03-15 "On The Road" with Luke Bogacki - Busy Guy
Like many of you (I’m sure), it’s hard for me to fully grasp that it’s 2015. But I’m the guy that still wants to write in 19 as my age on my tech card, and has to mentally shuffle through past addresses to make sure that I write down my current residence (even though we’ve lived here for 5 years). As you read this, the month of March is upon us, and for many of us the 2015 racing season is already underway.
The last time that we touched base here with “On the Road,” it was early November. We had just wrapped up our 2014 season, and I was preparing for the incredible honor of attending the NHRA Lucas Oil Championship Awards Ceremony. Today I’ll do my best to recap our offseason, highlighted by some new developments, returning marketing partners, new and continued business opportunities, and even a little bit of racing already here in 2015.
For a fella that doesn’t have a “job,” I’m fairly confident in saying that I’m the busiest unemployed guy that I know. Most of you understand the demands of actual competition – the travel, upkeep, and maintenance alone on 4 race cars and two over-the-road rigs is enough to keep me occupied. Thankfully, we’ve also got several marketing commitments to uphold, as professionally representing partners like K&N, Racing RV’s, and many more are a big part of my job. As a result of our recent success, we’ve added a few additional obligations that are a lot of fun: radio interviews, speaking engagements, magazine features, etc.
In addition, I’ve been fortunate to be involved in several business ventures; all of which were opportunities that stemmed from racing, either directly or indirectly. Between running and maintaining ThisIsBracketRacing.com, co-promoting the JEGS Summer Door Car Shootout, co-promoting the Motor City Hot Rod & Racing Expo, and raising our young son with my beautiful wife; I’ve got a pretty full plate. Just explaining all of that makes me think about how much my life has changed over the past 10-15 years.
Those of you who have kept up with my career here on DragRaceResults.com (this marks the 15th consecutive year of this column) know that it wasn’t all that long ago (or it doesn’t seem that long ago at least) that racing was the top priority in my life. In all honesty, there was very little else that really mattered to me. Boy, how times have changed. For one, when you’ve got a beautiful wife and a great son to come home to, being gone 40 weeks a year isn’t nearly as cool. Those of you who are parents can attest that fatherhood has certainly changed my perspective and priorities. Add in related business obligations, and there’s just a lot of stuff on my plate that tends to take precedence over on-track competition. Don’t get me wrong, I still LOVE to race. And when I race, I want to win as badly as ever. But things have changed. Often, by Wednesday I have to think for a minute to tell you how I lost on Sunday. A few years ago, I could recite every loss of the season, down the thousandth of a second. It’s not that I don’t care anymore, but I’d like to think that I’ve realized there is more to life.
NHRA Championship Banquet
I’ll admit that flying to California for our second world championship banquet in as many years was every bit as cool as it sounds. The folks at NHRA do a great job of making us feel like stars for a night, and the whole scene is pretty surreal; especially to a guy like me who grew up dreaming of one day taking that stage and holding that trophy. It was incredible to share that day with the people closest to me. For a second consecutive year, I was joined on the trip by my wife Jessica, our son Gary (who would just assume that we fly to California every November so Daddy can give a speech, if he was old enough to grasp what was going on), my mother Ellen, and my father-in-law Jack. It’s a special night to begin with, but it wouldn’t mean nearly as much to me if I couldn’t share it with all of those people who play such a major role in my success.
Adding to the memories of this particular night were my fellow champions. For as long as I can remember, I’ve read about, looked up to, and in many ways idolized racers (and men) like Peter Biondo, Edmond Richardson, and David Rampy. Getting the opportunity to share the championship stage with them? Well, I’m not sure I can find the words to describe that thrill. In addition to those pillars of our sport, youngster Austin Williams was honored as the Stock Eliminator champ. Austin, Edmond, and myself all grew up in the same area code, and cut our teeth at the same facility: Texas Raceway. To basically have 3 generations of Kennedale racers take the stage in one night was pretty cool; and I’m honored to represent the place I’ll always call home (no matter where I live), alongside those gentlemen.
How does this happen?
