Drag racing heartbreak for Houston’s own Rodger Brogdon
HOUSTON, TX – Veteran drag racer and hometown hero Rodger Brogdon of nearby Tomball knows that races can sometimes be won or lost on the starting line. That lesson was reinforced Sunday morning during the opening round of racing at the O’Reilly Auto Parts NHRA SpringNationals when, despite running an identical elapsed time as his opponent, Jonathan Gray, a speedy 6.565, he came up inches short at the finish line due to Gray’s .031-second reaction-time advantage.
“It was darn close but as a driver there is very little that feels as bad as than losing on a holeshot,” Brogdon said. “The guys obviously had the car set up properly, and Elite Performance once again gave us the horsepower to win the race, but the driver didn’t do his job this time.
“That’s drag racing. Sometimes you’re the hero and other times you’re a zero. If you look at our win a few races ago in Phoenix, that day everything went our way. When you have a category as tight as Pro Stock, it’s thousandths and even 10-thousandths of a second sometimes that are the difference between winning and losing.”
If there’s a silver lining to bowing out early, it’s that Brogdon can spend time with his army of personal guests and business associates crowding the RoofTec pit. Aside from his family and an extended group of RoofTec employees and their families, Brogdon is entertaining Dynamic Texas, the Greater Houston area’s top Samsung CNC Machine company.
“I love our fans and friends but I have to tell you the truth, I’d rather be racing some more today,” Brogdon said. “Hey, we’ll have fun either way. There’s some extra pressure, actually, when the people that are closer to you are right there rooting for you to win. Of course, everyone has been great.”
Brogdon and crew will now take two weeks off before racing again May 15-17 at Atlanta Raceway in Commerce, Ga.
“We don’t have far to get back to our shop, so we’ll get back to work right away and have this thing totally ready for Georgia,” Brogdon said. “The first quarter of the year has been pretty decent. Winning Phoenix was a highlight, and having the engine deal in place with Elite Performance has made us true contenders every weekend.
“I’m a little bummed right now but when I stop and review what we’ve done, we’re off to a tremendous start.”