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Luke Bogacki’s monster super gas season ends with his third world title

Winning a championship in the NHRA Lucas Oil Drag Racing Series is one thing, but scoring 734 points, like Luke Bogacki did in 2021, suggests someone is able to drive at an entirely different level. From a statistical point of view, what Bogacki has achieved this season is one of the greatest accomplishments in the history of NHRA Sportsman Racing.

Since the current points system was introduced in 1995, the 700-point plateau has only been crossed 21 times and no driver who has scored 700 has ever missed a championship win. Bogacki’s robust total of 734, the result of five wins in seven finals, is the fifth highest total ever recorded. The only riders with more points are Peter Biondo, who has the top three total points at 792, 765 and 743, and Al Corda, who scored 738 on his run for the 1997 Stock Title. The historical implications of his record-breaking season have not escaped Bogacki, who even surpassed his own 732 points during his 2014 title run.

“It’s pretty surreal,” said Bogacki. “I have the National Dragster from my 2014 championship on the wall and have been in almost every final. I always thought I could never duplicate that. Getting close is great.

“I tried to justify to myself what is different this year,” said Bogacki. “I didn’t win a race last year. I told myself it was okay because I have different priorities. I knew I had good gear, but this year I never have [knew] We’d have that kind of success. “

It quickly became clear that Bogacki would race for the title after finishing second in his first appearance of the year at No Problem Raceway Park. He followed with wins at the last Lucas Oil NHRA Southern Nationals in Atlanta and the Division 4 race at the Texas Motorplex. At this point he was in the middle of a full-blown championship fight.

Bogacki’s performance in Atlanta was particularly impressive as he drove his ThisIsBracketRacing.com Camaro to 0.012 light and 9.905 in the final to beat a tough opponent in Jonathan Anderson. In mid-May, Bogacki’s friends suggested that he had the title, but he got none of it.

“Atlanta was super early,” he said. “The first time I thought about it was Dallas. It was only a week after Atlanta, but by then I’d been to three back-to-back finals. There was still a lot to do and the season is long. Anyone who has been doing this for a while will understand that there are years when you start out hot or end up hot. It’s rare to hold out for eight or nine months to win a title. “

During the season, Bogacki never took his foot off the gas. In mid-June, he reached another final at the Division 4 event in Tulsa, Oklahoma, and shortly thereafter took another win at the Division 3 race at Summit Motorsports Park in Norwalk. At this point it became much more apparent that anyone who wanted to take Bogacki the top spot had to put together a monster season to get it off.

Bogacki didn’t have to sweat a lot, but he acknowledged his trip to Brainerd, which included the Lucas Oil Division 5 race and the Lucas Oil NHRA Nationals, was the icing on the cake. Bogacki almost got the title to the point with a semi-final on Thursday and a win on Sunday.

At the same event, perhaps the greatest threat to Bogacki’s title hopes, John Labbous Jr. continued to exert pressure with a win and his own semi-finals.

“I felt really good after Norwalk,” said Bogacki. “I thought I had a hard score to beat. From that point on, the only serious threat was John, but if anyone could, it was him. He reached the semi-finals on Sunday in Brainerd. No disrespect for [runner-up] Dale Evans, but I really thought I was going to play John in the final and that would have been huge. When John lost, I had to recalibrate everything because I wasn’t expecting it. ”

Bogacki managed to score points at the division event in Richmond and the last few weeks of the season have been rather disappointing. Challenger Rob Kropfeld won the Division 2 event in Rockingham but still needed an almost clean jolt in the final events to stand a chance. Kropfeld decided not to travel to Las Vegas or Pomona and notified Bogacki via text message.

“I checked out the Rockingham live timing on my phone and saw Rob win the final,” recalls Bogacki. “He later texted me and said he was done. He didn’t want to travel 3,000 miles to hunt a longshot. “

Looking back on the season, Bogacki admitted that traveling and racing along with his wife Jessica, who rides in the Super Comp, and their sons Gary and Jack on the road, helped bring the fun of racing back to life.

“Everyone has fun when they win, but something has disappeared for me in the last few years,” said Bogacki. “I do it with the family in a fun way. We enjoy the format of the NHRA competition. For me it’s more family-friendly than big bracket racing and I like the challenge of the index race. “

Bogacki also addressed the professional aspect of his third title. As someone who makes a living by teaching others the race primarily through his successful website ThisIsBracketRacingElite.com, he admits that having a third title on his resume certainly looks great. A $ 80,000 win at a big money bracket event in Montgomery, Alabama certainly didn’t hurt either.

“From a marketing point of view that’s certainly good, but I see it the other way around,” said Bogacki. “This is a one-way street. I try to make mine [students] better and vice versa. The big catalyst is the way we are constantly challenging one another. We have a sense of responsibility for one another. It’s a big part of what we teach. “

Bogacki’s list of supporters begins with his wife Jessica and their sons Gary and Jack. He also thanked Chris Estep and his staff and every member of the ThisIsBracketRacing ELITE.

“I also can’t say enough about Charlie Stewart and his team at Charlie Stewart Race Cars: He made an amazing hot rod that makes me look really good,” noted Bogacki.

Finally, Bogacki’s long list of corporate partners includes BTE-Getriebe, Mickey Thompson, JEGS, Renegade Racing Fuel, Advanced Product Design, Accelerated Graphics, Ivey Hutto Golf Cart Sales & Service, Huntsville Engine, Moser Engineering, Pro1 Racing & Safety Products, BAM Lifters, Flo-Fast, AirTek, Manley, Milodon, Auto Meter, Wiseco, Brodix, Ohlins Shocks, Computech, T2G Customs, American Race Cars, Fastshocks, ISC Racers Tape, California Car Cover, Nitrous Express, CollectorTethers.com, PortaTree, RBZ Billet Steering Wheels, Goethe Enterprises, Fastronix Solutions, Jesel, K&R Performance Engineering, Dixie Racing Products, J&J Performance Engine Diapers and Dedenbear.

LUKE BOGACKI’S TRACK RECORD

734 points

No problem Raceway Park (Div. 4) runner up
Lucas Oil NHRA Southern Nationals Event won
Texas Motorplex (Dept. 4) Won event
Tulsa Raceway Park (Dept. 4) runner up
Summit Motorsport Park (Div. 3) Event won
Menards NHRA Nationals Round three
Lucas Oil NHRA Nationals Won event
World Wide Technology Raceway (Dept. 3) Event won
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