Mike Bowman was on the outside looking in on the qualifying sheets of the quickest Pro Mod field ever at the NHRA AAA Insurance Midwest Nationals, so he decided to dial up the biggest tune-up he had to make the show. Things really didn’t go according to plan for Bowman, and making the show was the least of his worries as his parachutes didn’t open and he barreled into the sand trap at Gateway Motorsports Park.
The past year for Mike Bowman’s racing program has been a roller coaster of ups and downs that demonstrates just how difficult high-level Pro Mod racing is. Last year Bowman won the biggest Pro Mod race of his career at the World Series Of Pro Mod and picked up a win at the Super Street Car Nationals to finish off his season. In 2018 Bowman has struggled with repeating his 2017 level of success and even crashed his beautiful Chevelle during the Four Wide Nationals at Z-Max.
With his back up against the wall, Bowman put his twin turbo BAE-powered Chevelle in the beams against Stevie Jackson with the hopes of punching his ticket into the field on Saturday during qualifying. Bowman’s 5.89 pass at over 255 MPH wasn’t enough to make the field, but that was the least of his worries after the race was over. When Bowman tried to throw the chutes on his Chevelle they appeared to get tangled up and not fully deploy, leading Bowman to stand on the brakes as hard as he could to slow the car down.
In this video from the NHRA, you can see Bowman’s car racing towards the sand trap at terminal velocity as his brakes are in full meltdown due to the high rate of speed the car is moving at. Bowman showed his veteran driver prowess and centered the car up going into the sand knowing that would improve his chances of a favorable outcome. The Chevelle skidded through the sand and ended up in the net standing straight up on the bumper. Thankfully, Bowman wasn’t seriously injured in this wild chain of events.