View attachment 2024420 View attachment 2024420 Here is Bondy Long being pushed in his dragster by a new Pontiac convertible in 1959 at Chester. Long was only 19 years old but had been drag racing since he turned 16. According to a story written by Mike Hembree, that is when he moved back to Camden SC from Delaware. His mother was Mary DuPont. She had married into the DuPont family after her husband's death in WW11. Maynard Bond "Bondy" Long II left his mother at the DuPont mansion when he turned 16 in '56 and got into hot rodding in Camden. His mother had begged him not to move but he was determined to move back to where his friends lived after moving away when he was 10. He was admired for his hard work in racing but his friends knew where the money was coming from. He was an avid drag racer at Chester all the years it was open. In Feb. 1963 his mother set up a secret meeting with Bill France Sr. They say it was unusual for France to meet anyone at the Daytona airport but he made an exception for Mrs. DuPont. Bondy was at the Winter Daytona Drags near Daytona Speedway in Bunnell Fla and was invited by a friend to visit Daytona Speedway. This was 1963 and Bondy had never been to an oval track race. He called his mother and told her "these guys are paid lots of money when they win" -- "well, I might have to check on that" she told him.....and she did. Soon, Bondy was looking for a Stock Car and settled on a '63 Petty Plymouth. At 23 he was suddenly a NASCAR team owner. He had no experience as a stock car driver and hired Bobby Issac to drive and they had some success in their rookie year and Bondy wanted to stay with NASCAR. Late in the year Long and some of the DuPont family members got involved in discussions with Ford factory execs. and John Holman at Holman & Moody. When the talks were over Bondy had a factory sponsorship to run Fords and he hired Ned Jarrett, the 1961 NASCAR Champion. Jarrett won 15 races in '64, sat on the pole 7 times and finished second in the points to Richard Petty. It was an outstanding season for a two year old team. In 1965 the team won 13 races, sat on the pole 9 times and won the Nascar Championship, giving Jarrett his second and Ford their first in NASCAR'S top level. Bondy also got back to his first love -drag racing- with the "BOWANI" '65 Mustang 427 Ultra Stocker. Life was good! But the 1966 season started out a little shakey. Ned Jarrett was getting tired of racing and when Ford pulled out of Nascar mid season he retired. There were no NASCAR wins for Bondy Long in '66. But he had some success in the 2400 lb Funny Car class with the "BOWANI" altered wheelbase long nose Mustang with Carson Hyman driving. After the '68 season Bondy Long got out of racing. He was only 28 but had accomplished so much in his 12 years of racing.