Bogacki Continues Hot Streak with Super Gas Victory at NHRA Kansas Nationals
Topeka, KS: Sevens were wild for Luke Bogacki at last weekend’s NHRA Kansas Nationals contested at Heartland Park Topeka. Bogacki, driving his RacingRVs backed Charlie Stewart Race Cars built Corvette Roadster, which carries the competition number of 77, earned his seventh career NHRA national event title when he bested close friend Jeff Lopez in a final round matchup of former NHRA world champions. The final round appearance marked Bogacki’s seventh final in seven competition appearances thus far in the young 2014 season!
“It is funny how numbers sort of line up sometimes,” Bogacki joked. “When I got home early Monday morning, I had $77 in my pocket!”
With his 2014 season still in its infancy, Bogacki has already made his mark on the Super Gas category. He started his year with a victory at the Division 3 Lucas Oil Series event in Indianapolis, and followed it with quarterfinal and runner-up finishes at the Division 2 double header in Atlanta prior to his win in Topeka. In addition to his success on the NHRA trail, Bogacki has also appeared in four big buck bracket finals early this season, winning three of them.
His Super Gas victory in Topeka marked the extension of an incredible streak in the 9.90 category that extends even beyond the 2014 season. With the win, Bogacki has appeared in the Super Gas final round at each of the last three NHRA Mello Yello series national events that he has attended, logging runner-up finishes late last season in Dallas and Saint Louis prior to his most recent victory.
To win in Topeka, Bogacki relied on what he called a mixture of good driving and good fortune. Following an opening round victory over Butch Taylor, Bogacki was able to make his way through eliminations with round wins over Jesse Serna, Shawn Anderson, Shawn Carter, and Jay Bunce before taking on Lopez in the final round.
“(NHRA announcer) Alan Reinhart always says this is a ‘right place, right time kind of sport,’ and that’s such a great explanation,” Bogacki explained. “In Topeka I was in the right place at the right time. I made a mistake against Shawn Anderson: I was .039 on the tree, and I got away with it. I made a mistake figuring the weather conditions for my semi-final run with Jay Bunce, and as a result I only ran 9.94. Jay is a great racer and if I made that run beside him 10 times, he’d win 9 of them, but in that particular round he made a bigger mistake than I did. On the other end of the spectrum, Shawn Carter did a great job beside me in the quarterfinals, but I made an excellent run. And in the final, well Jeff Lopez is a world champion for a reason – he’s one of the best racers out there. I knew I had to make a great run in the final and in that instance I was able to. Typically no one wins by making mistakes every round, but it’s rare that anyone goes through six or seven rounds with near-perfect runs. To win, it has to line up like that, and so far this season that’s exactly how it’s been happening for me.”
As usual, Bogacki deflected praise to his race car, which he says has taken on a total transformation since last summer.
“Nine months ago, this was quite possibly the worst car in the staging lanes for Super Gas,” Bogacki admitted. “I had this combination so screwed up. In a word, my setup was awful. Since that time, there hasn’t been a bolt left unturned on this car, and today I feel like it’s one of the best cars in the class. To be honest, it’s been carrying me so far this season. I want to give credit to John Kyle, Joe Hessling, and everyone at APD; Bryan Robinson at BTE; Marc Erickson at Auto Meter; Greg Brotherton at BRODIX; everyone at Mickey Thompson Tires and Wheels; and Charlie Stewart and the crew at Charlie Stewart Race Cars. All of our supporters have a hand in this success, but those individuals in particular have really helped me turn the corner with this combination.”
Bogacki’s RacingRVs.com backed Corvette is a Charlie Stewart Race Cars chassis featuring a ’63 Corvette body. His Huntsville Engine & Performance 582 cubic inch engine includes components from BRODIX, Wiseco, Crane Cams, Milodon, Lucas Oil, Hedman, Nitroplate, CollectorTethers.com, and Jesel.
An APD belt drive fuel system pushes Renegade 116+ racing fuel to a new APD Max Speed carburetor and throttle stop setup. Early this season, Bogacki made the switch to Mickey Thompson’s 3171w “Bubba” tire, which he says has been a significant factor in his recent success. Additional manufacturers that Luke depends on include K&N, Auto Meter, Earl’s Performance Plumbing, K&R Performance Engineering, J&J Performance, Moser Engineering, Ohlins, Dixie Performance, BTE, Dedenbear, B&M Performance, ISC Racer’s Tape, Nitrous Express, California Car Cover, Todd’s Extreme Paint, DragRaceResults.com, American Race Cars, and PCD Wraps.
While any victory, particularly at the national level is special, this event held even more significance for Bogacki.
“Earlier in the week we lost Butch Daugherty to a heart attack. Butch was a close family friend to Bryan Robinson, who’s been one of my best friends for over a decade. Butch owned the two Camaros that Bryan often drove, and was like an uncle to him. He helped so many people in so many ways and would rarely take credit for any of it. He was a fun guy to be around, never had a harsh word to say about anyone, and was always joking and laughing. He’ll be missed. My thoughts were with Butch’s family, and Bryan and his family all week; I know they’re hurting. It doesn’t mean much in the grand scheme of things, but I want to dedicate this win to Butch.”
In addition to RacingRVs, the Luke Bogacki Motorsports team is proud to support associate marketing partners K&N Engineering, ThisIsBracketRacing.com, APD, C.A.R.S. Protection Plus, PCD Wraps and Graphics, Product Development Group (makers of Flo-Fast fluid transfer systems and AirTek gauges), Watts Auto Diesel Service, JEGS mail order, Mickey Thompson Tires, and Bill Taylor Enterprises.
Luke will attempt to continue his hot start to the 2014 season at the Division 3 Lucas Oil Series event in Chicago, IL before making his way to the NHRA Thunder Valley Nationals in Bristol, TN. To learn more about Luke Bogacki Motorsports, visit www.ThisIsBracketRacing.com and search Luke Bogacki on Facebook.
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