A fallen Asheville fire captain will be remembered this weekend during the Coca-Cola 600 race at Charlotte Motor Speedway.
Capt. Jeffrey Bowen's name has been added above the passenger side door of Jaime McMurray’s Liftmaster race car. McMurrary races with Chip Ganassi Racing.
“It is our honor to recognize Captain Jeffrey Bowen, his mother Laurel, and other members of the Bowen family during the Charlotte race weekend as part of LiftMaster’s relationship with the National Fallen Firefighters Foundation,” said Neal Villarin, sponsorship and event marketing manger for LiftMaster. “Memorial Day weekend is a time for all of us to remember those that have given the ultimate sacrifice, and we have a feeling that Jeffrey and his family will provide Jamie and his team with some extra luck in this weekend’s race.”
Bowen was with the fire department for 13 years when he succumbed to heat and smoke while searching a building in July 2011. Officials said the four-alarm fire was arson.
“As a veteran firefighter, Captain Bowen is a hero in his community because of his bravery in service, and I am proud to honor him, with his name on our race car during the Coca-Cola 600 at Charlotte Motor Speedway,” said McMurray. “First responders such as Captain Bowen are members of our community and they go above and beyond to keep us safe. A win in the Coca-Cola 600 would be special, but it would be an honor to drive into Victory Lane with Jeffrey’s name on our race car.”
According to the fire department, the Bowen family received the LiftMaster Pole award Thursday night. They will help out at the Firefighter Combat Challenge near the raceway on Sunday.
“I’m incredibly honored that LiftMaster has chosen to recognize my son and am humbled to have Jamie McMurray and his team’s support for Jeffrey,” said Laurel Bowen. “This will be my first visit to the Charlotte Motor Speedway, so I’m looking forward celebrating my son with my family and volunteering for the Challenge with other members of the National Fallen Firefighters Foundation.”
During the summer of 2012, a bridge was dedicated in memory of Capt. Bowen.
The National Fallen Firefighters Foundation has had a longtime relationship with McMurrary's sponsor, Liftmaster and they presented a $5,000 donation to the foundation this week.