January 20, 2014 — Audio and story by Jacob Seelman for Speed77 Radio and Race Chaser Online — Renee House-Thomas photo — SUWANEE, GA — If every 16-year-old kid’s dream is to go fast and be celebrated for doing it, then Anderson Bowen is living the dream.
The young Georgian embarks on his fourth season racing full-bodied machines in 2014, after impressing in the Pro Late Model and CRA Late Model ranks from 2011 to 2013. This go round though, he will be on a much larger stage, racing a partial schedule in both the ARCA Racing Series and the NASCAR K&N Pro Series East for Cunningham Motorsports this year.
“I’m really excited to get this opportunity to come back with Cunningham Motorsports for 2014,” Bowen said in a recent interview with Race Chaser Online. “We laid some great groundwork with how we ran last year (at Mobile and Iowa) and I’m looking forward to taking it even further this time around.”
That groundwork impressed a lot of people in a short period of time, as Bowen finished third in his first-ever ARCA Racing Series start at Mobile International Speedway in March of 2013, and followed it up with the pole in his first K&N Pro Series East start for the Cunningham team, in the East-West challenge race at Iowa Speedway in June.
“If you’d have told me in February that the couple races we ran this season for Briggs Cunningham and Paul Andrews this year would have turned out the way that they did, I’d have looked at you funny for a second, but I couldn’t be happier going into this year. I’m pumped to be back with Paul Andrews and ready to go after some of the wins that got away in 2013.”
Bowen took on some of the toughest short track events in the country to capture checkered flags and the attention of fans and supporters from coast to coast and North to South in 2012 and 2013. He picked up his elusive first late model victory at Watermelon Capital Speedway (GA) in October of 2012, and raced prestigious events including Speedfest, the Rattler 250, the World Crown 300, the Winchester 400 and the Snowball Derby in 2013.
While he may not have reached the top step of the podium in 2013, consistency and success on the Late Model level is not a surprise given Bowen’s past racing accomplishments. The Georgian is a two-time Quarter Midget National Champion and he later went on to win in his first-ever Bandolero start at Atlanta Motor Speedway (GA).
In the developmental Bandolero ranks, he captured Winter Series and Winter Flurry titles at AMS before transitioning to the Pro Challenge Series, where he won nine of 12 races to earn the Southern Division championship in 2010.
Outside of his ARCA podium, Bowen’s best finish on the season was fourth, at both Memphis International Raceway and at Speedfest (Watermelon Capital Speedway), where Bowen makes his 2014 debut this weekend.
“It’s nagging that we didn’t get to Victory Lane last season, and truthfully, it’s a little bit frustrating,” admitted the Peach State native. “But, I’m excited to get back to Cordele; it’s where I got my first Late Model win and I’m hoping we can add a Speedfest title to that as well this weekend.”
Bowen will compete in both the Pro Late Model and Super Late Model events at Speedfest before turning his attention to Florida Speedweeks and a slate of Late Model races at New Smyrna Speedway.
From there, it’s off to the NASCAR ranks and the K&N Pro Series East opener at Bristol in March, which kicks off Bowen’s national touring schedule with four K&N and three ARCA starts already scheduled for the season, on short tracks including Lucas Oil Raceway, Mobile International Speedway, Winchester Speedway and Iowa Speedway in addition to the before-mentioned K&N venues.
“I’ve said it a lot, but I really am really pumped up about where this year is going. I’m excited to get to some of these tracks that I’ve never seen before; Bristol, Dover, Loudon, it’s gonna be a challenge, but it’s also gonna be a lot of fun I think, and I’m up for it.”
Listen in as we sat down with Anderson for an exclusive interview about his 2014 plans and his outlook for Speedfest, coming up this weekend: