The beginning years.

Bondy Long always loved speed. His love for speed combined with his love for cars while he was still attending Camden High School. These twin passions had him beginning his racing career at the age of 17 in drag racing at local tracks from Chester to Columbia to Charleston. Drag racing was expensive and the rewards were trophies rather than purses. Eventually, Long's mother, Mary Wooten Du Pont, suggested that he needed to think about his future and perhaps even to go back to college. Long's solution was to persuade his mother that competing in Grand National racing could be profitable. A day at Daytona convinced her and in 1963 the family incorporated Bowani, Inc. (This paragraph and the following are courtesy of the Camden, S.C. Archives & Museum exhibit "Camden's Moment in NASCAR History: The Bondy Long Story".)


Bondy Long and Bowani, Inc. dived into NASCAR's premier Grand National racing circuit during the 1963 season with driver Bobby Isaac and car #99. Long, mechanics Mack Howard, John Henry Reynolds, and Tommy Granger, and drivers Bobby Issac and Larry Frank entered 31 races during the season for 4 top 5 finishes. By the end of the season, Long knew that to successfully compete on the Grand National circuit, Bowani needed factory support.


For the 1964 season, Long approached John Holman of Holman -Moody Ford about the possibility of getting backing from Ford. John Holman knew that Ford was already talking with driver Ned Jarrett. He suggested that Jarrett, Long, and Ford would make a good match. Holman was right. During the 1964 season, Hall of Fame driver Ned Jarrett entered 56 races for 14 wins and 38 top five finishes in Bowani Fords. 

The 1965 Championship Season & the Southern 500.

The 1965 Grand National season was one for the record books for both Ned Jarrett and Bondy Long. In '65, Ned Jarrett entered 53 races in a Bowani Ford; he had 41 top five finishes and 13 wins on his way to his second Grand National Championship. Long, 25, became the youngest owner to ever win the championship and, to make it even sweeter, that was the year that NASCAR awarded Long the 1965 Mechanic's Award. In 1965, Jarrett, Long, and their Camden-based team entered 53 races for 13 wins, 41 top five's, and a Grand National Championship. Also in 1965, Jarrett and his #11 Bondy Long -owned Ford won the Southern 500 in what became one of the highlights of their season. Jarrett took the checkered flag that day in Darlington a record 14 laps ahead of the second place driver, a record that will probably never be equaled. They won the points championship that year by beating Richard Petty for the title by more than 3000 points. Read more of this story at Ford Performance.


After Jarrett's retirement in 1966, Bowani drivers included such legendary names as Dick Hutcherson, Mario Andretti, Bobby Allison, A.J. Foyt, Bud Moore and Swede Savage. Long's company also fielded cars in three races in NASCAR's Late Model Sportsman division in 1969 and 1970. Their last race was in 1970 when Tiny Lund won the Permatex 300 at Daytona in the #29 car.

Bowani. Behind the scenes through the years.

“Racing people are the finest in the world barring none.  It’s hard to explain it to other people. We lived together for six years. Everybody helped everybody.  We were family. I never had any problems with any other team.”  -Bondy Long