Jamie Fowler, a PDRA Elite Top Sportsman driver who was robbed at gunpoint during an offseason engine sale, announced today he will make his 2020 return with continued support from NGK Spark Plugs and a new partnership with LAT Racing Oils. The South Carolina native will compete in PDRA Elite Top Sportsman and the Carolina Xtreme Pro Mod series at Darlington Dragway.
Fowler and two team members were held up at gunpoint in November 2019 when they were meeting with someone who pretended to be a racer wanting to buy Fowler’s engine, transmission and torque converter. A group of five thieves made off with the goods, worth an estimated $50,000, putting a serious dent in Fowler’s plans for the 2020 season.
“We have some real challenges ahead of us as we work to rebuild,” Fowler said, “which makes the support from NGK Spark Plugs, LAT Racing Oils and Gopher Utility Services mean that much more. To still have companies of this caliber willing to stand by and support us on our timeline to get back out there is truly amazing and humbling.”
While Fowler had already purchased a new nitrous-assisted Fulton 903ci engine before the robbery, he still needs to replace the stolen transmission and converter. He’s working with Mark Micke at M&M Transmission to find the right components to go with the new engine. Tommy Mauney at TM Race Cars will make the necessary upgrades on the Mauney-built ’63 Corvette chassis, as well as some cosmetic repairs from a 2018 crash. The car will be completed with a new scheme.
“It might be something similar to what we’ve ran the last couple years,” Fowler said of the new look, “or it might be something completely different. We have some cool ideas in mind, and we look forward to unveiling the new look soon. I want to make sure that when we come back out, we come back out with the ‘wow’ factor.”
Fowler doesn’t expect to be ready in time for the season-opening PDRA East Coast Nationals at GALOT Motorsports Park in early April, but he intends on chasing the full tour beyond the season-opener. He hopes to improve on an eighth-place finish in the 2019 PDRA MagnaFuel Elite Top Sportsman points standings.
“I know because of the timeline that it’s very unlikely that we can run for the championship in 2020, especially knowing that we’ll have a completely new combination,” Fowler said. “However, we look forward to getting back out and learning what the new combination wants.”
In addition to the PDRA series, Fowler plans to try his hand at heads-up Pro Modified racing in the Carolina Xtreme Pro Mod series, a six-race championship series at Darlington Dragway in Hartsville, S.C.
“That’s stepping out of my element, but Pro Mod is what I’ve always wanted to do,” Fowler said. “Pro Mod has been the dream for me, and this will give me the chance to get my feet wet in heads-up Pro Mod racing while still having fun and trying to get a win in Top Sportsman.”
Marketing opportunities and sponsorship packages, including the primary sponsor position, are available for the 2020 season. Interested parties can contact Fowler at [email protected].
Fans can follow along with Fowler and the PnL Motorsports team on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/PnLMotorsports/.