A Quick Discussion with Bullrun Season 3’s Team Challenger
The new season of Speed TV’s hit reality television show Bullrun is now less then weeks away. The brain child of Andrew Duncan and David Green, Bullrun features 12 teams of competitors driving across the USA racing through checkpoints and challenges. The goal? $200 000.
Those familiar with the show know how intense and entertaining it can be. This season promise to be even more so. Recently I had the chance to ask Jonathon Bowen, driver for Team Challenger, 10 questions. Along side his co-driver Julian Muniz, Jonathan is piloting a 2009 Dodge Challenger R/T in the 3rd Season of Bullrun. With Hemi power on their side, Team Challenger is poised for the competition.
Below are his answers to the 10 questions.
Q) You were a fan of Bullrun before making it onto the show. How did it feel when you ‘Got The Call’?
A) I was completely shocked. I was on the Bullrun site on a Saturday afternoon, and the casting director, got online and posted that he was now looking for season 3 contestants. He wanted info emailed to him, so I did within 10 minutes of the post. 5 minutes later, swear to God, the phone rang; it was a call from California. It was the casting director and he said my team was under consideration and he wanted to see a video of Jules and me and the car. He needed it by Sunday night for a meeting he was having. I was still working on the video at the time. I called Jules and told him the story and he too was shocked at the whole situation. What a great day that was.
Q) Rumour has it you applied for the show originally with a 2006 Chevrolet Corvette Convertible. How did you end up in a 2009 Dodge Challenger R/T?
A) I thought that season 3 needed to have a nice C6 Corvette and thought that was the main reason I got the call. Turns out they liked our team but already had a Corvette “in play”, as they said. I assumed it was a hot chick team. When Shane called me back after the video conference and asked if I could come up with a different car that feeling of shock returned. I could not believe I made it this far into the process but now had to come up with a different car. I had a few quick discussions with some business partners and Jules and the final verdict was buy a new car. I could always sell it when we were done filming. It’s a Bullrun car for petes sake, someone would buy it. We spoke with the Bullrun producers and they agreed on this decision. So I went out Thursday afternoon. It was 3 days before we needed to be in California for filming, and I checked out a 2010 Yellow Camaro and a 2009 Challenger in the Dukes of Hazzard Orange. I love the new style of the Challenger and the orange just topped it off. Well the obvious choice was made and we were driving out to California the next afternoon.
Q) With a basically brand new unmodified car, do you feel you had an advantage or a disadvantage?
A) You don’t need to have a modified car at all to do Bullrun. Maybe a fuel cell would be helpful but not needed. Originally I was thinking it was a disadvantage by not having the Corvette, for speed purposes, but as we were driving out to California, I was getting to know the Challenger and what she could do. It was so roomy and comfortable; it was still pretty fast for how big she was. And it has the VVT engine which drops off 4 of the 8 cylinders while at cruising speeds.
Q) Were you able to sleep at all the night before the 3rd Season of Bullrun began filming?
A) Actually, I slept like a baby that night. It was the few nights prior that I had some trouble. You know, making sure I had the car in my possession, getting it ready for the trip and the show, getting to California in time; all this was weighing heavy. So when I finally got out there and in the hotel, Jules and I got a hold of some beer from our neighbours at that same hotel and we had some celebratory drinks, I was damn tired by that night.
Q) On that first day when you meet all of the other teams and saw their vehicles, what was your first reaction?
A) It was awesome to see so many other teams from the Bullrun.com site. I was amazed at the variety of the Season 3 cars. Some good, some great, but I felt really good about our chances, some of the older cars, I figured, would have old car problems. Some of the top end super cars, if they broke down would have a serious issue with repairs and they didn’t look real comfortable either. I thought we had one of the best cars out of the 12 for really having a great shot at winning. You need a good mix of HP, handling, MPG and comfortableness to have a good go at it.
Q) I’ve been interviewing several of the teams from the 3rd Season of Bullrun. They all keep mentioning how epic the challenges are going to be this season. Is this true?
A) Epic describes it for the most part. I would say the challenges were slightly intimidating and damn exciting to watch and also participate in. The Bullrun producers definitely took it up a notch or two this season. The show will be a “blast” to watch. I can’t wait to see the look on some of my friends faces when they see what the teams from this season had to go through.
Q) I hear that maybe not all of the teams got along this year and there is a bit of drama throughout the season. What is your take?
A) All I can really say is that when you have alliances you are going to experience some drama, that’s just the nature of the beast.
Q) After three weeks with no radio, no phone, no contact to the outside world and nothing but each other’s company, are and your co-driver Julian Muniz still talking?
A) Well, we have to (laughing) we work at the same company and sometimes out of the same work vehicle. I can’t get away from the guy (laughs more). Seriously, of course we still talk and are still good friends. I feel something like Bullrun could not and should not bust apart any good friendship. We both know that $%@& happens. That’s how we roll. (laughs)
Q) Would you do it again if given the chance?
A) In a heartbeat! It was great hanging and competing with other car guys and gals. Other than some of the very long days, I have no complaints. I am very happy to be a part of such an awesome event. I would love another ride on that roller coaster of insanity.