Drag Illustrated Issue 177, July / August 2022 - Page 117

Massel : I think it ’ s a deal where everything is cyclical . People go away and then come back , and maybe this is the part of the cycle where they ’ re starting to come back . Rodger Brogdon throwing a financial windfall into Division 4 [ by starting the Comp Bonus Fund ] hasn ’ t hurt . I personally think it ’ s a combination of the two .
Greenheck : They ’ re offering more money in Division 4 , and people are gravitating toward that , but I don ’ t do this to get rich ; I did this to get poor . I do this for the competition , and I think that ’ s what draws people to it . It ’ s so difficult that when you do succeed , it ’ s quite gratifying . After you race for a while and get the performance down , then it ’ s a mental game . That can wear you out , but it ’ s also enjoyable .
Freeman : Here lately it seems like there ’ s been some extra money thrown around at the division races , and for a lot of these guys , including myself and all of us , it ’ s nice to have that bigger purse up there . I know Division 4 put up a lot of money , and they had a bigger car count this year . It ’ s been good for them . Everybody thinks it ’ s more expensive to run Comp than doing the Top Sportsman and Top Dragster deal , but if you walk through the pits , those guys have some really , really nice stuff . They ’ re not sparing any expense over there . I think people are beginning to understand that it doesn ’ t cost an arm and a leg to run Comp like it used to . You can go out there and be competitive [ on a budget ], and you can take the car to the finish line without fear of going too fast .
Brogdon : I just think it ’ s just a natural progression for a lot of racers , especially Stock and Super Stock , to move up to Comp . That ’ s what it was for me , all the way back to when I ran ET classes . I watched the Nickens boys and thought , “ Oh boy , someday I wonder if I ’ ll be able to do that .” A lot of people are making the move now , and it ’ s such a great class . It ’ s full of creativity . Not a real breakout class , but it does have its challenges , and I think that ’ s just it – people want to make the move up to it . There are a lot of classes in Comp you can run . It ’ s still expensive , but on a really good Stock or Super Stock budget , you can get over there and be really competitive .
✖ ✖ ✖ ✖ ✖ ✖ ✖ ✖
What will it take to preserve Comp Eliminator for future generations ?
Aragona : I think the thing missing that could help Competition Eliminator be around forever is somehow getting money put into the class . Years ago , you could win a national event and , if you bought all the right products and supported all the companies that supported the contingency program , you could get like $ 15,000- $ 16,000 between the purse and contingencies . Now , you ’ re lucky if you get $ 9,000 and the cost has probably tripled what it used to be to run the class .
I ’ ve been after everybody about this for a long time ; you need to bring money into this class .

✖ ✖ ✖ ✖ ✖ ✖ ✖ ✖ BONUS BUCKS


R odger Brogdon has been part of drag racing for a long time , and he ’ s raced in everything from the ET classes at the local level to NHRA Pro Stock . His heart , though , has always belonged to Comp Eliminator , and on that sentimental note , the Texas businessman and owner of RoofTec ( a Houston roofing contractor ) put together the Competition Eliminator Bonus Fund for NHRA ’ s South Central Division .

“ I just wanted to draw more attention to the class ,” says Division 4 mainstay Brogdon , whose business put up the initial funding to get the program off the ground in 2021 , its first year . The 2022 Comp Eliminator Bonus Fund is up to $ 225,000 , with the Division 4 champion scoring an astounding $ 100,000 jackpot and the runner-up claiming a tidy $ 25,000 . The remaining funds will be distributed among the top 10 finishers in the division ( see the full breakdown and details of the program at CompEliminatorBonusFund . com ).
“ Nothing draws attention to something like money being involved ,” says Brogdon . “ There are a lot of classes that don ’ t get the exposure they deserve , but this is just something I ’ m
trying to do for the class and the racers because I love it . It ’ s always been my favorite class , by far . Comp Eliminator is it for me .”
Although Brogdon and RoofTec initially put forth the bulk of funding for the program , this year the Bonus Fund has drawn more individuals and businesses who want to support the racers . In total , 12 additional contributors have put in $ 10,000 each to increase viability and allow the big $ 100,000 payout to the Division 4 champion .
The program is proving effective as the promise of generous payouts has increased participation in the class , even from out-of-division racers . It is not required to claim Division 4 in order to be eligible for the program ; the unwavering stipulation is that a driver participates in six of the eight events scheduled for the South Central Division .
“ We ’ re averaging 25 cars a race at last count ; now it may be more ,” says Brogdon . “ If you go back three years , you ’ d probably see an average of 10 or 11 . I think we can get that number even higher .”
Brogdon doesn ’ t see the Comp Eliminator Bonus Fund as short-term , and he ’ s aiming at increasing the offerings exponentially .
“ I want $ 500,000 in that pot in five years so that we can pay the winner $ 250,000 ,” he asserts . “ We can achieve that , if we keep the [ sponsors ] that we have now and continue to add more . I ’ m trying to get more people on board , and as long as we can keep this going , I ’ ll put up $ 100,000 of my own every year . The more people that get involved and the bigger it becomes , the more exposure we ’ ll all get . It ’ s like a tumbleweed that I ’ m trying to get going .”
He ’ d also like to see more programs like the Division 4 Comp Eliminator Bonus Fund come to fruition and increase overall participation in the class .
“ I hope it catches on in other divisions ,” says Brogdon , who ’ s eager to roll out a new layer to the Comp Eliminator Bonus Fund next year that offers exclusive rights to sponsors as official brands of the program . “ There are plenty of people with the wherewithal to step up and do what I do . I ’ m laying the groundwork , showing them how to do it . All they have to do is copy it . I ’ d love to see others get involved and do something like this for the class .
“ This could be the biggest thing ever for Sportsman racing . I just want to see it grow .” DI
July / August 2022 DragIllustrated . com | Drag Illustrated | 117