Racing at home a perfect recipe for local hero Brogdon
TOMBALL, TX – Not only is Royal Purple Raceway the home track for MAVTV Pontiac driver Rodger Brogdon, it's also where he had the best weekend of his professional drag racing career.
Brogdon, who lives about an hour from the facility in Tomball, Texas, qualified No. 2 and raced to the final round in last year's NHRA Pro Stock event here in 2011. He'd love to repeat that in this weekend's O'Reilly Auto Parts Spring Nationals.
"Just a little bit more luck; That's all I need," Brogdon said. "I'll take my chances, being the second-fastest run of the day and having an .009-second reaction time in the final again, for sure."
That's what Brogdon accomplished last year, going 6.624 seconds at 208.78 mph when the trophy was on the line. Still, Vincent Nobile nipped him at the finish line by about six inches, giving Brogdon even more incentive for 2012.
"We did everything right," Brogdon said. "We just didn't win the race. I don’t know what we could've done any different."
Brogdon equaled the best elapsed time in qualifying, ending up No. 2 only because Ronnie Humphrey was a tick faster in mph.
On race day, Brogdon was spectacular. After a .050 reaction time light in the first round against a slower car, Brogdon's next lights were .021, .007 and .009.
"I qualified No. 2, went to the finals, drove good – all the chips were falling the right way," Brogdon said. "I just didn't get the deal done at the end."
Houston is always a special race for Brogdon and teammate Steve Kent, as they will entertain more than 250 friends and family members over the weekend. Organizing the festivities can be a "madhouse," and Brogdon said the team is still finalizing plans for getting tickets.
"We'll make a final decision n how many we need Thursday," Brogdon said. "We're going to go buy tickets then and when we run out, everyone else is on their own."
Brogdon welcomes the support, of course, and as a show of appreciation he has plans to cook for all their customers, guests and family members on Friday and Saturday. Come Sunday, they're on their own. "We're racing on Sunday," Brogdon said. "No distractions allowed."
The volume of people could be tough to handle but Brogdon said talking about racing with guests actually helps him concentrate on driving.
"It's hard, but it might not be as bad as you think," Brogdon said. "There is so much going on. You've got so many people talking to you, and you're explaining what's involved in making a run in a Pro Stock car, from setting the wheelie bars to looking at the computer when it's over. You really keep your mind on it, and you might not have as much pressure when you get up there."
The proof was in the performance from last year.
"Last year we all did a good job," Brogdon said. "This year we want to get the job done."