Before returning to full-time Pro Stock racing in 2019, Rodger Brogdon noted the new 18-race schedule was a big reason why he decided to come back.
But even the veteran admits it has been a bit strange being off for nearly six weeks. The extended break comes to an end this weekend at the Virginia NHRA Nationals at Virginia Motorsports Park, and that’s the good news for Brogdon, who is excited to jump back into the mix with his RBR Machine Chevrolet Camaro.
“It feels like we’ve been off for a year,” Brogdon said. “I’m ready to go. We’ll go in and see what happens, but I think we’ll be good. I’m looking forward to racing in Virginia. The fans are fantastic there.”
Brogdon wasn’t a part of NHRA’s return to the track a year ago after nearly a decade absence, but he has fond memories of the highly-regarded facility, racing in both Pro Stock and competition eliminator on the same weekend at a previous race there.
These days, Brogdon is focused solely on performing well in Pro Stock with his Elite Motorsports team after a solid start to the 2019 campaign. He is seventh in points through four races, and is just more than three rounds of out second in the parity-filled class.
He has grabbed two No. 1 qualifiers, but Brogdon knows there is plenty on the table for more. His driving skills continue to improve with more seat time, and Brogdon is confident a winning combination is there if everything comes together during a race weekend. As for his decision to join Elite Motorsports, things couldn’t be headed in a better direction.
“I’ve just got to do a better job,” said Brogdon, who has three career Pro Stock wins. “You can always do better, so we want to just keep improving and not beat ourselves. We’ve got a lot of racing to go. I’m 100 percent confident in my hot rod. I wouldn’t change a thing.
“It’s turned out really well for me. I’m glad to be racing with (team owner) Richard Freeman and the Elite bunch. I know they’re doing everything they can to give me a fast hot rod and you can’t ask for anything more than that.”
Brogdon will work to get back in the groove as quickly as possible after not racing since early April. That was the four-wide race in Las Vegas, which means the last traditional race for the class came in Gainesville more than two months ago.
The team that finds its footing the quickest will be at a major advantage in Virginia this weekend, and Brogdon believes his team can lead the charge.
“It’s going to take a qualifying run just to get back in the groove,” Brogdon said. “It’s been a while. But the crew chiefs that run my car and run all the cars in this class, they’re not worried. They’ll find a way to get down.”
Mello Yello Drag Racing Series qualifying will feature two rounds at 1:45 and 5:00 p.m. on Friday and the final two rounds of qualifying at 12:45 and 3:45 p.m. on Saturday. Final eliminations are scheduled for 12 p.m. on Sunday.