All of us in the New family are deeply saddened at the passing of John Bowser, 81, father, track operator and all around good guy from Bakersfield, California.

Reflecting back, we’ll never forget when John and his son Blake made their first trip to Idaho during the 2008 Nightfire Nationals. It was the inaugural year of the NHRA Hot Rod Heritage Series, a new program developed by the NHRA, the Bowser’s, the New’s and others. It was established as a place for tracks like Bakersfield and Firebird (and other facilities) to help preserve the rich history of our sport and all those who aspired to further enhance and elevate both the front-motored Top Fuel and AA/Funny Car classes, along with an array of other eliminators.

Over time, the New family and the Bower’s became closely aligned in many facets of our business. “We will never forget the year (2017) that they hauled their rotator drag to the Nightfire for us to try, We were astonished at well it performed,” mentioned Scott New. “Of course it wasn’t long before we purchased our own tractor, broom and rotator drag after learning what this amazing piece of equipment could accomplish.”

“A few years later, they were in need of a Jet track dryer for the March Meet, and we gladly loaned them the use of our Jet for the event,” added Scott. “They’ve always been like family to all of us New brothers, and we would literally do anything to help each other out, whatever and whenever that might be.”

John was truthfully the salt of the earth. We were so fortunate that he was able to attend the Nightfire event this past August with Blake. For John, he was a real people person. He just loved all facets of our sport, but he especially enjoyed visiting with the racers, the crewmembers, the track staff and all of us behind the scenes. His knowledge and tenure in our industry and life in general was really something remarkable.

He was highly respected and regarded for what he accomplished over many, many decades in our sport. As a raceway operated by a father and son, the Famoso Dragstrip facility annually hosts one of the single biggest and most significant drag racing events in the country. The March Meet is an event like no other, and it certainly wouldn’t be what it is today without all the hard work, dedication and commitment invested by both John and Blake over the years.

Our entire family feels a great loss, but at the same time we are truly grateful for all the good times we shared together. Without question, John was revered, admired and loved by everyone who he crossed paths with. Truthfully, he was the embodiment of pride, dignity and respect.

All of us in the New family send our sincere condolences to Blake and the entire Bowser family, in addition to all those he touched over a lifetime within our racing world. He will be missed.

God Speed John.