Phoenix: Bruce Bowler wrap up

CHANDLER, Ariz. - Defending Division 5 Federal Mogul Dragster Champion Bruce Bowler had his hopes of victory go up in smoke, literally, during the first round of this past weekend's Checker-Schuck's-Kraegen Nationals at Firebird Raceway, just ...

CHANDLER, Ariz. - Defending Division 5 Federal Mogul Dragster Champion Bruce Bowler had his hopes of victory go up in smoke, literally, during the first round of this past weekend's Checker-Schuck's-Kraegen Nationals at Firebird Raceway, just outside of Phoenix.

Bowler, of Denver, qualified for the 16 car field with an elapsed time of 5.502 at 250.69 mph that put him in the No. 13 position. That number proved to be unlucky for Bowler, as he smoked the tires right off the starting line in his first round match up with Mark Hentges, giving Hentges an easy win.

"It really wasn't a good weekend for us," said Bowler. "The first qualifying run we torched a head at the end of the run, then on the second run, we broke a rear end. On our final qualifying session, it left good, then went into heavy tireshake. Finally in the first round, my son Scott, our crew chief, put a little bit too much horsepower in the motor, and it smoked the tires right off the line. It just wasn't our weekend."

The next stop on the Phoenix Custom Apparel's schedule will be the O'Reilly Nationals at Houston Raceway Park, Mar. 22-25. There, Bowler will continue his mission for his first national event victory.

"We just have to put this race behind us," commented Bowler. "We have to put all of our focus into our next race in Houston. I still think we have a pretty competitive race car that has a shot at winning anywhere, so we'll just take what we learned here in Phoenix and apply it in Houston."

For more information about Bruce Bowler, or Phoenix Custom Apparel, visit the team's website at www.BruceBowler.com

- Will Hanna

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Series NHRA