Set to build on a very successful 2012 where Luke Bogacki finished the NHRA season ranked third nationally in both Super Comp and Super Gas, the ThisIsBracketRacing.com/K&N Filters team began the new season with high hopes. While he may not have had quite the bang he was looking for out of the gate, the talented driver from Carterville, Illinois has begun to pick up his pace. After a runner-up finish in Super Comp at the Phoenix LODRS NHRA event, Bogacki followed it up with the Super Gas title during the Division 7 LODRS in Las Vegas.
Luke Bogacki gains Super Gas title during the Division 7 LODRS in Las Vegas
“It’s always a good feeling to get an event win, and this one is no different,” said Bogacki of his Super Gas win. “Honestly, this was a race that I probably had no business winning. I wasn’t happy with our early season performances in either category, and as a result I made wholesale changes on both cars prior to the race in Vegas. The dragster really liked the new setup, but the Corvette did not. I definitely went in the wrong direction with it, and it was not consistent. I got extremely fortunate in several rounds, and I’ll take a little credit for doing a pretty good job behind the wheel at times as well. It just all fell together, and obviously it’s easier to have fun when everything clicks and win lights are coming on.”
Luke Bogacki chalks runner-up finish in Super Comp at the Phoenix LODRS NHRA event
Most racers hope to have a lucky round to help them on their journey to the final round, but it would not be for Bogacki during the Las Vegas event. For this race, he would flat earn each win light during all seven rounds of Super Gas competition starting with his round one win against Brian Fritz that set him up to meet Randy Fabbro in round two. Bogacki put up an index perfect 10.050 to edge out Fabbro and his 10.049 breakout in a squeaker at the finish line.
Moving on to round three, Bogacki would send home Justin Strom and on to face Don Anderson in round four. There, Bogacki would turn a sizable starting line advantage into a close .005 stripe for yet another win light and make a similar pass for his quarterfinal round win against Mike Wiblishouser, who like the competitor before, gave Bogacki way too much to work with at the starting line.
In the Super Gas semi-finals, Bogacki and his ThisIsBracketRacing.com/K&N Filters roadster lined up to face Rick Cates and again another holeshot for Bogacki not only turned into a round win but also his second NHRA final of the season. This time Bogacki was looking for a different outcome.
NHRA racer Luke Bogacki competes in the Super Gas and Super Comp categories
Unlike previous competitors that Bogacki had faced through the weekend, his final round pairing would find him facing, Tanner Hiatt who had put together quite a nice string of reaction time over on his side of the ladder. This round would be a race right from the start with only .003 between the two and this time, Bogacki giving up the stripe to push Hiatt deeper under the index for a 10.042 to 10.031 breakout Super Gas victory and his first of the young 2013 season.
“Most of my rounds didn’t play out anything like I had pictured them,” Bogacki confessed, “and the final was no different. I thought I could run well under the index, and had every intention of taking the finish line, but I couldn’t get in front. In the end, that’s the only way I could have won. I just seemed to end up in the right place at the right time. Like I said before, I definitely went the wrong direction with the car, but I’ll learn from it and we’ll be better next week. The competition is so tough these days that if you’re not constantly working to improve then you’re going to get left behind. In that effort to get better we’ll occasionally misstep. I was just really fortunate to be able to take what could have and probably should have been a wasted weekend and escape with a victory. Hopefully we can use that to build some momentum going forward.”
Bogacki also had a good showing in behind the wheel of his dragster over in the Super Comp category where he advanced to the fourth round before taking a bow to a fellow tough customer, Tom Bayer. But thanks to some solid rounds, he added to his NHRA total and grabbed an early lead in the Lucas Oil Super Comp standings.
“I want to take this opportunity to thank Charlie and Jason at Charlie Stewart Race Cars for building me a great car,” said Bogacki of his winning Super Gas ride. “Sometimes I get to making changes and make it look like it’s not a great car, but it is. It works really well. That car is safe, gorgeous, and a dream to drive. I also want to thank my wife, Jessica. She’s due with our first child in May and she’s a little bummed about not being at the races herself. Her support and faith in me is incredible; I couldn’t do this without her.”
The driving sensation not only seems to consistently find his way to the winner’s circle but also is consistent with his raves about the parts he uses to get him there and he’s quick to highlight his products from K&N Engineering that include the K&N 100-8505 scoop on his dragster and the 100-8506 on the Corvette roadster.
“I use the K&N carbon scoops, trays, sealers, and air filters on both cars along with K&N Wrench-Off Oil Filters as well as miscellaneous filters and related items,” the Las Vegas Super Gas Division champ pointed out. “I also rely on K&N products on my '99 Ford F350 tow vehicles, from the oil filter to the cold-air intake and filter. I own two of those old Ford's, with 300,000 and 400,000 miles respectively. K&N has helped protect them and keep me rolling down the road for over a decade!”
Bogacki will wrap up his west coast swing with a stop at the inaugural Las Vegas K&N Spring Fling Bracket Race before returning home to his wife Jessica to await the arrival of his first child, but it won’t be too long of a cooling off period before the racer gets back on the road.
“I'll pick back up in the summer months,” he noted. “I still plan to make eight divisional and nine national events, in addition to a handful of big dollar bracket events.”
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Related K&N News Articles about Luke Bogacki: NHRA Driver Luke Bogacki Experiences a Stellar Super Comp and Super Gas Race Season; Luke Bogacki Grabs Sensational Super Gas Win With New Car at its First NHRA National; Luke Bogacki Motorsports Ready and Set for 2012 NHRA Season