The Bondy Long Story

October 29, 2015

Camden’s Moment in NASCAR History: The Bondy Long Story

The National Association for Stock Car Auto Racing’s (NASCAR) history began on the narrow dirt roads of the South when local boys pitted themselves and their cars against the forces of the law… aka running moonshine.  Even after the repeal of Prohibition, moonshine was popular in the South and the delivery drivers still had to outrun the law…aka the revenuers.  After a hard day’s work, drivers would naturally pit their cars and themselves against each other on dirt tracts in small towns and big cities.  During the 1930s and 1940s, stock car racing became both popular and profitable.  By the late 40’s, Bill France Sr. and a group of racers, owners, and promoters decided that they needed to organize the sport with rules, a firm racing schedule, and a national championship.  In 1948, NASCAR was born.  Today, stock car racing is one of the most popular sports in the United States with tracks in 39 states and Canada.  The drivers, owners, and crew chiefs are household names. 

Camden’s part of NASCAR history began in 1963 when Maynard Bond “Bondy” Long, II formed Bowani, Inc. and set up shop at his home in Boykin.  From that shop, Long, his drivers, and his crew began a speed-fueled race to the top of NASCAR’s Grand National circuit.  From 1963 to 1968, Long’s Camden-based team ran 208 races with 31 wins, 115 Top Fives, and 27 Poles.  Along the way, Bondy Long and driver Ned Jarrett won the 1965 Grand National Championship.  Although Long left the NASCAR circuit in 1968, Bowani cars, drivers, and pit crews remain a part of NASCAR’s history.

This exhibit will look at the history of Bowani racing through photographs, artifacts, and the words of the people who worked long and hard to field the very best cars and teams in the country.  Artifacts on loan from Bondy Long and Ned Jarrett will be on display.  The exhibit will open on November 10 with some very special guests, including the original #11 Ford that Ned Jarret drove in 1964.  The exhibit will close on January 29, 2016