Easter Sunday win began 50-Year History
Historic Fete to Be Honored at April 21 USAC Sprint Event
ROSSBURG, OH (March 27) – With the United States Auto Club (USAC)
Sprint division 1962 debut at Eldora Speedway and Stan Bowman’s feature
win dawned a relationship that has spanned 50 years. A
total of 181 USAC Sprint Car races among 70 different winners have
filled the record books with plenty of history and countless memories.
That rapport continues into the 51st year on Saturday, April 21 and to
commemorate the milestone, Bowman’s fete will be honored.
The 50-year history goes back to Easter Sunday, April 22, 1962; at the
peak of an era where the road to the famed Indianapolis 500 was blazed
through grassroots tracks of the Midwest. That phenomenon
caught the eye of a then youthful Earl Baltes, who had recently
reconfigured his growing speedway into a one-half mile oval to meet the
minimum standards of USAC at the time.
With the popularity of USAC and the national point title, it was not
unusual to see the same stars that battled in Indianapolis on Memorial
Day weekend racing against the weekend warriors of the Midwest
throughout the rest of the year.
Such was the case on Eldora’s Easter debut.
The starting line-up that afternoon had Roger McCluskey, Jim Hurtubise
and Parnelli Jones in the first three positions for the 30-lap
headliner. Behind that trio was Bowman, a local racer from
Covington, KY, who had set his sights on the Indy 500. It was his
third USAC Sprint Car start.
He was undaunted with the talent that started ahead of him that
day. Bowman, running his 220 C.I. Offenhauser against the 327
C.I. Chevrolet engines of Jones and Hurtubise, shot past Jones down the
backstretch on lap one to inherit third spot. With fourth turn
moves on each of the successive laps, he got by McCluskey and then
Hurtubise to take the lead and eventual victory in a race that was cut
short at 25-laps due to rain.
The excitement and intensity of that race triggered what has become a
50-year staple at Eldora Speedway.
Bowman never got the chance to repeat the success of that afternoon, as
he lost his life in a Sprint Car crash at Terre Haute (IN) Speedway two
As the Eldora/USAC association continues towards another anniversary,
officials from both entities, through input from historian John Lucas,
found it fitting to reflect on the landmark event that began it
all. With assistance from Lucas, Bowman’s son Randy will be
on hand to reminisce about the event, along with Diane Beck Lane,
daughter of Harold Beck, who owned the car driven by Bowman to victory
Reserved seats for the April 21 USAC Sprint Car event, and Eldora’s
other events and are now available through the speedway box office
(937) 338-3815 or online 24 hours a day at
www.EldoraSpeedway.com. Like us at
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