Story By MATTHEW WIERNASZ / ISMA – WINCHESTER, NH – ISMA driver Dan Bowes, out of Byfield, MA, plans on heading to the CARQUEST Genden Auto Parts 75 presented by T-Bird Mini Marts at the Monadnock Speedway on Saturday, May 19. It will be the first time in close to four decades the winged supers have raced at the New Hampshire quarter-mile oval, and it will be a first time for Bowes.
Bowes commented recently, “We love it every time a New England show is added. Being a New England team takes the burden off of us because my father owns a small business and I work for him. We have to travel to go racing and when the whole business shuts down, it kind of adds a little more pressure and stress on us to get to the racetrack, to get the show in, and to turn around and fly home. So to have a show that’s a couple hours away from us helps us enjoy it a little more. You’re not under that pressure to get back to work quite as much. We’re really looking forward to this trip.”
Bowes always enjoys going to new tracks as it will help him as a driver with the setup, different track surfaces, different track layouts and he feels it is fun to go somewhere new.
Bowes believes for the ISMA season opener that there will be a good car count. From what he has heard, a lot of the local drivers are excited because it’s close to home. Dan feels that there is a lot of excitement among fans and drivers about the Monadnock event.
Bowes has been to Monadnock once as a fan about 10 years where he and his father went to check out a modified race. He hasn’t spoken to anyone yet about the track but is planning to reach out to some local people. From what Bowes remembers about the track that it is pretty small with the corners being somewhat like a stretched out straightaway. Bowes has also heard is that the turns are different and could pose a challenge.
Bowes is hoping to get up to Monadnock to test. The rule in ISMA is you cannot practice or test a week before an event at any track unless otherwise indicated.
” If we can get up there at least a couple weeks earlier then the scheduled show, we should be able to run around and do what we want to do and to at least get a leg up on some of these other teams that don’t get that luxury.” Bowes said.
Bowes also feels that the new tire ISMA will be racing appears to have a positive response after several tire tests. The compound that ISMA will have this year is good news for Bowes.
Last year was the first full season with a new car for Bowes. They were starting from square one with the new car, but the car was a much better based platform for the team to work on. They showed a lot more speed last season, had some quick times, and a few podium finishes. They were a couple races in particular in where he had the car in position to be in and that he made a couple poor driving decisions, which he felt ultimately, handed the win away.
Bowes believes Jon McKennedy will be the guy to beat at Monadnock.
“He’s an incredibly smart driver. He does a lot of work with the setup of his own car. He just doesn’t have a crew chief take care of it. He’s very, very involved. I think he already has a pretty good game plan what to go with setup wise. I think he definitely has a leg above a lot of us,” said Dan.
Bowes is planning to reach out to McKennedy for advice on the track. Bowes doesn’t expect the whole book of secrets but knows McKennedy is willing to help anyone out.
Bentley’s Saloon will be sponsoring the fastest time trailer where the winner will get $1,000 for breaking the track record. Warren will also be the Grand Marshal for the event.
“That bonus is an incentive. I know I always personally put emphasis on time trials. Usually with our old handicapping if you came in the top 12 in time trials, you knew you were starting top 4 in the heat. A lot of guys didn’t care exactly where they ended up. They weren’t necessarily concerned with being on the pole time wise. Now with that extra chunk of money, that’s certainly going to add incentive. I know I am there to race and go as fast as I can whenever I am on the track.”
Ed Shea from Shea Concrete will be putting up $1,000 for halfway leader award.
” Ed Shea is one of the most dedicated and biggest supporters in racing. I know I have been to a number of shows where he will put up the money not to send cars home. He loves the sport. He goes out of his own way to support the drivers and teams in any way possible. A huge thanks to him for always being supportive of the series. He just always seems to look out for the little guys,” concluded Bowes.
The Monadnock Speedway NASCAR Whelen All American Series divisions will be apart of the program beginning at 6:00 p.m. Tickets for reserved seating will be $25 in advance and $30 at the gate. Tickets for general admission for adults will be $20 in advance and $25 at the gate. Seniors will be $15 and Kids 12 and under will be $5 at the gate. The rain date will be on Sunday, May 20 at 2:00 p.m.