I basically grew up at the race track. My father raced since long before I was born, and he instilled a passion for this sport in me at a young age. For as long as I can remember, I’ve dreamed of being successful in the sportsman drag racing world – and pinnacle of that dream is to win the NHRA national championship. To live that dream two years in a row? That’s the stuff of fairy tales! When it’s happening, you just take it week by week, and round by round. But the offseason gives me a chance to step back and try to soak it all in – and it’s all incredible. I think I always felt like I was good enough to win a championship. In fact, I’d say that I thought I was a little better five or ten years ago than I even think I am today (age and experience brings perspective); but I’ve always realized just how much has to fall into place for a championship to happen. There is an aspect of skill, to be certain, but there is so much that has to go right – and much of it is out of our control. To sit and here and say that I haven’t been fortunate, that I haven’t been lucky (even as much as I dislike that explanation), simply wouldn’t be accurate.
Prior to our first event of the 2015 season, I joined Britt and Slate Cummings for a ThisIsBracketRacing.com “Live” driving school at No Problem Raceway. As part of the class, we take random, anonymous written questions. One question that I wasn’t really prepared for read: “Luke, what explanation can you give for your recent championship success? And you can’t say luck.” To be honest, I babbled through an answer, because I’d never really given it a ton of thought. Since I’ve had a few weeks to mull it over, I’ll offer an explanation for each of you here.
First off, I’ll admit that I’m really good at what I do. Like most of you, I have outings where I question that, but I realize that I can routinely do things behind the wheel that many drivers struggle to do at all. I like to think that I’m a humble guy, but I get the idea that I’ve got a lot of talent, and I’ve worked to refine those talents for years. Today, I’ve got a lot of experience; and that helps a lot – particularly in pressure situations or in the midst of unforeseen issues. I’m also blessed to have great equipment; my cars feature the best parts and pieces that money can buy, and they’re very well prepared. That’s an advantage that I think is often overlooked. Most importantly, I’m surrounded by extremely talented, hard-working, and supportive people. That starts with my wife and son, and includes our marketing partners and all of the manufacturers who we depend on for quality products and services. When you combine all of that, we’ve got a very formidable team – a championship team. But with all of that said, and as proud as I am of every piece of the puzzle I just described, there’s simply no explanation for back-to-back national championships. I feel like we’ve got the pieces in place to compete for a title each season, but the difference between finishing the season fifteenth in the national rankings, and finishing in first is really pretty minimal. It’s a critical round here, it’s a good break there; a thousandth of a second at the opportune time can be the difference between a champion and an also ran. There is a great deal of good fortune involved. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: most of the time winning close races is not a skill. I can’t sit here and say that I ‘deserve’ to have two championship trophies on my desk. And yet, I do have two championship trophies on my desk! I’m very proud of those, and I’m not giving them back!
What’s new for team Bogacki in 2015? Thankfully, at our core there isn’t much changing. K&N Filters and RacingRV’s will return as the major marketing partners on our Super Comp dragster and Super Gas Corvette, respectively. Our bracket program will now feature backing from American Race Cars (the major marketing partner on Jessica’s dragster) and RacerSwag.com (the major marketing partner on my venerable Vega).
The American Race Cars alliance is the next step in a partnership that has lasted the past decade. My first American Race Cars dragster was the tenth car to ever come off of their jig, and I’ve owned American Race Cars dragsters exclusively ever since. Not only do I consider Mark Horton and Travis Colangelo (the partners in American Race Cars) close friends, but it’s also been an honor to grow together professionally over the last decade: I think it’s safe to say that both their business and my race team have achieved greater heights than either of us would have imagined ten years ago. I think it’s an accurate statement to say that I’ve made more passes down the race track in American Race Cars built dragsters than anyone; and I’ve had success with a pretty wide variety of combinations in them. That brings us to this heightened alliance.
Jessica’s car will fly the American Race Cars colors this season.
