HOW IT WORKED
The Driver Series featured a unique format that allows local bracket racers a chance to compete against each other, on a higher platform, without the need to travel large distances.
The series is divided into a Top Bulb class (Super Pro and Top ET racers) and a Bottom Bulb class (Sportsman and Pro ET racers).
After signing up, we kept track of participating driver results at participating tracks. Year one we had five available tracks. Year two we had over a dozen!
Then, we combined the points from each event into a combined spreadsheet. The year-end champion takes home the check and honors, courtesy of ThisIsBracketRacing.
The champions in each category received cold, hard cash.
Cavar & Howard Conquer ThisIsBracketRacing Driver Series, Claim $10,000 each!
Carterville, IL: The 2022 ThisIsBracketRacing.com Driver Series presented by JEGS saw a Bremerton Raceway (WA) driver and Ardmore Dragway (OK) take top honors, as Luke Cavar (Top Bulb) and Jake Howard (Bottom Bulb) were crowned season champions. The unique series, which allows competitors from across the country to compete for the title of National Champion (and a handsome $10,000 payday) without leaving their home track was designed to reward and encourage local, grass roots racing in every corner of the continental United States. More than 250 competitors ran for the title, contested across 25 facilities: from Lost Creek Raceway (Anaconda, MT) to Capital City Motorsports Park (Montgomery, AL); Redding Motorsports Park (Redding, CA) to Lebanon Valley Dragway (East Chatham, NY).
When the dust cleared, the two champions were crowned: Howard (Ardmore Dragway) earned his first Driver Series crown in the Bottom Bulb category. Wheeling his Firebird entry, he earned 2 event wins and a semi final appearance, amassing 307 points and topping reigning 2021 champion Brian McGinnis (Bremerton Raceway) by less than one round! . McGinnis backed up his 2021 championship campaign by earning three event wins at Bremerton reaching the 300 point mark for a second consecutive season.
While Bremerton racer Luke Cavar is a first-time ThisIsBracketRacing.com Driver Series presented by JEGS Champion, the name probably sounds familiar. That’s because Luke’s brother, Lane was the champion of the inaugural ThisIsBracketRacing.com Driver Series back in 2020. While Luke earned just one victory in his points-earning season, he was able to pile up 276 points on the strength of multiple late round finishes: in addition to the win, he added a runner-up finish, a semi-final, and went rounds in every event to comfortably best second place finisher Thomas Barbero (Worldwide Technology Raceway).
Cavar’s win continues an impressive trend for Bremerton racers, as the small Washington facility has now played host to 4 of the 6 ThisIsBracketRacing Driver Series presented by JEGS champions! In addition to the Cavar family and ‘21 Bottom Bulb champion McGinnis, Kip Poole won the inaugural Bottom Bulb championship from Bremerton back in 2020. Jake Howard joins Tripp West, the only other non-Bremerton champion, who earned the 2021 Top Bulb series championship representing Ardmore Dragway (Ardmore, Ok), as well. There must be something in the water at Bremerton and Ardmore!
Luke Cavar paced the 2022 top bulb field and will receive a cool $10,000 courtesy of ThisIsBracketRacing.com. He was followed by a talented and diverse group of racers. Second through 5th place finishers will receive a yearlong membership to ThisIsBracketRacing ELITE (a $1300 value), while sixth through tenth place finishers each earn a $500 JEGS gift card.
The 2022 Top Bulb Top 10:
- Luke Cavar (Bremerton Raceway – Bremerton, WA): 276 points
- Thomas Barbero (Worldwide Technology Raceway – Madison, IL): 191
- Kurt Gross (Bremerton Raceway – Bremerton, WA): 190
- Dennis Pearson (Worldwide Technology Raceway – Madison, IL): 184
- Jeremy Sears (Bremerton Raceway – Bremerton, WA): 184
- Robert Butler (T&A Race Club – Redding, CA): 183
- Matthew Moon (Worldwide Technology Raceway – Madison, IL): 182
- Bill Rowe (National Trail Raceway – Columbus, OH): 171
- Jared Ledford (Mid-Michigan Motorplex – Stanton, MI): 171
- Michael Rogers (Lebanon Valley Dragway) – Lebanon, NY: 162
View the complete 2022 Top Bulb Points standings.
Jake Howard earns the massive $10,000 prize as the Bottom Bulb champion. Just like the top bulb competitors, second through 5th place finishers each earn a yearlong membership to ThisIsBracketRacing ELITE, while sixth through tenth place each receive a $500 JEGS gift card.
The 2022 Bottom Bulb Top 10
- Jake Howard (Ardmore Dragway – Ardmore, OK): 307 points
- Brian McGinnis (Bremerton Raceway – Bremerton, WA): 300
- Henry Roberson (T&A Race Club – Redding, CA): 294
- Mark Martinus (Mid-Michigan Motorplex – Stanton, MI): 265
- Dwayne Opperman (Redding Dragstrip – Redding, CA): 265
- Grant Nichols ( Lebanon Valley Dragway) – Lebanon, NY: 234
- Matt Hawk (Tucson Dragway – Tucson, AZ): 233
- Steven Mang (Bandimere Dragway – Denver, CO): 225
- Kenny O’Keefe (Bremerton Raceway – Bremerton, WA): 223
- Ryan Tetreault (Tucson Dragway – Tucson, AZ): 216
View the complete 2022 Bottom Bulb points standings.
