By Kelly Wade
The 2021 ThisIsBracketRacing.com Driver Series brought national-scale competition to local racers at nearly two dozen dragstrips across the country. As the season concluded at each of these specially selected facilities, final races were claimed, points were tallied, and champions were crowned.
Ultimately, Tripp West, of Ardmore Dragway, claimed the Top Bulb title, and Bremerton Raceway’s Brian McGinnis earned the Bottom Bulb championship in the second rendition of a series that is rapidly growing in popularity.
“On behalf of everyone at ThisIsBracketRacing.com, we’d like to thank each of the racers who participated in the 2021 ThisIsBracketRacing.com Drivers Series,” said Ashley Thompson, who conceptualized, developed, and administers the program.
“It was really exciting to see how those last races panned out, because it was still anybody’s game towards the end. Our congratulations go out to Tripp West and Brian McGinnis. They had to earn it, and it was a lot of fun to watch.”
The unique ThisIsBracketRacing.com Driver Series was introduced in mid-2020 and initially contested at a handful of racetracks. The series invites weekly bracket racers across the United States and Canada to compete for the title of national champion in Top Bulb and Bottom Bulb categories without ever having to leave their home track.
Host racetracks select eight of their regularly scheduled events at which competitors can earn points toward Driver Series championships, and racers who have signed up for the program earn points at their best six of those eight races.
Top Bulb and Bottom Bulb national champions were awarded $10,000 in 2021, with No. 2 through No. 5 in the final standings of each category receiving $500, and No. 6 through No. 10 claiming a $500 JEGS gift certificate.
With a ton of positive feedback and constructive criticism from participants following the inaugural season, the 2021 ThisIsBracketRacing.com Driver Series continued to develop and expanded to 23 facilities in 18 states with over 400 participants vying for the big-money grand prize.
ThisIsBracketRacing.com founder Luke Bogacki was overwhelmed by the enthusiasm of both racers and facilities.
“This program is an opportunity to give back to the sport at the level where it all began for most of us – local bracket racing,” explained Bogacki, a three-time Lucas Oil Drag Racing Series champion and the 2021 Super Gas national titlist. “What we really want is to see racing at that level continue to thrive, and this was a way for us to connect to that goal. The response more than exceeded our expectations. Our hope is that the series will continue to grow over the years and become even better.”
This story is part one of a three-part feature pertaining to the ThisIsBracketRacing.com Driver Series. Part two, focusing on the championship season of Bottom Bulb Champion Brian McGinnis, will be released in the coming days.
1. Tripp West, Ardmore Dragway, 275
2t. Kurt Goss, Bremerton Raceway, 258
2t. Cooper Chun, T&A Race Club / Sacramento, 258
4. Scott Hessler, National Trail Raceway, 214
5. Dalton Roles, Numidia Dragway, 206
6. Brandon Davis, Virginia Motorsports Park, 200
7. Charles Wier, Ardmore Dragway, 193
8. Angelo Belosi, World Wide Technology Raceway, 183
9. Robert Lutzke, Mid-Michigan Motorplex, 181
10. Rod Taylor, Lost Creek Raceway, 178
1. Brian McGinnis, Bremerton Raceway, 332
2. Brad Hawk, Tucson Dragway, 291
3. Shawn Nichols, Lebanon Valley, 276
4. Charles Wier, Ardmore Dragway, 266
5. Benny Gossett, Big Country Raceway, 249
6. Henry Roberson, Greer Raceway, 236
7. Kip Poole, Bremerton Raceway, 227
8. Brad Northrop, Numidia Dragway, 219
9. Chuck Hawk Jr., Tucson Dragway, 214
10. Chad Dotson, Greer Raceway, 207