For 2015 and 2016, I will act as an at-track representative for American Race Cars. My position isn’t sales oriented, it’s customer service oriented. If you own an American Race Cars dragster, I’m there to be a consultant. I can help with 4-link setup, shock settings, air pressure, anything to do with your total combination. My goal is to make sure that you’re happy with your car, and that you’re using your American Race Cars dragster to its full potential. As a result, I’m available at the track or via phone, e-mail, or social media. Tell me your setup, issue, or concern, and I’ll do my best to guide you in the right direction. Sometimes that guidance will be verbal, and often I’ll be able to be more hands on (I’m not afraid to get my hands dirty). Bottom line: my goal is to make your American Race Cars dragster work as well as my American Race Cars dragster. So, if you’re an American customer and you have any needs or questions, feel free to contact me directly.
I mentioned RacerSwag as the new partner on our Vega. We outfitted the Vega with RacerSwag livery at a recent King of the Coast series event in Gulfport, MS, and I must admit that after flying the ThisIsBracketRacing.com colors for six years, the Vega looks a little strange with a different logo on the door! TIBR is still around, it’s not going anywhere. In fact, we’ve just introduced a new look for the site (more details later in this column). But right now, RacerSwag gets our full attention. RacerSwag.com, which will launch in mid-March, will be your online home for all sorts of sportsman racing apparel. As part of our agreement with RacerSwag, the site will be the exclusive online distributor of Luke Bogacki Motorsports and ThisIsBracketRacing.com apparel. That means that all of our LBM t-shirts, as well as all TIBR shirts, caps, visors, and more can be purchased directly through RacerSwag. All of our past designs will be available, and we’ll debut several new shirts in the coming months: stay tuned to RacerSwag.com for all the latest! In addition to LBM and TIBR, RacerSwag will also be the exclusive online home for BW Promotions apparel, and will feature unique shirts for many recognizable sportsman racers. If you love sportsman racing like I do, RacerSwag provides you a one-stop-shop to wear your passion.
Definitely a different look for the Vega… But different is good!
In addition to K&N, Racing RV’s, RacerSwag, American Race Cars, and ThisIsBracketRacing.com, we’re also happy to welcome back each and every key associate marketing partner from our 2014 championship campaign (and add a couple more). Our 2015 associate partners include: Watts Auto Diesel Service, Advanced Product Design, Bill Taylor Enterprises, Accelerated Graphics, Mickey Thompson Tires and Wheels, Product Development Group – makers of Flo-Fast pumps and AirTek pressure monitoring systems, JEGS, C.A.R.S. Protection Plus, and Renegade Racing Fuels.
As we have for several years, we will continue to be an authorized dealer for APD, Flo-Fast, and AirTek. Most of you know how much I believe in the APD product line of carburetors and fuel system components. We use APD exclusively on our fleet of machines: I rely on the Max Speed carburetors for my Super class entries, a combination of gas and alcohol carburetors for our bracket machines, and APD’s belt-drive fuel system and related components on every car in our stable. No one works harder at perfecting fuel system components specifically for our style of competition; and I’m proud to offer APD products on our trailer. Flo-Fast pumps provide a safe, efficient, and quick way to transfer fuel to and from drums, jugs, and race cars. We carry popular Flo-Fast pumps, as well as complete Flo-Fast systems (which include pump, jug, and cart). And of course, we keep several AirTek gauges on hand as well. The AirTek system is trick and precise, and I’m proud to help build recognition and acceptance of their brand and products. Never heard of AirTek? Check out the video we did on the product here: http://airtekpc.com/
Luke Bogacki Motorsports is an authorized dealer for APD carburetors, Flo-Fast fluid transfer systems, and a handful of other manufacturers that we depend on. Call or message me for pricing and availability.
In addition to carrying products for a handful of key suppliers, we’ll also continue to represent RacingRV’s at the race track. At every event, our motor coach will be a display rig: it’s like an open house. Feel free to stop by and take a tour (don’t mind all of Gary’s toys)! The motorhome we’re using is always for sale. If it’s not the exact coach that you’re looking for, just let me know what you’re in the market for: I can all but guarantee that the guys at RacingRV’s either have one on their lot, or can locate your dream coach! They also offer in-house financing, accept trades, and offer rental and consignment contracts. Whatever your race rig needs, odds are RacingRV’s can help you!
