New Car Earns Bogacki a Pewter Wally
Houston, TX: Just four short weeks ago, Luke Bogacki drove his new 1963 Corvette bodied Charlie Stewart Race Cars roadster down the track for the first time. After two weeks of testing, he entered the NHRA Division 4 Lucas Oil Series event at the Texas Motorplex, and managed a third round showing before losing a close race to eventual winner John Salter. From there, Bogacki continued south, to Royal Purple Raceway Park near Houston, TX for the 25th annual O’Reilly NHRA Spring Nationals. There, in just his second competition event, he drove the new machine to victory in Super Gas.
“I knew we would be competitive in Super Gas eventually,” said Bogacki. “Charlie and his team build a great car, and we bolted on nothing but the best components. Plus, my team is really fortunate to have support from some excellent sponsors, and we’ve got a decent database for throttle stop tune-ups and settings. But I never dreamed it would all come together this quickly. To win in our first national event is beyond my wildest dreams.”
The victory was Bogacki’s third NHRA national event crown, and first in the Super Gas category. Man and machine were able to clear several hurdles en route to victory, including six talented opponents. Bogacki opened eliminations by extracting some revenge on Salter, who he defeated in round one with an excellent .006 reaction time. He then posted a near perfect 9.902 to best Reggie Baudoin in round two. Bogacki slipped through round 3 with his worst package of the event, a .022 initiated 9.921 when Hugh Hawkins broke out. That setup a great quarterfinal confrontation with Travis Ringguth. Ringguth, the defending Division 6 Super Street champion left the starting line with a .003 reaction time, but could muster only a 9.932 ET. Bogacki left the line with a solid .006 of his own, and clipped the finish line first by a mere .004 seconds.
“My hat is off to Charlie Stewart and the crew at Charlie Stewart Race Cars,” stressed Bogacki. “You don’t come into a national event with a car that has under 25 runs on it and win unless it’s a really well built car. Our new CSRC ‘63 Corvette definitely falls into that category. Charlie and Jason have been great to work with, and they’ve helped immensely in fine tuning the suspension and overall setup of the car.”
In Sunday’s semi-final, Bogacki was able to get past the always tough Lloyd Parfait in a close double breakout match, 9.872 to 9.864, which setup a final round tilt with multi-time NHRA Division 4 Champion and one of Bogacki’s best friends, Jeff Lopez.
“We made it all the way down to the semifinal round on Saturday night, so Jeff and I knew the opportunity was there to run one another in the final,” said Bogacki. “We went to dinner together Saturday night and joked about how cool it would be if we pulled it off. So when we both won the semi’s, that was like winning the whole event right there. I don’t think it mattered a great deal to either of us who got to hoist the trophy in the end, it was just really cool getting to share the final round stage with one another.”
In the final round, Bogacki used a .017 induced 9.918 to push Lopez into a 9.878 breakout. The win was Bogacki’s third NHRA national event triumph in three final round appearances, and his first in the Super Gas category.
Luke was quick to credit a long list of supporters who allow his program to be competitive. “First off, I wouldn’t even be here running the NHRA tour this season if it weren’t for the support of the members and advertisers of ThisIsBracketRacing.com, the only sportsman drag racing driving school on the world wide web. Our associate partners also play a vital role in our success. Those companies include C.A.R.S. Protection Plus, Tinsley Drilling & Company, Advanced Product Design, Bill Taylor Enterprises, Mickey Thompson Tires, and JEGS.”
Bogacki’s new Corvette Roadster is a Charlie Stewart Race Cars chassis that features a K&N carbon fiber hood scoop, air pan, and filter. Todd’s Extreme Paint performed the flawless paint and body work from a Paintchip racing design. The machine is pushed to 9.90 index at speeds of over 164 mph thanks to a 582 cubic inch power plant from Huntsville Engine and Performance. The engine features a BRODIX aluminum block, BRODIX -3Xtra cylinder heads massaged by Frankenstein Racing Heads, and a BRODIX intake manifold in addition to Wiseco pistons, and a Milodon oil pan and pump. An APD belt drive fuel pump, regulator, and mounting kit pushes Renegade 116+ fuel to the APD carburetor. All of Bogacki’s engines are protected by Lucas Oil lubricants. A Dedenbear throttle stop and K&R Pro Cube delay box allow Bogacki to reign in the machine, which is capable of 7-second E.T.’s, to the 9.90 Super Gas index. Charlie Stewart built the headers from a Hedman Hedders kit before they were shipped to Nitroplate for satin black coating. The Auto Meter Multi Function Data Logger dash kit sped up Bogacki’s learning curve with the cars tune up, which he credited as a major factor in the victory.
The machine puts power to the ground thanks to a BTE Top Sportsman power glide transmission and 9” torque converter. The rear end features Moser Engineering components exclusively: a complete third member, 40 spline gun-drilled axles, and Moser’s new pro disc brakes. Ohlins LMP series shocks help plant Mickey Thompson wheels and tires to the racing surface. Additional components include a B&M Pro Bandit shifter, Dixie Racing Products electric shift solenoid, J&J Engine diaper, ISC Racer Tape helicopter and anti-skid tape, as well as a myriad of parts purchased from JEGS. Luke Bogacki Motorsports also relies on DragRaceResults.com and Nitrous Express.
“If you look back at the event round by round, I didn’t really do anything special as a driver,” admitted Bogacki. “I made a couple nice runs, but I was pretty erratic on the tree. My car really bailed me out, and I got some breaks. I raced six really talented opponents, all very good racers. I was just fortunate that none of them made their best runs beside me. And as we all know, that’s what it takes. It’s not who you race, its when you race them, and I seemed to have really good timing last weekend.”
In addition to his sponsors and supporters, Bogacki thanked his wife Jessica “for being so understanding and supportive,” as well as her family. He also thanked his mother Ellen, Jason Lynch, the Tedesco family, the Tinsley family, Mark Horton at American Race Cars, Tommy Phillips, Wendell Dunaway, Jason Oteri, Brad Demitras, Todd “Bones” Ewing, Bryan Robinson, Jack Camden, Jeff Hayes of Purple Hayes Performance, and John Kyle of APD.