Competing against one another in the Chargers division of Atlanta Motor Speedway's Thursday Thunder summer series, the Douglasville natives entered the sport together three years ago. Dad got a head start driving over 14-year old Jacob, who spent two years laboring in the pits before sitting in the driver's seat.
"It was a lot of running back and forth," said Jacob, who sits seventh in the points standings after three weeks of racing in his first season. "My dad and I started helping a friend first and then I moved to my dad's team when he got a car."
After working in the pits for two years, Chris knew his son wanted to drive too.
"Jacob got a lot of exercise running between the car and the pits," added Chris, who got his Thursday Thunder start in the 2007 season. "He enjoyed it and that got him wanting to get more involved and have his own car. When my buddy decided he wasn't going to race anymore, I bought his car and put Jacob in it."
Now with two cars, the Bowies began working jointly, each with their own machine. Jacob relied on his pit experience and advice from his dad to prepare for his first season, while Chris used his 2007 driving experience and counsel from Thursday Thunder veteran and friend Bubba Harry.
Using his acquired knowledge and Harry's suggestions, Chris' efforts paid off in the second week of the season.
"Talking to Bubba, he said you usually finish last for two years before you figure it out and maybe get a win," said Chris, who currently sits second in the Chargers points standings, six marks off first. "I got a little lucky to win quickly, but I'll take it.
"It was extremely exciting to win," he continued. "It takes a lot of effort and money to do this and I was trying hard to get a trophy - something tangible to represent all that effort. To finally get that trophy and for it to be a first-place prize was incredible."
Now that one member of the Bowie family has won, some fans are now looking to the younger Bowie for his first victory. Jacob, however, doesn't feel the pressure and knows he needs to keep learning first and worry about winning later.
"Right now, I'm just trying to get experience and be competitive in this tough series," said Jacob, who has three top-10 finishes in his first three races. "I've been picking up advice from my dad and learning from the other guys. I'm hoping I can get my first win pretty soon. That would be great."
In the mean time, Chris is happy to just compete with his son.
"I've really enjoyed racing with him," Chris said. "At times, I wish I could just sit back and watch him run, but its fun racing with Jacob. Once he gets more seat time and improves, I can't wait to see him next to me more and battle him for position."
And while Chris and Jacob have enjoyed their shared racing experience and look forward to future competition, the duo's racing endeavors have created a bit of tension in the family. But not between father and son.
"My wife is hating us competing against each other," said Chris with a laugh. "She's finding it hard to keep up with both of us and doesn't know who to root for."
Thursday Thunder will run every Thursday through August 7. An adult ticket to Thursday Thunder is just $5 while kids ages six to 11 are just $1. Kids five and under are free. Gates open at 6 p.m., heat races start at 6:15 p.m. and feature races start at approximately 7:50 p.m. More information can be obtained by calling 770-946-4211 or by visiting www.AtlantaMotorSpeedway.com.
EDITOR'S NOTE: High-resolution images of Chris Bowie's trip to victory lane to accompany this release, can be downloaded from:
Photo credit: Atlanta Motor Speedway