As many of you know, we actually sold the Charlie Stewart Race Cars Corvette roadster that carried me to the 2014 NHRA Super Gas title. Charlie is in the process of building me a new whip to replace it. Our new Corvettester will look very familiar: it will feature the same ’63 Corvette body as the last car, the same wheelbase, and will have very minimal changes in chassis and setup. Heck, I’ll even start the season with the same 582 cubic inch, BRODIX Head Hunter headed and aluminum block equipped Huntsville Engine powerplant that I used last season. I hope to pick up the new car in the next few weeks. To keep up with the detailed build-up, follow me on social media: we’ll provide plenty of updates and photos via Facebook, Twitter (@LukeBogacki) and Instagram (@LukeBogackiMotorsports).
Once Chase Huffman at Accelerated Graphics gets done applying the wrap, the ‘vette is going to be slick!
In addition to the new Corvette, we’ll also debut a new (to me) Gold Rush trailer in 2015. I stumbled onto an old Gold Rush stacker late in 2014, and bought it as a project. It’s been at my good friend Jim Henderson’s home since, as Jim is completely re-skinning the inside, adding a loft, rearranging cabinets, replacing the tongue, and performing some general maintenance. Once it’s done, it will be awesome! I’ve always wanted a Gold Rush, and this opportunity was too enticing to pass up. Between Jim’s hard work, and a fresh wrap from Chase Huffman at Accelerated Graphics, this trailer will be sweet!
More work from (and for) Chase and the crew at Accelerated Graphics. I can’t wait to see the finished product!
Since the new (to me) trailer is almost done, we no longer have a need for the ATC stacker that I used last season. It’s a really nice, really light trailer. It’s well laid out, and has lots of storage. It’s on the RacingRV’s lot in Connersville, IN now. If you’re in the market for an affordable all-aluminum stacker (it has a dragster lift), check out the link here: http://www.racingrvs.com/2003-ATC-STACKER-Connersville-IN-Indianapolis-South-Columbus-Cincinnati-Fayette/used_car/%5DMLMqnoj4to%3d
Early Season Recap
While my NHRA rig and cars are a long way from being race ready, we were able to get the maintenance and updates to our bracket setup done over the winter, which allowed Jessica and I to head south from some early season bracket action. We kicked off our 2015 season with the Southern Big Buck Nationals at No Problem Raceway in early February. On my first run of the season in the Vega, I broke the front pump in the transmission. Upon disassembly, I realized the issue. It’s a long story, but when I assembled the car, I bottomed out the driveshaft in the transmission. The bind resulted in essentially destroying every component between the flexplate and the rear axles. Of course, it couldn’t break everything right at once (that would be too easy).
Instead, it broke the front pump; so I changed the transmission Friday night. I didn’t have an input shaft for my spare transmission, so I slid the input out of the broken transmission and installed it in the spare. Two runs later, it snapped the input shaft. So I pulled it out again, between time trials and first round Saturday, replaced the input shaft, and buttoned it back up in time for the first round of No Box. There, still covered in grease, I turned loose the switch with a perfect .000 reaction time in my first competition round of 2015. About 1.5 seconds later, the ring and pinion let go. Awesome!
To be honest, when they towed me back to the trailer, I wasn’t sure if the issue was in the transmission or rear end. When Jessica asked me what broke this time, I said that it was one of the two… And that I honestly hoped it was the transmission. Why? Because I didn’t have another spare transmission – so if that was broken I would be forced to give up! Fortunately (or unfortunately), the issue was in the rear end. And fortunately (or unfortunately) I do carry a spare. Back to work!
I missed Saturday eliminations in No Box and Super Pro while I changed the rear end (thank you to Justin Bromley for his assistance). Meanwhile, Jessica was putting on a show behind the wheel of her American Race Cars dragster. I thought my first appearance in the winner circle of 2015 would be for her picture, but she was ultimately defeated in the quarterfinal round of the $5,000-to-win event – a great showing for her first time behind the wheel in over three months!
