competition Clutch featuring the Holley Intergalactic Ford Festival in late September, early October at Beech Bend Raceway in Kentucky, and he exited the make-up race early. For the actual Kentucky race, he qualified in the second spot with a 10.14, won the first and second rounds of eliminations with a 10.10 and 10.16, and put a 10.11 on the board on a solo pass. From there, Bowen finished as the runner-up against Mark Anderson with a 10.12, but even more impressively, he was crowned the 2022 Richmond Gear Factory Stock champion.


 
“Over the past few years, we have learned to minimize the number of mistakes,” said Bowen, who holds current NMRA Richmond Gear Factory Stock category records with the 10.063 and 133.38 mph he achieved at the Scoggin Dickey Parts Center NMRA/NMCA All-Star Nationals presented by MAHLE Motorsport in April at Rockingham Dragway. “We have found that we have often beat ourselves and are continually adding to the list of ‘more ways to lose than win.’ We stood back a bit, and focused on small changes, some multiple, instead of the big swings. The championship is exciting for everyone who helped, and it would be nearly impossible for me to show my gratitude to all involved. I would like to thank my wife, Angela Bowen, Brett Foutz, Chris Niebauer, Michael Rauscher of L&M Engines, James Meredith, Chris Hammon and Shawn Olsen.”
 
The NMRA will celebrate Bowen and his fellow champions at the Holley NMRA Ford Nationals Awards Ceremony, held during the Performance Racing Industry Trade Show, Dec. 9, 2022, at the Indiana Convention Center.
 
Please watch for upcoming stories about each of our champions on NMRADigital.com and RacePagesDigital.com as well as in Fastest Street Car magazine.



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