By Tim HippsFebruary 20, 2007
DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (Army News Service, Feb. 20, 2007) - Myron Bowlin, who submitted the winning bid of $13,600 on eBay and won the Mark Martin Daytona 500 Dream Package that benefited Central Florida's tornado victims, rode a couple of laps around Daytona International Speedway with his favorite driver on the eve of the Great American Race.
"It was unbelievable doing 170 miles per hour and just having a normal conversation," said Bowlin, who rode alongside Martin in the Daytona 500 pace car, a Chevrolet Corvette Z06. "That was probably the most fascinating thing of all. We were just talking about kids and life and stuff like that."
Bowlin served Sunday as honorary crew chief for Martin's No. 01 U.S. Army Chevrolet that finished second in the 49th annual running of the Daytona 500. He got to keep the hood of the Army racecar and the fire suit that Martin wore during the race. He received two VIP suite tickets to both the Orbitz 300 NASCAR Busch Series race on Saturday and the 49th annual running of the Daytona 500 on Sunday.
Bowlin also attended the Daytona 500 driver/crew chief meeting as Martin's guest. A three-night stay at Ginn Reunion Resort completed the extravagant package.
Bobby Ginn, a Central Florida real-estate developer who owns Ginn Racing and the Army 01 car, matched Bowlin's winning bid and the $27,200 was donated to the American Red Cross' Central Florida relief programs.
"Bobby Ginn and I are both residents of Florida and we feel the affect of the hurricanes and of the tornado," said Martin, a native of Batesville, Ark., who lives in Daytona Beach. "It was a chance to make a fan's dream come true and help some of our fellow Central Floridians."
Bowlin said his reason for buying the package was twofold.
"Being a Mark Martin fan, I just wanted to be able to experience something like that once in a lifetime," he said. "Also, those tornadoes that came through were about 15 or 20 miles south of our house and we saw the devastation. It's just a good cause."