Jessica doesn’t understand when I say this, but my favorite part of these trips is watching her race.
I got the Vega buttoned up in time to make the time trial for that evening’s Hi-Roller gambler’s race; a 48-car, $7500-to-win event. Two transmissions, one rear end, and 6 rounds later, I was holding the check at the end of the day! It’s amazing how things fall together sometimes! In retrospect, I’m glad it didn’t break another transmission (and that I didn’t give up). I guess all’s well that ends well.
All that crazy work paid off in the end, as we managed a win in the richest race of the event.
On Sunday, we managed not to break anything! Jessica lost early in her car. I turned it red in the fourth round of No Box. In Super Pro, I thought a repeat might be in the cards. In fact, my buddy Britt Cummings and I were both in the semi-finals and on opposite sides of the ladder. We had visions of splitting the money in the final and enjoying a celebratory cocktail in Pumpkin Center, LA (home of the Cummings) before we set off for Illinois… But our semi-final opponents had other plans. I made a decent (not great) run in the semi’s: I was .012, take .011 against a 4.60 car. Unfortunately for me, my opponent laid down .016 total, so the math wasn’t in my favor. Jarod Wilson knocked off Britt in front of me, and went on to the victory. That round didn’t quite go the way we drew it up (but we stopped in Pumpkin Center for celebratory cocktails anyhow).
We left the trailer and cars at Britt’s house and drove the RV back to Illnois. During our 10-day stay at home, what had been a very mild winter turned bitter cold. On the weekend between trips south, we got nearly 6 inches of snow – our first snow of the winter. Needless to say, we were more than ready to get the motorhome out of the snow and head south once again for the 2015 Huntsville Engine King of the Coast series opener in Gulfport, MS!
The forecast for the weekend was pretty awful, but our trailer was already down there, and you know what? Rain is still way better than snow! So, southbound we went. At Gulfport, we managed to dodge the raindrops. Jessica and I went a ton of rounds: we combined for 46 runs and burnt a full drum of Renegade methanol. Unfortunately, we just couldn’t close the deal. As I like to say, our “getter-closer” was all tuned up, but our “finisher-upper” was missing in action! Jessica had a pocket full of .00 reaction times, and her car ran a stack of 4.86’s, but she was once again knocked off in the quarterfinal round of Saturday’s $4,000-to-win Electronics class. I made it to the quarterfinal in Footbrake, only to see my .028-induced, dead-on lap fall by a scant .0002 to Scotty Taylor, who went on to win.
Saturday night, they decided to have a 32-car, $100-to-enter gamblers race. Of course, we jumped in. Jessica and I were both still entered in the semi-final round. Neither of us staged for the final. Jessica was .010 on the tree, beside AJ Ashe’s .009 package. I was .010 as well, but ran 6.269 on my 6.27 dial beside Johnny Ezell, who was .009 and dropped me on my head. Another semi-final round that didn’t quite go to plan!
Sunday, Jessica got bounced early but I advanced fairly deep in both classes. With 15 cars left in Electronics, I turned it -.003 red to eventual winner Mark White. I got a rematch with Scotty Taylor in the Footbrake final, but once again lit the crimson, this time with a -.002. On the weekend, I entered 5 classes, and lost to the eventual winner in all 5! I didn’t win a thing, but the road to victory definitely went through the RacerSwag Vega!
Our friend Dustin Bryant snapped this shot of Jessica and I making a time trial side-by-side at Gulfport. Someday, we’ll have Gary’s kids on our laps and talk about days like this.
After a day of sweating in shorts and a t-shirt, we only had to drive about 4 hours north to find sleet and snow. Monday’s high in Carterville, IL was 14 degrees. It’s great to be home!
2015 Plans and Goals
Our 2015 race schedule will mirror that of last season. We’ll kick off our NHRA campaign at the Division 3 opener at Lucas Oil Raceway in Indianapolis the first weekend of May. Indy and Norwalk, my first two divisional events, are the last races that count toward JEGS All-Stars points. I’m currently leading the division 3 standings in Super Gas, and I’m within striking distance in Super Comp. I’ve never been a JEGS All-Star, and participating in that event is something that I’ve always to do. Hopefully we can put together a strong start to the season in order to realize that dream.
