Saturday, May 14, 2022

1971 – Bowsher’s Own Tri-County Speedway

The Bowsher family get together in victory lane after Jack’s USAC stock car victory. From left to right, Jimmy, Tom, and Jack. USAC stock car supervisor Bob Stroud presents the trophy. 

West Chester, Ohio (May 14, 1971) – There really wasn’t any reason to believe that Springfield, Ohio’s Jack Bowsher couldn’t win the United States Auto Club’s 100-lap stock car main event at Tri-County Speedway on Friday night.

After all, the Bowsher clan has pretty much dominated stock car events here this season.

Earlier in the year, Jim Bowsher, the 18-year-old son of Jack, won a 25-lap main event at regular weekly program at TCS. The very next day, Tom Bowsher, Jack’s brother, won the 100-lap Automobile Racing Club of America stock car race.

After starting eighth in the 19-car main event, Jack moved his way through the field quickly, took the lead and never looked in his rear-view once, breezing to the checkered flag.

After the race, Bowsher admitted that he had learned something about the Tri-County dirt surface from Jim’s success earlier.

“I’d rather not say what kind of tires we used tonight, “Bowsher said. “But when Jimmy ran here, we tried three different sets of tires. We still didn’t have the right one’s on when we won it, but we learned a lot.”

Bowsher’s 1971 Ford Torino crossed the finish line almost a third of a lap ahead of Don White of Keokuk, Iowa, the two-time USAC national champion in a ’69 Dodge. Verlin Eaker of Cedar Rapids, Iowa, driving a ’69 Dodge as well, finished third.

Norm Nelson of Racine, Wis., filling in for Indianapolis 500 driver Roger McCluskey, drove the defending USAC stock car champion’s 1970 Plymouth Roadrunner to fourth place, while Chuck McWilliams, a local favorite out of Walton, Ky., took fifth in a ’69 Plymouth.

Bowsher made the feature look easy and had a better racing test in the fast heat when he and Lem Blankenship of Keokuk, Iowa, dueled side-by-side for 10 laps. Blankenship finally nosed out Bowsher by a half-car length. Blankenship finished sixth in the feature.

Dave Whitcomb of Valparaiso, Ind., was fast qualifier in his 1970 Dodge Charger, turning the Tri-County half-mile in 22.18 seconds.

Butch Hartman of South Zanesville, Ohio, won the fast car dash in his ’69 Charger but was forced out of the feature on lap 82 when he lost a battery.

Results –

1. Jack Bowsher
2. Don White
3. Verlin Eaker
4. Norm Nelson
5. Chuck Walton
6. Lem Blankenship
7. Dave Whitcomb
8. Bay Darnell
9. Len Blanchard
10.John Reimer
11.Keith Ploughe
12.Roger Regeth
13.Butch Hartman
14.Mark Dinsmore
15.Dennis Groves
16.Paul Sizemore
17.Sal Tovella
18.Paul Feldner 
19.Steve Arndt

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