Triumph Tops Turmoil

In what was one of the most deserving and dramatic wins of the decade — Delta’s BC’s Shawn Cowie emerged victorious at his first NHRA national event race since his devastating non-racing related accident two years ago….

Last weekend, Cowie continued his monumental comeback that he launched with an epic win at Woodburn Dragstrip in Oregon just a couple of weeks ago, his first appearance racing in more than two years.  On Sunday, Cowie won the Northwest Nationals Top Alcohol Dragster final, running down Garrett Bateman, who had the early lead.

Cowie carded a winning 5.372 secs at 268.33 mph for the victory compared to Bateman’s 5.649 secs at 252.80 mph.

Shawn Cowie (near lane) beat Garrett Bateman in the TAD final.

Shawn Cowie (near lane) beat Garrett Bateman in the TAD final.

For Cowie, critically injured in April 2011 when a drunk driver plowed into his motorcycle on an Interstate ramp in Nashville, this actually was his third win in a row; he won his last start before the accident, the 2011 Nationals in Las Vegas.

After taking the Woodburn Regional event from the No. 1 qualifying spot, Cowie was No. 4 in Seattle, one of four drivers in the 5.20s, behind Ray Martin (5.26), Johnny Ahten (5.27), and Chris Demke (5.27) with a 5.29. Cowie’s Mundie’s Towing entry was a picture of consistency throughout eliminations, beating one multiple national event champion after another, beginning with a 5.34 against Aaron Olivarez. His best run of eliminations, a 5.29, took out a close 5.37 by Demke, the defending event champ, in the second round, and a 5.33 in the semifinals dumped 2011 world champ Duane Shields.

Cowie faced off in the final against Garrett Bateman, driver of the HipLink A/Fuel dragster — but when Bateman fell back to his worst run of the weekend in the final — that proved  to be no match.

“This is just unreal,” an elated Cowie said. “The whole crew did a perfect job all weekend, and I can’t even believe this happened.”

“I guess the bad luck some 2 years ago with Shawn’s near fatal accident put something in the bank for withdrawal,” added the team’s very talented crew chief, Canadian Bill Moore. “Since returning to just see if Shawn could still operate a TAD we have had things go so well we are pinching ourselves.”

Shawn Cowie's 4th career NHRA National event win was easily his most dramatic  .

Shawn Cowie’s 4th career NHRA National event win marked the end of a very difficult period.

Posted with files from Todd Veney and Bruce Biegler

Photos by:  Gerry Frechette & Rich Carlson