As for the 2015 season as a whole, I guess I’m supposed to say that we intend to defend our Super Gas title and win our third NHRA national championship in as many years. And I guess that is the intention – just like winning the championship is the intention of roughly 900 other Super Comp and Super Gas competitors across the continent. But I don’t feel like I’m defending anything. The 2013 Super Comp trophy and 2014 Super Gas Wally are on my desk here in the office. They’re not going anywhere; those titles are mine and no one can ever take them from me. Floyd Mayweather, Jr. defends his title – every time he steps into the ring, it’s at risk. My championships are not. If I don’t win a round in 2015, I’ll still be the 2014 champ. So I’m not defending a title – I’m pursuing a title (just like everyone else). With that said, I think that we have a great program and a great opportunity to compete for another championship (or two) in 2015. Like I said earlier, actually winning the championship truly is the result of a perfect storm. While it’s everyone’s goal, I don’t think it’s a realistic expectation. I expect to be competitive in both categories, and my goal (as it is every season), is to win a national event in both cars, and finish in the top ten of the NHRA standings in both Super Comp and Super Gas. That’s not easy to achieve by any means, but I think it’s an attainable goal for me and this team.
On January 13 we lost a beloved member of our racing family. Jeryka Lawrence, just 27, passed away after a courageous and inspiring 2 ½ year battle with cancer. Jeryka and I were close when we were kids, and her family and friends are dear to Jessica and me. We made the trip to Manhattan, KS for Jeryka’s funeral, both to say goodbye and to offer what little support we could for the Lawrence and Lobner families. While a trip like that is never fun, Jessica and I were both so happy that we went. My longtime friend Joey Keith, who I raced with growing up and is now a chaplain for CORE Ministries, officiated the ceremony. While there will always be an air of sadness surrounding the loss of a woman so young, so great, and so inspiring, Joey’s service was moving – almost motivating. He encouraged us (per Jeryka’s wishes) not to dwell on the sadness, but to celebrate Jeryka’s life. Most importantly, he implored us all to embrace and attack every day with the attitude that she instilled in everyone around her. After attending the service, I know I’ll never drive through a round-about without thinking about Jeryka. And each morning, I slip on a commemorative bracelet that reminds me not only of her mantra, but of how I want to live my own life: Today Matters. RIP Jeryka.
Team Jeryka wristbands are available on DragRaceStore.com. All proceeds go to Jeryka’s family and CORE Ministries.
As I alluded to earlier in this column, we’ve made some major changes on the internet’s original online driving school, ThisIsBracketRacing.com. In mid-February, we released our first series of three ThisIsBracketRacing.com PRO instructional videos. Over the course of 2015, we’ll release 11 video tutorials in all, covering various aspects of sportsman drag racing. Each video is about 10 minutes long, so they’re easily digested in one sitting. The first three instructional videos focus on the basics: Video 1 is titled “The Math of Bracket Racing” and discusses the importance of reaction times and ET’s, and how packages are reflected in finish margin. In Video 2, “The importance of staging,” I illustrate just how much of a variable we can create for ourselves in the staging process (I think you’ll be surprised). And in Video 3, we segway into several upcoming instructional videos with the topic “Introducing 3 basic finish line strategies,” in which we briefly introduce the ideas behind TIBR principles: The ‘Dialer,’ the ‘Driver,’ and the ‘Spot Dropper.’
These new ThisIsBracketRacing.com PRO videos are all available to anyone on TIBR – we are no longer a subscription based website. Videos can be rented for just $12 each (or you can purchase this initial 3-pack for just $30), and the rental period is for a full year (so you can watch the videos as many times as you’d like for 12 months). In addition, all of the written content that past TIBR members have come to depend on is still available. Like the videos, this content is all available on demand: you can purchase individual columns for $5 each, or bundles that include several columns on a related subject for $25.
