In 1998 Eric Bowling embarked upon his first bracket race. One would suspect that adrenaline was running high and there was even a taste of uncertainty in the air. But in spite of a plethora of emotions, Eric Bowling managed to pull off a victory from the seat of his 1969 Camaro.
After a slow start, Eric Bowling has been on a roll in Bracket racing during the final half of 2013
Eric Bowling was drawn to the boisterous roar of cars screaming down the track and the rush that comes with high rates of speed. He had found a sport that would beckon his attention for years to come. In fact, Bowling is still obsessed with the sport, and throughout his tenure as a driver has proven a force to be reckoned with.
"Last season was a dream season," recalled Eric Bowling. I appeared in 39 final rounds, winning 30 of them. I don't imagine a season like that will ever come along again."
Eric Bowling came into the 2013 season with confidence on his side. However, he soon found himself in somewhat of a rut. In reference to a slow start this season, he said, "I think it was a combination of things. To be honest, I think the main reason is that I was trying to duplicate my success from last season. I was feeling pressure to perform like I did last year. A few setup changes that proved not to be ideal also added to the issues. But for the most part, I think it was mental things more than anything else.
Eric Bowling suffered through an engine malfunction during the No Box Nationals, but has since resolved the problems and in turn has recently earned nine wins in bracket racing
"I probably could have started looking at the setup changes that we made a little sooner. I was winning a ton of rounds, just not the ones that counted. I was putting down really good laps, but the drivers on the other side were just putting down better ones. If I was
.005 on the tree, the guy next to me was .004. It became quite frustrating, to be honest."
But experience had taught Bowling that persistence is the key. Upon a recent race at the "No Box Nationals" at Lyons Raceway Park, in Lyons, Indiana, Eric Bowling was plagued with bad luck. But little did he know that a cracked head, leading to overheating and a broken rod, would be the turning point for the season.
With engine issues behind him, Bowling headed to the Brown County Dragway on the following weekend, eager to put his 1992 S-10 Blazer to the test. And this time, the newly built Chevy small block refused to let him down - as he raced his way to the semi finals on Saturday and returned the next day to take the victory.
Eric Bowling has continued his winning streak. In fact, he has managed to win a staggering nine wins of the 11 finals he has competed in since addressing the mechanical issues he was faced with at the "No Box Nationals."
"After the new motor was put together, we sat down and decided to change up a few things on the setup," he explained. "And it seems to have worked. I decided that I needed to quit looking at what I was doing wrong and just improve on what I was doing right. Luckily, it has worked out."
Eric Bowling is expecting to race as much as possible during the next month or so as the 2013 season winds down
Eric Bowling is quick to admit that confidence is a crucial element of success. He is also aware of the importance of keeping one's rig in tip-top working condition. That in mind, he and his team are strong advocates of using K&N products to ensure the internal components of their engines remain contaminant free.
"Last season was the first season I teamed up with K&N," recalled Eric Bowling. I had used their products back in my motocross days, but never ran an air filter on the car until last race season. We run K&N air and oil filters on the race car and their air filters on our tow vehicles.
"Without a doubt, K&N products are the best there is. I tested a paper stock-style filter on the car and compared it to the K&N. The paper filter slowed the car up about five-hundredths of a second, and the K&N filter showed no loss in ET at all. It seemed to be more consistent as well. K&N has improved my operation without a doubt."
With his string of bad luck hopefully behind him, Eric Bowling is anticipating success throughout the remainder of 2013. "I think the key is just keeping my head down and plugging away; staying focused and continuing to improve," he ensured. "I plan to put a lot more passes on the car as the season comes to a close."
When asked what fans can expect throughout the remainder of the season, Eric Bowling said, "A lot of wins! The season is coming to a close, so it's time to get it done. There are several decent races left, and I plan on racing as much as I can throughout the next month or so. Then, I'll get ready for the off season."