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Jack Edward Bowsher
October 2, 1930  -  April 8, 2006

SPRINGFIELD OH - Jack Bowsher, whose 58-year racing career included 10 national championships as a driver and team owner, died in Springfield, Ohio Saturday, April 8. He was 75.

 

Born in Harmony, Ohio on October 2, 1930, Bowsher was introduced to racing early on where he would gain an addiction to motorsports he would never shake.

 

Throughout a racing career that reached into seven decades, Bowsher’s tenure mixed in some of the most famous names in racing, including AJ Foyt, David Pearson, Parnelli Jones and Mario Andretti, all of whom raced for Bowsher with notable success. In addition, four sons would race under his regime through a mix of ARCA and USAC stock car competition.

 

Bowsher earned 75 career national championship-driving victories in ARCA and USAC stock car competition, three ARCA national driving titles, six ARCA national car owner titles and one USAC national car owner title.

 

Bowsher, who always donned the #21, also drove for the Ford Motor Company beginning in 1966 through theJack Bowsher at Daytona renowned Holman-Moody team where he would gain national prominence with the likes of Foyt, Andretti, Al and Bobby Unser.

 

Bowsher, the driver, earned three consecutive ARCA national driving titles in 1963, 1964 and 1965 when he amassed a record 54 series victories in three seasons, still third on the all-time win list. In 1964, Bowsher won 16 races in 35 attempts including a qualifying race at Daytona Int’l Speedway; and in 1965, Bowsher’s 25 wins culminated with his third consecutive ARCA national championship. Bowsher also won the Daytona ARCA 250 in 1966. Bowsher also won 21 USAC stock races during his driving career and finished second in national championship driver points in 1971.

 

Jack Loving the DirtBowsher, the owner, won six ARCA national car owner titles, three with himself at the helm, and the others with his son Bobby driving. In addition, Foyt drove for Bowsher in four USAC stock car seasons clinching the national championship in 1968. Bowsher and Foyt were also the first to test stock cars at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway in the late 60s conducting tire tests there for Goodyear. In addition, Bowsher’s Ford won the stock car class at the 24 Hours of Daytona in 1976 with his sons Gary and Jim sharing the driving duties with NASCAR legend David Pearson and son Larry Pearson. Jim and Gary also drove for Jack in USAC stock car competition, with Gary winning at Texas World Speedway in 1978.

 

Bowsher, the innovator, built the first down-tube open-wheel modified racecar, which became prevalent in open-wheel divisions throughout America today.

 

In 1988, Bowsher returned to his ARCA roots with son Bobby as driver. The Bowsher duo produced 17 ARCA national victories en route to national titles in 1992 and 1994.


In 1989, a month shy of his 59th birthday, Bowsher, who had not driven in a decade, reluctantly stepped out of retirement subbing for defending ARCA champion Tracy Leslie on the Springfield mile-dirt where he won the pole and finished 10th in the race on the lead lap. Leslie and ARCA veteran Bob Strait both won ARCA races in Jack Bowsher prepared Fords. 

 

Bowsher’s son Todd had been his primary and most recent driver since 2001 procuring their best points finish of sixth that same year. The newest father/son duo also finished seventh in points in 2005, ninth in points in 2004 and 10th in points in 2003. Todd most recently finished 20th in the 2006 Daytona ARCA 200 in their 130th career start together.

 

He is survived by wife Julie Bowsher, and sons Jack Bowsher, Jr., Gary Bowsher, Jim Bowsher, Bobby Bowsher, Todd Bowsher and daughter Jodie Bowsher.

 

JACK BOWSHER FUNERAL ARRANGEMENTS 

As per Jack's wishes, there will be no funeral home viewing. Graveside Services open to the public will be Tuesday April 11 at 1:00pm at Fletcher Chapel Cemetery, 5920 Fletcher Pike, Harmony Township, Springfield, Ohio 45505

There will be a memorial gathering open for family and friends immediately following the graveside service from 3:00pm to 7:00pm at: VFW Post 8673, 2825 East Leffel Lane, Springfield, Ohio 45505

In lieu of flowers please make a donation in Jack's name to:
Focus Motorsports Ministries
Bill Krick, Chaplain
2497 Governors Pointe
Concord, NC 28025-2425

Thanks to Don Radebaugh for supplying this valuable information

 

The Following Information Is From The
Jack Bowsher & Associates Motorsports Website

Jack Edward Bowsher was born on October 2, 1930 in Harmony, Ohio; graduated from Plattsburg High school in 1948 and served a year in the Navy in 1949.  This was also the year that Jack saw his first automobile race.  He was never the same after that! Jack is not only the owner of Bowsher Racing Team, but also the heart and soul. 

57 Years in Motorsports Industry

  • Jack began competing as a driver/owner in 1949.

  • Jack began his career in the ARCA RE/MAX Series in 1953, the year ARCA incorporated and sanctioned its first race.

  • Jack won the ARCA Spirit Award in 2004.

Racing & Winning

  • MARC champion in 1963

  • First ever ARCA champion in 1964

  • 3 Driver/Owner ARCA RE/MAX Series Championships in 1963, 1964 & 1965.

  • 1 Driver/Owner USAC (United States Automobile Club) Stock Car Series Championship in 1968.

  • 3 additional Owner ARCA RE/MAX Series Championships in 1992, 1994 & 1995.

  • The only car owner to finish in the Top 5 in ARCA RE/MAX Series Car Owner Points every year in the 1990's.

  • 80 victories as a car owner (#1 in ARCA competition) and 48 as a driver (#2 in ARCA competition).

Other Racing Notables

  • Jack competed in the USAC Stock Car Series as a driver/owner in the 60's and 70's fielding as many as 3 teams at a time with such notable drivers as A.J. Foyt, Benny Parsons, Mario Andretti, and Bobby & Al Unser.

  • Jack's car sat on the pole and won the NASCAR Winston Cup Series race at the road course in Riverside, California in 1970 with A.J. Foyt behind the wheel.

  • Jack finished 1st in the 24 Hours of Daytona as a car owner in 1976 with drivers David and Larry Pearson, and sons Jim & Gary.

  • One of Ford Motor Company's factory supported teams through out he 60's, 70's, 80's and 90's.

Jack Bowsher Grand National Driver Statistics

Year Age Races Win T5 T10 Pole Laps Led Earnings AvSt AvFn
1966 35 2 of 49 0 0 0 0 775 0 1,710 22.0 13.0
1967 36 2 of 49 0 0 0 0 207 11 1,705 11.0 34.0
2 years 4 0 0 0 0 982 11 3,415 16.5 23.5

Jack Bowsher Grand National Owner Statistics

Year Driver Races Win T5 T10 Pole Laps Led Earnings AvSt AvFn
1966 Jack Bowsher 2 0 0 0 0 775 0 1,710 22.0 13.0
1967 Jack Bowsher 2 0 0 0 0 207 11 1,705 11.0 34.0
1969 A.J. Foyt 4 0 3 3 1 522 63 17,375 9.5 12.5
1970 A.J. Foyt 3 1 1 1 0 298 35 21,210 11.3 15.7
4 years 11 1 4 4 1 1802 109 42,000 12.5 17.4

The Early Days

From Jack Bowsher & Associates Motorsports Website

Jack, in the early days with his grease
Always His Own Mechanic


The First Car


Jack on Daytona Beach


Jack and the owner of ARCA


Jack's love -- Side by side on the dirt


Jack Bowsher '72 at Davenport   -    Photo by Dennis Piefer


Jack Bowsher at TriCounty_   -   Photo by Jim Poe

 


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