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Apr 22, 2014 - 04:59 PM
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2014 NHRA: Houston's Brogdon Hopes To Do Well At Hometown Race
Posted by: newsla on Apr 22, 2014 - 04:58 PM
2014 NHRA: Houston's Brogdon Hopes To Do Well At Hometown Race

A wide smile crosses the face of ProtectTheHarvest.com Pro Stock driver Rodger Brogdon at the prospects of doing well at this weekend's O'Reilly Auto Parts NHRA SpringNationals. That's because Royal Purple Raceway in Houston is his hometown track; Brogdon lives in Tomball, Texas, north of the city, and his race shop is housed in Houston.


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"It would be fantastic for me and the whole team to win," Brogdon said. "We've struggled since we won in Bristol [Tenn.], and we haven't been able to take advantage of the few opportunities we've had since then.

"We've got to qualify in the top half of the field. That's one goal at a time."

That's the first goal, with other more lofty goals also on his mind. But first Brogdon knows small, incremental improvements are the only way to get where he wants with his race team.

"We're not where we want to be," Brogdon said. "We'll probably all agree that we're behind where we thought we'd be at this point. That's why we're out there testing a lot, trying to get better.

"Nobody on the team is satisfied, so we're still hard at it, working as hard as we ever have."

Brogdon and racing partner Steve Kent have invested heavily in their race team, building a new shop and starting an in-house engine program. Progress has been made, but the Pro Stock class is as competitive as any form of racing these days.

"It's so hard to catch up," Brogdon said. "There are 10 teams out here that can win the championship, and we're trying to be one of those teams. We only need about two- to three-hundredths to run at the top, but that might as well be a minute, it's so hard to get.

"That's why you don't see a lot of people with the wild hair go Pro Stock racing. It's harder now than I've ever seen it. The last few years have been getting harder and harder, and the days of one or two cars dominating the class and outrunning everyone are over."

Brogdon would like to show improvement this weekend. This week the team tested at Evadale Speedway, about 110 miles from Houston, in preparation for its hometown race. Plus, a good showing would put a smile on the face of all the people who will be attending the race as Brogdon's guests.

"You've got all your friends and family and all your people from the businesses coming out," Brogdon said. "Hopefully, a lot of customers come out. There are a lot of distractions, but we can focus on what we need to and take care of them all.

"I've learned how to deal with the distractions, but I need some distractions right now, the way we've been running. Maybe I'll worry a little less this weekend."

Professional qualifying sessions are scheduled to begin at 4 and 6:30 p.m., Friday, and 12:30 and 3 p.m., Saturday. Pro Stock eliminations start at noon, Sunday. ESPN2 will carry a qualifying package from 5 to 7 p.m. CT, Saturday, and eliminations from 6 to 9 p.m. CT, Saturday.

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