Independence. Self-reliance. Autonomy. Whatever you name it, we all recognize it’s a virtue. And why? Because it takes guts to go about things your own way, to accept those risks. Therefore when someone triumphs in this fashion, as Mike Bowman did most recently in the Precision Turbo Pro Mod class at the Nitrous Outlet Street Car Super Nationals 13, that person deserves the accolades only a special champion is afforded. But you’ll never see Bowman himself seek out or solicit any of that attention. Instead he keeps a relatively low profile, in a Chevelle that wears colors identical to those on the ’68 model he campaigned for years (quite successfully) in NMCA Pro Street.
This ’69 Chevelle, built by Jerry Bickel, appears as an extreme version of the original car. Configured for NHRA twin turbo rules, it’s equipped with two Precision Turbo Gen2 Pro Mod 88mm turbos, feeding a Brad Anderson Enterprises 522-inch Hemi through a Hogans Racing Manifolds intake. The resulting power is sent to the wheels by a complete transmission and converter package from M&M Transmissions. These are brutally effective pieces for sure, but among today’s turbo Pro Mod field especially, they do not reflect the most popular engine builder or tuning operation.
Indeed, Mike Bowman seems to dare himself to do more on his own. Coming into this year’s running of SCSN Las Vegas, he parted ways with tuner Brad Personett — with whom he won this same class last year as well as the inaugural World Series of Pro Mod, for a $100,000 payday. His own hands were now on the knobs (well, on the computer). And if any questions have arisen about this move, they’ve surely been answered by his performance since.
After a Saturday first-round victory to a tire-smoking Neil Morley, Bowman was put to the test early on Sunday in a second-round matchup with Shane Molinari and his twin-turbo Pro Line Racing-powered ’68 Firebird — with the aforementioned Brad Personett on the tune. Bowman was certainly careful to stage, taking full advantage of the seven seconds allotted, and led Molinari all the way down track to the win. Following a third-round victory over Yvonne Lucas’ nitrous Camaro and semi-final bye, the final round saw him line up against Carl Stevens Jr., who was driving Jim Bell’s ’69 Camaro.
In the prior round, Stevens Jr. set low E.T. of the meet at 5.697. The closest Bowman had come to that was a 5.740, set first round in the cool of Saturday evening. Those on the outside could be forgiven for believing he just didn’t have enough. But once again, he certainly did — the Chevelle in its customary colors was ahead at 330-feet and kept on pulling to a repeat victory at SCSN Las Vegas. Sometimes, the only person you have to convince is yourself — when you know you’re good, there’s simply no need to go with the crowd.