Ed Howe & Tom Maier Article
It was the early 70's when two Michigan stock car drivers formed one of the most potent two car teams ever seen on the late model circuit in the Midwest.Ed Howe
and Tom Maier could strike fear in the hearts of their competition just by pulling those green machines in the pits, and running a few hot laps.
The GoIng and GOne tandem were nothing short of awesome, In 1973 they dominated the late model scene with 73 wins, 48 by Maier and 25 by Howe
By the mid 60's, Howe
, was winning with regularity and establishing himself as a force on the Michigan tracks.In the late 60's he
literally added some color to his
race cars by painting them green.He
wanted to dispel the theory that it was superstitious for a driver to paint his
Even though Tom and Ed
didn't always agree, they meshed smoothly on the race track like a perfect matched set of gears.
...After working a full time job as a machinist and trying to race stock cars, Howe decided to become a full time professional driver.
The monetary rewards seemed to be to his
advantage as a driver; especially when he
ran the majority of the big money races.His
winning percentage kept going up. Howe was the master technician of the short tracks.
A finesse driver who would almost lure the driver in front of him into a sense of false security, and then take advantage of a miscue to quickly pass him.A man who was respected by his
would never touch or make contact with a competitor intentionally.He
didn't have to in order to win.The "Green Hornet" could change the outcome of a race in a hurry.Ed
was quiet and reserved.A man who let his
actions on the race track speak for himself, as well as his
creative mind and innovations.When it came to designing chassis' and race cars, he
was in another league.An ultra smooth racer, Ed
was well liked by the media for his
would always tell the truth and never play word games during an interview, and always give credit to the winning driver.
In 1972 with his
stock rising in every race, Howe
, decided to test some Ohio tracks.He
was winning practically everywhere.He
chose Columbus Motor Speedway with one of the most successful cast of veteran drivers anywhere.
Needless to say Howe
figured the track out in short order.On opening day at CMS in '72, Howe
set fast time in his
green ‘69 Chevelle and clamped the lid on the winners circle.The Green Hornet had shown he
could race with that strong cast of drivers and win.The Michigan speedster came back the following week and repeated his
opening night performance and later in the year won the first ever Marc Times Invitational at Columbus.Howe
won 4 races, added a 4th place, two 7th place, and collected over ,6,000.00 in prize money.In '73 he
came back and scored his
second Invitational win and took home ,2,360.00.
That same year Howe dominated at Tri-County Speedway in West Chester, Ohio near Cincinnati.He
captured 4 of the top jewels on the Tri-County schedule.
was 12th in lifetime earnings after the '72 season with ,12,125.00.
Maier's first trip to CMS wasn't as auspicious as Howe's
but it was impressive.Arriving with a '70 Ford Mustang with a Boss 302 engine, the Midland, Michigan ace was under the track record after a few practice laps.Get the idea?It didn't take long for Tom or Ed
to read any track correctly.
Tom totaled over 300 wins during his career, and Ed
was over the 200 mark.
Both have been inducted into the Michigan Auto Racing Hall of Fame
in 1988 and Tom in 1993.
approached promoter Howard Bice after the race and said "We both won the race you should pay us both for first place."
Bice didn't agree and told Howe
they were going to split fist and second.
There were not many tracks that Howe
didn't like.One was Kil-Kare Speedway in Xenia, Ohio that seems like it has seven or eight turns.Ed
said after a 100 Lap Marc Times Invitational "This is one of the goofiest race tracks I've ever raced on."He
finished eighth that night.He
also disliked Winchester or any fast high banked ovals.He
was very straight forward when asked why he
didn't like the speedy Indiana half-mile course."I have a fear of fast high banked tracks.It's a simple as that."But mention a flat course and the adrenalin starts to flow.Ed
loved the flat paved ovals.You had to respect his
"I have the greatest amount of respect for Ed
But it was Ed
's wife Joan that was more upset than Ed.Howe
was always reminding his
young protégé to save his
brakes and keep his
tires underneath him.
and Tom were way ahead of their time," recalled John Nuckles, Columbus Motor Speedway official.
Don "Heavy" Hill, whose son, Donnie, just earned his second track championship at CMS, agrees that Ed
and Tom were in a class all their own, definitely the "real deal."
Dave Sceva, whose late father, Neal Sceva, was a living legend on the short tracks with over 600 wins, had this to say about Howe
"Just some quick thoughts on Ed Howe
, as I think it is what my dad would say about him - helluva racer and short track innovator.
After a few years Tom had secured a sponsorship from Carling Black Label, which Ed
did not feel was appropriate and did not want to use it.
...Howe hired Mike Eddy to drive the factory car.
Maier, now 65, and Howe
, who just turned 68, are both retired, but they still stay active.
...For 30 years, since Ed and Joan founded HRE, they have set the standard.
A few years ago Ed
turned the reins over to his
very capable son Charles who brings the same philosophy and logic to the business.Like his
dad, Charles, is a former driver who has the same business acumen and sharp insight as his
father.Today the company is stronger than ever with Chas at the helm.Bob Cumbow, veteran crew chief, for young ASA standout Jesse Smith, and also Dave Sceva had this to say about Ed and Chas.
"When you work around Chas or Ed
, their first response would be - if unloading didn't help, try loading it.
retirement builds go-karts for his
grand kids and is already up to his
fifth design.Always tweaking trying to make things better.Ed Howe
and Tom Maier two living legends who still set the pace in the business world along with their sons.