Tuesday, July 11, 2023

1971 - Teammates Bowsher, Foyt 1-2 in Miller 200

Jack Bowsher accepts his trophy from a Miller Brewing representative. 

West Allis, Wis. (July 11, 1971) - “We came here to race, we didn’t do a thing to the cars to qualify,” Jack Bowsher said Sunday after he won the rich Miller 200 stock car race with teammate A. J. Foyt a close second.

While the Norm Nelson factory Plymouth team was rewriting the record book in Saturday’s qualifying, nailing down the two front row spots, Bowsher and Foyt qualified third and fifth.

Bowsher joined Nelson and teammate Roger McClusky and third qualifier Verlin Eaker, in a 1969 Dodge, in breaking the track qualifying record.

But it didn’t count Sunday as Foyt grabbed the lead from pole sitter Roger McCluskey in the early going, with Bowsher taking it later. The lead changed hands 13 times during the 200- mile race, which was pockmarked with caution flags but no serious accidents.

McCluskey finished third, followed by Butch Hartman, in a 1969 Dodge and Dave Whitcomb in a 1970 Dodge. The victory was worth $9,048 to Bowsher, with Foyt adding $6,263 to the team ’s take for second.

“We came here ready to race this race,” Bowsher said of the difference between his team ’s and Nelson’s on the qualifying and race days.

“Consequently, we were running as good as anybody. But now if you want to set a car to qualify, and if you have a week to do it in and you’re up here to test, you can set her up to do a couple of fast laps, but you can’t run 200 that way.”

“So, we could run as fast today as we did when we qualified,” he added. Nelson’s team is based in Racine, Wis., only some 40 miles from the State Fair Park track.

Nelson conceded Bowsher and Foyt were outrunning his cars.

“When it got hot and the tires got sticky, the track got a little oily,” Nelson said. “They were handling beautifully. They could run around us just about any time they wanted.”

Bowsher declined to comment on his and Foyt’s ability to outrun the Nelson cars - although they had things just about the way they wanted them - particularly in the turns.

McCluskey qualified his SuperBird at 107.242 miles per hour, nearly two miles per hour better than the track record. Bowsher, who qualified at 105.714 m.p.h., averaged 95.763 mile per hour for the 200 miles.

Results –

1. Jack Bowsher
2. A.J. Foyt
3. Roger McCluskey
4. Butch Hartman
5. Dave Whitcomb
6. Whitey Gerkin
7. Jim Hurtubise
8. Les Snow
9. Bob Jusola
10.Bill Nelson
11.Bruce Sparrman
12.George Altheide
13.J.J. Smith
14.Bill Moyer
15.John Riemer
16.Roger Regeth
17.Bay Darnell
18.Darwin Sandstrom
19.Dick Trickle
20.Bud Schroyer
21.Larry Berwanger
22.Lou Burmeister
23.Joe Booher
24.Norm Nelson
25.Jeff Haar
26.Ed Hoffman
27.Paul Sizemore
28.George Giesen
29.Tom Jones
30.Sal Tovella

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