Best of all, a lot of the resources on TIBR are completely FREE! You can read guest tutorials from over 25 of the best racers in the nation: guys like Peter Biondo, Troy Williams, Jr., Shawn Langdon, Jared Pennington, Bruno Massel, Jr., and more, at no charge! In addition, all of our past JEGS Q&A forums are now available for free. Check out the “Free Resources” tab on TIBR for complete details.
Motor City Hot Rod & Racing Expo
This time of year, I am consumed with the Motor City Hot Rod & Racing Expo. March 21-22 will bring the 2nd annual Motor City Hot Rod and Racing Expo to Suburban Collection Showplace in Novi, MI. I partnered with Dave Szerlag to organize and promote the inaugural Expo in 2014, and it was a huge success. We sold out a 65,000 square foot hall with over 120 racing and hot rodding manufacturers and exhibitors, and the Expo played host to nearly 5,000 hot rod enthusiasts. The Motor City Hot Rod & Racing Expo is like a mix between a regional version of the PRI show, and the area’s largest swap meet! Like PRI, exhibitors are new equipment manufacturers or service providers exclusively – you won’t find any used parts or junk. But, like a huge swap meet, the Expo is open to the public: anyone can come in, walk around, and see what’s available. Best of all, we not only allow on-site commerce, we promote it! What does that mean? Not only can you come in, see and touch actual products; and learn about their features from a company representative, but if you’re so inclined, you can take advantage of show specials and avoid shipping charges by purchasing those products right at the Expo! You can take those products home with you! If you’re within a day’s drive of Novi, MI (about an hour outside of Detroit), you don’t want to miss the 2nd annual Motor City Hot Rod & Racing Expo. Check out the flyer below, and visit www.MotorCityRaceExpo.com for more details.
JEGS Summer Door Car Shootout
The 5th annual JEGS Summer Door Car Shootout returns to I-57 Dragstrip in Benton, IL July 17 - 19th. New for 2015: the SDCS is now pre-entry only. Past participants will have the first opportunity to pre-enter. Assuming that our 225 entry limit is not reach by June 1, new entrants can enter at that time. The format is essentially the same as years past, only bigger and better. For the first time, the 2015 event will feature a $5,000 winner’s purse in the Auto Meter Friday Pregame event. In addition, we’ll offer popular SDCS “Door” Prizes in the Friday event for the first time in event history. Check out the flyer below for all the specifics.
Typically, I start these columns off with a family report, but this time around I decided to save the most important part for last. If you haven’t figured it out, my wife is awesome. Last summer, she left her position as a school teacher to stay home with our son full time. Teaching was something that she loves – and that she’s really good at. Her leaving her job would be similar to me quitting racing; she gave up a significant piece of her identity. And yet, she did it without hesitation because she knew that it was the best decision for her family. That’s selflessness. Particularly within our sport, I get a lot of attention for my accomplishments – but she’s the real hero in our family. Without her selfless support, I could never achieve great things. Like I said, she’s awesome and deserves far more credit than I often give her.
Our little guy is still growing like crazy, and he still shows us something new every day. He seemingly went from crawling to running overnight, and he now makes a habit of bouncing his Lightening McQueen push car off of every wall, door, and cabinet in the house (which often makes him laugh uncontrollably). He loves puzzles, he’s gotten really good with flash cards, and he cracks us up all the time. He’ll be two in April. He’s jabbering constantly, but he hasn’t put together too many understandable words just yet. When he decides to start talking, I’m sure it will be profound. I’m a fortunate guy – I’ve got an incredible existence and I absolutely love being that boy’s dad!
One of our favorite parts of the offseason is SIU basketball. We’re season ticket holders, and after the game a lot of the kids go down on the floor and shoot around. Gary seems to enjoy it!
That’s it. 5600 words later, I think you’re up to date! Like I said earlier, keep up with our racing exploits and more by following me on Facebook, Twitter, and/or Instagram. Check out the TIBR PRO videos, and make plans to attend the Motor City Hot Rod & Racing Expo. Until next time, I hope to see you “On the Road!”