Bower is a respected manager at Fastenal, where he’s worked for 10 years, Chambers said.
That’s why family and friends are so surprised Bower hasn’t contacted anyone since he went missing Saturday night at the Talladega Superspeedway.
“He’s very dedicated to his job. There would be no reason he would miss work without calling anybody,” Chambers said.
Bower, who lives in Villa Rica, Ga., with his girlfriend Jennifer Boesch, attended the NASCAR races with Boesch and some co-workers during the weekend. Boesch said she went to sleep at 9 p.m. Saturday in the South Park campsite and left Bower sitting around a campfire with friends. When she awoke at 12:30 a.m. Sunday, Bower was gone.
The Talladega County Sheriff’s Office has searched for Bower since Monday and is employing dogs, aircraft and boats to comb the speedway and surrounding areas.
Chambers said this afternoon that a race fan called in a tip placing Bower near a West Park campsite around midnight. Chambers said the search was rerouted due to that call.
The South Park campsite is located between turn one and turn two, an online speedway map shows. The West Park site is situated near turn four.
The South Park area is a free campsite open to ticket holders and is owned by the racetrack, according to Russell Branham, director of public relations at Talladega Superspeedway.
Branham said today he was uncertain how many race fans were staying in the South Park campsite Saturday night.
“It’s first come, first serve,” Branham said. “Fans come in and park in the area.”
Branham said the campsite is surrounded by a chain-link fence and security guards patrol the area regularly throughout the weekend.
It was a rainy weekend for races and the South Park campsite experienced some flooding from a nearby creek, according to Beverly Reynolds, Talladega Emergency Management Agency specialist. Reynolds said she wasn’t sure how much flooding occurred, but that the South Park area was the only part of the racetrack affected.
Bower grew up in Indianapolis, Chambers said, and moved to Georgia in October 2010 for a promotion offered by Fastenal. Shortly after, Boesch relocated to be with him. Chambers said the couple met in high school, but didn’t start dating until four years ago. The two recently bought a home together in Villa Rica.
Boesch was with friends searching for Bower this afternoon, Chambers said. Several friends and co-workers of Bower had travelled to the speedway with all terrain vehicles and dirt bikes to help law enforcement.
Chambers said she and her family were still hopeful Bower would be found.
“They haven’t found anything at all. If he fell in the water they would have found his hat, wallet or shoes, but they haven’t found anything,” Chambers said. “That makes me hopeful that he’s walking around somewhere.”
Talladega Sheriff Jimmy Kilgore said today that he didn’t have anything new to report and the search continues.
Staff Writer Rachael Griffin: 256-235-3562. On Twitter @RGriffin_Star.