Jesse Lowe & Duke Lowe: Father and Son Race Again

Jesse Lowe & Duke Lowe: Father and Son Race Again

As Duke Lowe competed in the sport, he had mentored his son, Jesse Lowe, with Jesse eventually following in his father’s footsteps, starting to race at age 11. Twenty years later, Jesse now helps his father as Duke gets reacclimated to late models. They compete together in events such as those put on by the Dirt2Media American All-Star Series Presented by PPM Racing Products.

Duke didn’t race with deep pockets. Instead, he fought dollars with hours. It was in the shop — and perhaps the kitchen — where Duke taught Jesse the ropes of the sport.

“My dad is very mechanically inclined,” said Jesse, now 31, of Crossville, Tennessee. “He’s good at fabrication. He’s built open wheels [aka modifieds] from the frame up. He used to build his own motors. I remember as a kid my dad built a whole motor in the kitchen. That’s what he raced and won with.”

Being immersed in racing, it was no wonder why Jesse went racing, too. He started in front-wheel-drives. Then, Jesse competed against his dad in street stocks, before moving up to late models. From 2017 to 2018, Jesse won 43 604 late model features.

“[Working on my own cars] helps, because I know what some changes do,” Jesse said. “But it also gets really stressful at the races. [Other drivers] are in the hauler getting rested up or watching the races while I’m under the car trying to change stuff or I’m trying to grind tires or whatnot.”

As Jesse became a top-notch late model racer, Duke dropped down from late models to street stocks due to budgetary concerns. Then Jesse sold all his racing equipment at the end of 2020. Last year, Duke bought Jesse’s old late model that won all those races. Jesse had sold it to another racer, who then wrecked it and left it in the weeds for two years. In true Duke Lowe fashion, he repaired it and went racing. Jesse in turn went from the mentee to the mentor.

“It was nerve-wracking,” said Jesse of mentoring his father. “I wanted him to do good, and one wrong adjustment can make him go from hero to zero. You also have to be so aggressive. So, trying to coach him and trying to get the car where he was comfortable was enjoyable; it was challenging.”

Cory and Chad Hedgecock of BMF Race Cars approached Jesse about returning to racing, and Jesse Lowe moved back into the driver’s seat this year. Now, once again, the Lowes are racing together. Life comes full circle.

“Our cars are both in the same garage,” Jesse said. “It’s cool to see my old car that I won so many races in, and see him working on it. Then, he comes over to help me or I come over to help him. It’s definitely rewarding. It’s memories that nobody can take away. We aren’t going to be here forever, so I try to enjoy as much time as I can.”

You can catch the Lowes at the next race for the Dirt2Media American All-Star Series Presented by PPM Racing Products. They’ll compete this weekend on Saturday, June 17, at Lake Cumberland Speedway in Burnside, Kentucky.

Outside Groove Note of Transparency: Outside Groove is a sponsor of the American All-Star Series. The American All-Star Series paid for the production of this article. The content is not subject to the approval of the American All-Star Series.