Eric Bowling Motorsports Starts 2012 with a Win at NHRA's Edgewater Sports Park

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It's about the Benjamins and winning for Eric Bowling and his green rolling ATM.
It's about the Benjamins and winning for Eric Bowling and his green rolling ATM.
How is it even possible that Bloomington, Indiana bracket racer, Eric Bowling could ever be in the position of being the Rodney Dangerfield of drag racing? It is way past time to show this accomplished racer a little love and a lot of respect. Bowling and his team started out their 2012 season in Cleves, Ohio at NHRA's Edgewater Sports Park, where he debut his new ride, and Bowling drove his Blazer straight to the winners circle. Now had this been his first victory, perhaps we'd understand, however Bowling has quite literally been bowling down the competition for years.

In 2010 Bowling won 21 of 24 final round appearances and put over 600 passes on his 1969 Camaro. He followed that up in 2011 by winning 20 of 23 final round appearances in even fewer rounds than 2010. Yet, it took an article by Drag Race Central titled "Eric Who?" to make people sit up and take notice.

Bowling's late father started taking him to the track when he was still a kid, which led to him starting his own race career in 1998. Today Bowling still competes in the very same 1969 Camaro that his dad used to race. Bowling won his first points championship in 1999 and has since collected a total of 13 championships at three different race tracks in Indiana, including two IHRA Summit Super Series Points Championships, and most impressively three straight titles at Lyon's Raceway Park, the 2010 and 2011 Division 3 "NHRA "Track of the Year."

What's the back-story with your new ride and what how did you decide on the going with the Blazer?
Bowling fired-up his 2012 season by winning in Cleves, Ohio at NHRA's Edgewater Sports Park.
Bowling fired-up his 2012 season by winning in Cleves, Ohio at NHRA's Edgewater Sports Park.

"I've always wanted a big tired car. This past fall my father-in-law Don called me and said 'I got your new race car.' I asked what it was and he said 'You'll just have to come see for yourself.' When I got there I saw this bright green Blazer sitting on his trailer. I asked him where in the world he found that thing and he said he followed a guy who had it on a trailer into a salvage yard and asked him if he was going to junk it. The guy said yup, and my father-in-law asked him what he'd take for it and the guy said $200. Don paid the man and the rest is history. I can't take much credit as I was always racing while Don was doing the building. I made its first debut last fall and won the first race we entered with it."

You got into drag racing through your dad, but did you have an interest in other types of racing too?

"Before drag racing I was into motocross. After many broken bones I decided to try drag racing. My dad was always into cars and racing and my first car that I drove to high school was my 1969 Camaro Z/28. My dad took me a few times when it still had the DZ302 and Muncie 4-speed in it. My father passed away in 1995, and since the car had been titled in my name since I was two months old, I figured the car is safer on the track than on the streets, so we made it into a racecar. After winning the first race I ever entered I was hooked. I have raced it every year since 1998 and have won 13 points titles and have over 200 event wins in it. That Camaro is like home to me, but she's tired and needs some major changes made. I've put over 5,000 passes on her and I need to give her some much needed much deserved TLC. This gave us yet another reason for building the Blazer."
Bowling estimates he's put over 5,000 passes on the trusty 1969 Camaro Z/28 that his dad gave him.
Bowling estimates he's put over 5,000 passes on the trusty 1969 Camaro Z/28 that his dad gave him.

I like the Benjamins banner running around the bottom of the car, what was your thinking with that?

"The $100 bills on the Blazer started out being a way to cover a paint blemish. I didn't want just plain vinyl, and I had seen a helmet with $100 bills on it, so we got this idea and figured needed to put the money on the truck. Plus I was also thinking about how it could help me on the race track. For example at the race in Edgewater a couple weeks ago, some buddy's and me were standing back talking and someone in the background says, 'What kind of cocky SOB shows up at a track with $100 bills on their car?' I just laughed and thought to myself, I'm already in this guy's head and we haven't even pulled into staging yet. Trust me, it gets looks from just about everyone, whether that's good or bad I'll let you be the judge of that. We joke and call it 'The ATM Machine.'"

What race goals have you set for the 2012 season?

"This offseason was my best as far as getting support from new marketing partners. I was able to get Mickey Thompson Tires, Ohio Crankshaft, Cometic Gasket, Spy Optics, QA1, and then to be able to add K&N to this lineup was huge. I plan on running a few more big money events, the first being the Ohio Crankshaft No Box Nationals coming up in June which I won in 2008. I also plan to go over to support Luke Bogacki's deal in July. I have won three straight points titles at Lyons Raceway Park and I plan to race there quite a bit this season to possibly make it four in a row. But I'm not yet completely committed to that, as I will be doing a little more travelling than normal this year. I will also start dabbling in some top bulb stuff now that I have a car that I know will do well in the heat of the summer. The biggest thing going on for me in 2012, though, is my wife and I are expecting a new crew member to the team in late June. We are really excited for him to get here."

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