Ed Bowes started his racing career in the early 1960s at Lincoln Speedway in his hometown of Lincoln, Nebraska. His first year was spent in stock cars and then in 1965 he built a supermodified. By 1966 he gained enough experience to be selected to drive the Ray Royal Super. Bowes showed steady improvement in Royal’s car and in 1968 they built a sprint car.
Running their homebuilt against some pretty professional outfits in 1970 at Eagle Raceway in Eagle, Nebraska, Bowes and Royal won a feature over Joe Saldana, Ray Lee Goodwin, Lonnie Jensen and Denny Oltman. In 1971, Royal was drafted into the military so the team was forced into hiatus for a couple of years. In 1973, they came back like nothing had happened and won two main events at Eagle.
Driving for Lyle Sinner in 1977, Ed had a spectacular moment at Midwest Speedway in Lincoln, Nebraska, hanging Sinner’s car on the fence. He walked away from the car and the sport and did not return until 1981.
A new class called “Modified Sprints” (later known as “360 Sprints”) was starting at Midwest speedway and Bowes got to ride in the first car built for the class by Jim Schuman. This was among the first “360s” to race in Nebraska. Bowes won five main events and finished second in the points for Schuman that first year at Midwest. In 1983 Schuman decided to build a completely different kind of car, one never seen around sprint circles before or since. The car featured a centrally mounted fuel tank and nothing behind the rear axle except the rear bumper and it was dubbed the “Buttless Wonder”. The design was significantly lighter than conventional cars, and ran well enough to score a couple main event wins and was a conversation piece wherever it appeared.
Following the Schuman partnership, Bowes drove for several other car owners including Dean Orth, Jim Schuman, Ivan Tracy and Bob Richardson, Ed Smith, Al Truax, Craig Cormack, Larry Sinner, DD Durham and Ivan Tracy. He also raced his own team through the late 1990s and into the 2000s, finally retiring in 2007.