Luke Bogacki continued his stellar freshman season in the NHRA Super Gas ranks with a victory at last weekend’s NHRA Division 2 Lucas Oil Series Event at Silver Dollar Raceway. The win marked Bogacki’s first LODRS event title this season, to go along with national triumphs in Houston, TX and Brainerd, MN.
“I know I always say this when I have success, but things just fell into place this weekend,” Bogacki said. “My Charlie Stewart Race Cars Corvette was awesome as usual, and the close races went my way. I felt like I drove well the last few rounds, and I got some breaks along the way.”
After dispatching Tommy Smith, Robert Adams, Bo Upton, and Chuck Trotter in the opening rounds, Bogacki faced a daunting task in the semi-final. There, he took on former NHRA World Champion David Tatum, with the winner of that matchup advancing to face two-time NHRA World Champion Sherman Adcock in the final round. Bogacki defeated Tatum in a double-breakout match, 9.897 to 9.883.
That set up a final with red-hot Adcock, who earlier in the weekend earned a Super Gas triumph at the delayed finish to the LODRS event originally contested in Bristol, and would go on to finish the weekend with a Super Comp title in Reynolds. In facing Bogacki, Adcock was looking for his third NHRA “Wally” of the weekend. The final round contest made for an incredible race, as the pair left nearly simultaneously: Bogacki’s .011 reaction time had a slight edge over Adcock’s .014. At the finish line, both drivers matched the 9.90 index, with Bogacki’s 9.904 getting the nod by a mere .002 over Adcock’s 9.903.
“That was one heck of a final,” said Bogacki. “I got lucky that it fell my way, no doubt. Sherman had been making incredible runs all weekend. In fact, someone said in the staging lanes before the final, ‘Boy, this will be a great race.’ And I just thought, ‘I sure hope so; I know he’ll make a good run, I’m just not quite as confident that I will!’ If he makes that run beside me 10 times, he’d probably win 8 or 9 of them. Let’s just say I’m glad it’s not a best of 5 series to determine the winner!”
The machine that Bogacki drove to victory is a ’63 Corvette bodied roadster constructed by Charlie Stewart Race Cars in Azle, TX. It’s powered by a 582 cubic inch Huntsville Engine that features a BRODIX aluminum block, cylinder heads, and intake manifold, as well as a Milodon oiling system, Wiseco Pistons, Crane Cam and lifters, Hedman Hedders with Nitroplate Coatings, K&N filters, and Lucas Oil. An APD “Throttle Stop” 1050 carburetor (for which Bogacki is a stocking dealer) feeds Renegade 116+ Racing fuel to the engine and is controlled by a Dedenbear throttle stop. Bogacki depends on a K&R Pro-Cube Delay Box, Auto Meter Multi-Function Data Logger, and Dixie shift solenoid to dial the car to the 9.90 index. A BTE transmission and torque converter feed power through a Moser Engineering rear end and axles to Mickey Thompson wheels and tires. A set of Ohlins Shocks and Moser Pro Drag Brakes round out the package. The car features a K&N carbon fiber hood scoop and paint by Todd’s Extreme Paint in addition to quality products from J&J Engine Diapers, ISC Racer’s Tape, Nitrous Express, B&M, AirTek Pressure Systems, Frankenstein Racing Heads, American Race Cars, and DragRaceResults.com. Nearly every product on the winning machine can be purchased at JEGS.com.
The victory lifted Bogacki into third place in the NHRA Lucas Oil Super Gas points chase, trailing recently crowned World Champion Jeff Lopez, who clinched the title a day earlier with a runner-up finish in Houston, and Adcock. He is also currently in third place in the NHRA Super Comp standings, although an early loss in that category at Silver Dollar hurt his chances at the title.
“Yea, if I could have scripted the outcome, I would have won Super Comp and lost early in Super Gas, but I feel like I did my job in Super Comp, I just got beat. I have one divisional left to earn points in Super Comp, and I’m going to head to Las Vegas in a couple of weeks to give it a shot. I’m a longshot to win the championship, but I do have a slim chance. I’m just fortunate to be in a position to contend for the title, and the means to head out West. That’s made possible thanks to the support of my marketing partners; namely ThisIsBracketRacing.com, Tinsley Drilling and Company, C.A.R.S. Protection Plus, Advanced Product Design, Bill Taylor Enterprises, JEGS, and Mickey Thompson Tires & Wheels.”
Bogacki will compete at the 17th annual C.A.R.S. Million this weekend before venturing to the west coast for the Las Vegas LODRS event and the final two national events on the 2012 NHRA schedule: the NHRA Big O Tires Nationals in Las Vegas, and the AAA Auto Club NHRA Finals in Pomona, CA.