Bogacki Lands Big Payday at C.A.R.S. Million
Mongtomery, AL: While Luke Bogacki will not be crowned as an NHRA national champion next month, like he was in 2013 (Super Comp) and 2014 (Super Gas), the K&N Filters and Racing RV's backed competitor could look back on the 2015 campaign as his most successful season to date.
Although a slow start in NHRA competition kept him from being a legitimate championship contender, Bogacki did claim wins in two of the most prestigious events in sportsman drag racing when he won Super Gas at the JEGS All-Stars event in Chicago, and followed with a Super Comp victory at the illustrious NHRA U.S. Nationals. The Indy win came in the midst of an incredible 29-round Super Comp win streak which included national event victories in Brainerd, Indy, and St. Louis, along with a divisional triumph in Bowling Green, KY. As if that weren't enough, Bogacki has also visited the winner's circle in limited big bucks bracket appearances. Back in February, he drove his familiar RacerSwag Vega to a $7500 victory at the Southern Big Bucks Nationals in Belle Rose, LA. Over the summer, he coralled a $10,000 win at the Ultimate 64 Shootout in Clay City, KY behind the wheel of his wife, Jessica's American Race Cars backed dragster. Last weekend, he nearly added another huge score as he advanced his K&N Filters dragster to the semi-final round of the third and final $25,000-to-win event at the C.A.R.S. Million Dollar Race. Rains forced a halt in competition prior to the semi-final round, and Bogacki split the purse with remaining entrants Hank Wilhelm and Josh Luedke.
“Being able to get down to the final three cars in the $25,000 race was rewarding for a few reasons,” Bogacki explained. “First and foremost, it's the Million Dollar Race. And this was the biggest Million Dollar Race in history, with over 350 entrants in the main event and more than 600 entrants in the 25-granders. To advance to the final three cars, you have to rack up eight consecutive win lights opposite the very best racers in the country. That's a huge accomplishment. For me personally, we had a bit of a rough week. I broke the motor in my K&N Filters dragster the week prior at the NHRA event in Dallas,” the engine expired in round 3, putting a stop to Bogacki's unprecedented Super Comp winning streak after 29 consecutive round wins.
“I lost in the quarterfinal round of Super Gas in Dallas with our Racing RV's Corvette, then we hightailed it home to Illinois. On Monday, we pulled the broken motor out of the dragster, then took the motor out of the Corvette and dropped it into the dragster. Tuesday I made some test runs, and Wednesday we were back on the road to Alabama for the Million. There, both of our dragsters were really good; but like I said we were racing against the best of the best, and we couldn't seem to catch a break. My wife and I each entered the $25,000 races, and then I drove both of our cars in the Million, but we didn't get out of third round all weekend until Sunday's event. I wish that the rain would have held off so we could have finished on Sunday, but after such a long week it was really rewarding to advance to the final three and split the big purse. As luck would have it, I won the coin flips in the tower after the rains came; so I got to go home with the trophy and big check for the wall of our shop. I don't know if I can claim it as a victory or not, but I guess officially speaking I was the winner,” he laughed.
In order to reach the semi-final round of competition, Bogacki had to weave his way through the 600+ car field, advancing through 8 rounds of intense competition. As one would expect in an event of that magnitude, Bogacki squared off with some of the biggest names in sportsman drag racing. Brian Jones red-lighted in round 2 alongside Bogacki, who then got the better of another decorated sportsman competitor in round 3: Brian Folk. He used a .008 reaction and dead-on 4.689 to defeat Cody Graham in round four. In the fifth round, Montgomery Motorsports Park track champion and longtime big bucks bracket contender Mike Smith laid down a .009 package alongside Bogacki, but Luke escaped with a .004 induced 4.683 (on his 4.68 dial). That set up a sixth round tilt with Chris Eidson, where Bogacki took a huge lead at the starting line on the strength of a perfect .000 reaction time. The perfect light earned him a seventh round bye run, and a berth in the quarterfinal round, where he would take on fellow former NHRA national champion Hugh Meeks. Once again, Bogacki took a significant advantage on the starting line by virtue of a .004 reaction time, and held off the charge of Meeks with a 4.709 ET (4.69 dial). That win advanced Bogacki into the semi-final round, which was never contested due to rain.
While Bogacki's latest success came in the same K&N Filters backed, American Race Cars built machine that carried him to Super Comp success along the NHRA tour, the combination was changed significantly after the engine mishap a week earlier. At the Million Dollar Race, Bogacki was powered by a 582 cubic inch Huntsville Engine & Performance powerplant featuring a BRODIX aluminum block and BRODIX Head Hunter cylinder heads. An APD belt-drive fuel pump fed Renegade 116+ Racing Fuel to an APD 1050 carburetor through a K&N inline filter via Earl's ANO-TUFF hose and fittings. Internal engine components include Manley I-Beam connecting rods and valve springs; a JESEL belt drive and rocker arms; Crane Cam and lifters; a Dedenbear remote cooling system; Clark Gaskets; Hedman Hedders with Nitroplate Coating and retaining tethers from CollectorTethers.com; a Milodon oiling system; Wiseco pistons; a K&N Wrench-Off Oil Filter; Lucas Oil; and a J&J Performance engine diaper.
With the motor swap, Luke installed a 9” BTE torque converter to go along with the same BTE Top Dragster transmission he's run all season. A revolutionary CV Driveshaft from Goethe Enterprises transfers power to a Moser Engineering 3rd member, rear housing, and axles. Mickey Thompson tires and wheels put that power to the race track. Bogacki relies on a single Ohlins TTX-36 shock, and a set of Moser Pro-Drag disc brakes. The driver's compartment houses an Auto Meter MFDL dash display and data logger, along with a K&R Pro-Cube Delay box, K&R Severe Duty switch panel, Biondo Racing Products Pro Outlaw shifter, and Dixie Performance electric shift solenoid. Additional components came from AirTek, JEGS, ISC Racer's Tape, Charlie Stewart Race Cars, Nitrous Express, California Car Cover, Todd's Extreme Paint, RacerTees, SHARP Stuff, and Fastronix.
While the 2015 season has been an unforgettable one for Bogacki, he hopes that more victories are on the horizon before the calendar flips to 2016. He and his wife have plans to attend big bucks “Winter Series” events in Valdosta, GA, Bradenton, FL, and West Palm Beach before hanging up their helmets for the winter.
Luke Bogacki Motorsports is proud to represent K&N Filters and Racing RV's along with associate marketing partners ThisIsBracketRacing.com, Watts Auto Diesel Service, RacerSwag, Renegade Racing Fuels, Advanced Product Design, Bill Taylor Enterprises, C.A.R.S. Protection Plus, JEGS, Mickey Thompson Tires, Accelerated Graphics, American Race Cars, and Product Development Group (makers of AirTek gauges and Flo-Fast pumps). For updated information on Luke and Jessica's travels and success, follow them on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram!
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