Wednesday, July 4, 2018

1964 – Bowsher’s Luck Changes in ‘Cherry Bomb’ 400

Huntington, W. Va. (July 4, 1964) - Jack Bowsher of Springfield, Ohio, ended a siege of tough luck at West Virginia International Speedway by winning the $8,000 holiday Cherry Bomb 400-lap race in his 1964 Ford.

Bowsher, who won $1,725 of the purse for taking his seventh Automobile Racing Club of America (ARCA) race, finished well ahead of runner-up Bobby Watson of Louisville, Kentucky. Watson, also driving a 1964 Ford, set a new track record of 79.15 miles per hour to nail down the pole position for the July 4 race.

Bowsher roared into the lead on lap 230 after front running Dick Freeman's 1963 Pontiac – the car that Paul Goldsmith drove last year – lost a tire smashed into the wall. Bowsher, running right behind Freeman but for lapse back as a result of an earlier mishap, got around Freeman’s mangled car and had clear sailing the remainder of the way. Freeman, of Dayton, Ohio, wound up fourth, just behind Jack Shanklin of Indianapolis, who was behind the wheel of a 1963 Mercury.

Bowsher, defending ARCA champion, averaged 69.69 miles per hour for the distance – another track record.

Jim Cushman, of Columbus, Ohio, driving Bowsher's second 1964 Ford, held the old mark of 65.60 miles per hour.

Nelson Stacy of Daytona Beach, Florida, who started fifth, barged into first place on the second lap and was rolling along until his 1964 Ford lost oil pressure on the 12th lap. None other of the 32 starters managed to get out front in the race which was slowed by seven caution flags.


Results –

1.    Jack Bowsher, Springfield, Ohio
2.    Bobby Watson, Louisville, Ky.
3.    Jack Shanklin, Indianapolis
4.    Dick Freeman, Dayton, Ohio
5.    Harold Smith, Dayton, Ohio
6.    Virgil Barbe, Detroit, Mich.
7.    Paul Wensink, Deshler, Ohio
8.    Jim Cushman, Columbus, Ohio
9.    Bud Harless, Gilbert, W. Va.
10.  Jerry Norris, Louisville, Ky.
11.  Elmer Davis, Jeffersonville, Ind.
12.  Jim Robinson, New Albany, Ind.
13.  Clyde Parker, Detroit, Mich.
14.  Pop McGinnis, Huntington, W. Va.
15.  Benny Parsons, Detroit, Mich.
16.  Namon Martin, Cleveland, Ohio
17.  Al White, Buffalo, N.Y.
18.  Charley Glotzbach, New Albany, Ind.
19.  Jerry Leblanc, Farmington, Mich.
20.  Dick Mitchell, Detroit, Mich.
21.  Homer Newland, Detroit, Mich.
22.  John Sommerville, Louisville, Ky.
23.  Don Arnold, Mentor, Ohio
24.  Iggy Katona, Willis, Mich.
25.  Tony Lavati, Cleveland, Ohio
26.  Danny Byrd, Detroit, Mich.
27.  Henry Spencer, Hamlin, W. Va.
28.  Grant Wilmot, Middletown, Ohio
29.  Nelson Stacy, Daytona Beach, Fla.
30.  Jim Weity, Fairborn, Ohio
31. Wimpy May, Chagrin Falls, Ohio 

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