“On behalf of ThisIsBracketRacing.com, I’d like to congratulate both Luke Cavar and Jake Howard on their national championships, as well as every top ten finisher on their accomplishments in 2022. I also want to apologize to everyone who supported the ThisIsBracketRacing.com Driver Series presented by JEGS for the long delay in announcing our 2022 champions. It’s been a struggle for us to verify and validate results, and our small but dedicated team has been spread very thin. Given our lack of manpower and our commitment to providing value to ThisIsBracketRacing, ThisIsBracketRacing ELITE, and ThisIsBracketRacing Junior, we will not be continuing the Driver Series program in 2023. While I love the program, and the idea behind it to support grassroots bracket racing across the continent, we simply don’t have the manpower or resources to provide the type of national series that racers deserve,” explained ThisIsBracketRacing.com’s Luke Bogacki.
Cavar & Poole Claim Inagural 2020 ThisIsBracketRacing Driver Series Crowns
The 2020 ThisIsBracketRacing Driver Series has concluded, with two Washington-based racers earning the series championship in their respective categories. Lane Cavar (Top Bulb) and Kip Poole (Bottom Bulb) have earned the inaugural championships in the series based on their success at Bremerton Raceway in 2020.
In 2020, the champions in each category received $2,500 cash. In addition, ThisIsBracketRacing ELITE chipped in an extra $1,000 to any champion that is a current member of the ELITE community.
This year the series consisted of 5 participating tracks:
- National Trail Raceway (Columbus, OH)
- Muncie Dragway (Muncie, IN)
- Beech Bend Raceway Park (Bowling Green, KY)
- Bremerton Raceway (Bremerton, WA)
- Mid Michigan Motorplex (Stanton, MI)
Kip Poole - Bottom Bulb Champion
Kip Poole, 35, was the overall bottom bulb champion with one race win accompanied by deep finishes in two of the other races.
Kip, from Poulsbo, Washington, started going to the track with his dad when he was a kid. As soon as he got his driver’s license he started racing the high school class at his local track, Bremerton Raceway. He raced an all stock ’76 C10 in high school through 2004.
Years after Kip’s weapon of choice was an S10 Blazer that ended up with a blown motor. That didn’t stop him though. Like any racer he raced whatever he could get his hands on, whether it be his daily or his wife’s daily!
Over the years, Kip hadn’t lost touch with the racing community. He competed in some races here and there. This year was his 3rd year racing “full time” in Bremerton’s bracket program. Kip’s weapon of choice is a ’79 Malibu that he races in Sportsman and Pro ET.
He ended Bremerton’s point series 3rd in Pro ET and 5th in Sportsman. When asked about his strategy switching classes, Kip noted that he doesn’t change his strategy, just his look at the finish line; he’s usually chasing in Sportsman and being chased in Pro ET.
Fun fact, Kip’s dream car is a wagon of some sort!
2020 Top Ten in Bottom Bulb:
- Kip Poole (Bremerton)
- Tom Bray (Mid-Michigan)
- Gary Gandee (Bremerton)
- Matt Kielman (Bremerton)
- Dustin Goodin (National Trail)
- Clair Reed (National Trail)
- Brian Cireddu (National Trail)
- Gary Howe Jr. (Bremerton)
- Jimbo Fields (Beech Bend)
- Michael Gramlich (Mid-Michigan)
Lane Cavar - Top Bulb Champion
Lane Cavar, 21, won the overall top bulb championship with two race wins and went deep rounds at the third race to clinch the title.
Like Poole, Lane, (Puyallup, Washington) has been going to the track his whole life. His grandpa started racing in 1968 and the rest is history. Lane raced in juniors at 8 years old until he was able to jump in a big car.
At 16 he started racing his ‘04 Mullis Dragster as well as his ’79 Malibu in the high school class at Pacific Raceways. His first year racing he ended Pacific’s points series 3rd in Super Pro and Top Comp, as well as a high school championship. (Followed by two more after that!)
Lane was also crowned Division 6 Rookie of the Year in 2015. Up to now, Lane has already amassed 7 track championships!
Lane has put in a lot of work on his Malibu. The car was given to him at 12 years old from his uncle. It’s still a true streetcar and to this day even has a parking pass sticker from 1988 on it! What started out as a lawn ornament in his uncle’s backyard went from a 14 second car to now a mid-9 second car.
Lane is most proud of his relationship with his younger brother, Luke, who started racing the Malibu earlier this year.
Lane is a member of ThisIsBracketRacing ELITE , which means that he receives an additional $1,000 for winning the Top Bulb overall championship.
2020 Top Ten in Top Bulb:
- Lane Cavar (Bremerton)
- Wes May (Muncie)
- Jeff Kirkpatrick (Muncie)
- Michael Gramlich (Mid-Michigan)
- Robbie Seszko (National Trail)
- Skylar Drews (Mid-Michigan)
- Jim Martin (Mid-Michigan)
- Jeff Burdess (Mid-Michigan)
- Andrew Christofferson (Mid-Michigan)
- Jason Hemerline (Mid-Michigan)