The long dry spell of western Kansas is a mirror image of Darren Bowman's racing history the last few years.
As the dried-up tumbleweeds roll along with the Kansas wind, so too have Bowman's chances to reach victory lane. It's been oh-so-close, but not close enough.
This weekend, the Kinsley driver in the United Rebel Sprint Series hopes all that changes. He'll be competing both nights at the fifth annual Wheatshocker Rebel Nationals at RPM Speedway in Hays.
"I've been so close. The year I ran second to (Patrick) Bourke, I had a car good enough to run second but not first. And I've had good runs at the regular shows, too. ... But I'm not just ready for a win up there (in Hays), just a win anywhere."
Bowman's best finish was in 2009, when Colorado's Bourke won the title. In fact, he hasn't won a race since May 7, 2010, and all three of his URSS wins came at the now defunct Hutchinson Raceway Park.
This weekend, if he's able to win Sunday and pocket the $2,000 payout, he'll be one happy camper.
"I feel like we still can do it," he said. "On any given night, I'm just as capable as them. ... Any given time, I can compete with anybody. That's why we put on the fire suit and do it."
* NICK SCHWIEN, HDN