William Roy Bowe born in Denver’s west side Valverde neighborhood in 1916 and after graduation fro...m Regis High School raced co-worker Johnny Boomer’s Continental powered midget during 1937 on the track inside the Merchants Park ball field.
For the 1938 Merchants season drove Bob Van Buskirk’s V8-60-powered midget and when racing ended at Merchants after 1939 Bowe raced with the AAA (American Automobile Association) midgets at Lakeside Speedway a newly-paved 1/5-mile track inside the Lakeside Amusement Park. With the outbreak of World War II Bowe enlisted in the US Army Air Force and served with the Army Air Transport Command in China, Burma and India as a radio operator.
When Roy returned from overseas he resumed racing and in 1946 he won 8 features and then in 1947 driving Ray Koch’s Ford flathead V-8 powered midget he won five features and was the runner-up to Johnnie Tolan with 524 points to Tolan’s tally of 667 points. During that period the Kurtis Kraft midget owned by brothers Miles and Burton Spickler was very successful in RMMRA competition but during the 1947 season, Burton was seriously injured in a crash at Lakeside Speedway.
Miles took over the driving duties to finish out the season, but his wife was uncomfortable with Miles’ driving so Roy was hired to drive the Spickler midget for 1948 with sponsorship from Nu-Enamel paint a leading consumer paint brand. In 1948, Roy Bowe dominated the Rocky Mountain Midget Racing Association (RMMRA) competition - he scored ten wins at Lakeside Speedway, seven at Fort Collins Speedway Park and six at Colorado Springs. Bowe won the championship with 1244 points to runner-up Buddy Shay’s 836 points.
Bowe won the RMMRA Championship again in 1949 driving for Miles Spickler with O’Meara Ford sponsorship and the Kurtis Kraft car painted in a striking unique plaid livery. Bowe captured five feature wins during the 1950 RMMRA season and finished third in points behind Sonny Coleman and Shay. In 1951 Roy won two RMMRA features, and after midget racing ended at Lakeside Speedway, he went on the road in 1952 and won two American Automobile Association (AAA) features at Olympic Stadium in Kansas City.
During 1953 Roy quit midget racing after he witnessed a serious accident that involved Danny Morgan in a RMMRA racing program at Brush Colorado. During his career in which he garnered 64 RMMRA feature victories Roy was never seriously hurt in a racing accident - his worst injury was a broken foot, suffered after he drove over his own foot at Walsh Stadium at St Louis.
Roy married in 1947 had one son and three daughters, and retired as a mechanic in 1985 then passed away just a few days short of his eightieth birthday on July 12, 1996 and is interred in the Fort Logan National Cemetery in Denver. We are proud to welcome one Colorado’s greatest midget pilots into the National Midget Auto Racing Hall of Fame.