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Article Date: 12/10/2010
Bogacki's Season Ends With Pair of Division Titles & 2nd Place National Finish
Professional bracket racer Luke Bogacki enjoyed another phenomenal season in 2010. Bogacki, who has earned a reputation as one of the top competitors in big dollar bracket competition over the past decade, directed his focus to the NHRA Lucas Oil points chase for the first time in his career in 2010. His results were similar to those he’s experienced in seemingly every series and form of competition he’s tried his hand in, as he enjoyed great success along the NHRA tour.
Bogacki started his season with a Super Comp victory at the opening Division 2 Lucas Oil Divisional event of the season at Bradenton Motorsports Park back in February. A week later, he drove to runner-up finishes in both Super Comp and Stock Eliminator at the Gainesville LODRS. He added two more runner-up finishes in Stock (Atlanta, GA and Cordova, IL) and a pair of victories in Super Comp (Bowling Green, KY and Reynolds, GA) at the divisional level. The strength of those finishes earned Bogacki the NHRA Division 2 crown in both Super Comp and Stock Eliminator.
Bogacki coupled respectable national event showings in Stock Eliminator with his divisional total to finish the season sixth in the NHRA Lucas Oil Stock Eliminator national points chase. His clutch win at the Reynolds, GA LODRS event in October moved him to the top of the national Lucas Oil Super Comp chase with just a handful of events remaining in the season. Gary Stinnett dashed Bogacki’s hopes with a deep run at the Las Vegas LODRS, besting Bogacki’s points total by less than one round. With his finish, Stinnett earned the Lucas Oil crown and dropped Bogacki to second place in the national standings.
“We had a good year on the NHRA side,” said Bogacki. “The win at Reynolds was a huge rush, just because we went in having to win the race and did. When Gary went deep at Vegas it was kind of a kick in the gut, but you have to tip your hat to him. He made nice runs under pressure and he earned the championship. My national event score in Super Comp was pathetic and you’re not supposed to win the championship with finishes like I had.”
In Stock Eliminator, Bogacki posted a semi-final finish (Norwalk) and a pair of quarterfinal losses in national competition (Gainesville and Brainerd) in addition to his three final round appearances on the divisional level. He had a legitimate shot at the title in Stock coming into the final events of the season but a myriad of freak issues kept him from gaining momentum.
“Looking back, our Stock finish is probably more heartbreaking than Super Comp. We had a really good chance to contend for the championship but we had one mechanical problem after another late in the year. The fuel pump quit. We had transmission problems. The car blew the tires off on the starting line out of nowhere. Then we hurt the motor at our last race. The only time since early August we had any luck I ruined it with a red light. I guess it just wasn’t meant to be.”
Despite the discouraging ending, Bogacki has nothing to hang his head about. Finishing his first season in NHRA competition with a pair of division titles and two top ten finishes is an excellent achievement.
In addition to his success on the NHRA trail, Bogacki also held his own within the more familiar realm of big dollar bracket racing despite competing on a very limited schedule along the bracket tour. He was runner-up in the $50,000 main event of the Ultimate 64 Shootout in Cleves, OH (where he also won a $10,000 event). Jason Lynch drove Bogacki’s dragster to a runner-up finish in the $50,000-to-win Great American Race in Belle Rose, LA. Bogacki picked up a pair of $10,000 triumphs in two of the more prestigious events in bracket racing with a win at the Tenn-Tuck Triple Crown series in his venerable Vega and a victory at the Bradenton 5-Day Bracket Championships. He also earned a double victory at Music City’s Southern Survival Shootout in September, earning both the Box and No Box titles on the same night for a $10,000 payday ($5,000 in each category). All told, Bogacki finished the 2010 campaign with 12 victories in 21 final round appearances.
Bogacki wished to thank Bryan and Cassie Robinson, who own the Nova he drove in Stock Eliminator, in addition to his girlfriend Jessica and her family for their help and support. He also thanked the members and advertisers on ThisIsBracketRacing.com, a website he developed to help sportsman racers improve their skills. In addition to ThisIsBracketRacing.com, Bogacki recognized a number of manufacturers for their role in his winning combination: Bill Taylor Enterprises, Huntsville Engine & Performance, American Race Cars, K&N Filters, JEGS, Mickey Thompson Tires and Wheels, Auto Meter, Moser Engineering, Ohlins Shocks, Dixie Racing Products, K&R Performance Engineering, Sunset Racecraft, Milodon, ISC Racers Tape, Goza Racing Products, Figspeed.com, B&M, Todd’s Extreme Paint, J&J Engine Diapers, BRODIX Cylinder Heads, Sparco, DragRaceResults.com, Rockett Brand Race Fuel, Advanced Product Design, Hedman Hedders, Nitroplate, Nitrous Express, and PimpMyCrew.com.
Bogacki plans to attend just a handful of NHRA national events in 2011, with his main focus returning to big dollar bracket competition.
“The NHRA deal was different,” said Bogacki. “We worked toward making that run for a few years and I wanted to do it just to see where we’d stack up. I wish we could’ve won the national title, but it was a successful season. I’m really excited about a lot of the events popping up on the bracket racing scene and we’re going to get focused on that again in 2011. The Lucas Oil tour was a great tool to market ThisIsBracketRacing.com and earn some exposure for the rest of our sponsors, but I’m looking forward to racing for the big money every weekend again.”