Manny Buginga has been a dominating force in 2022, and he continued to prove it by wrapping up his season with a record-breaking double-up win at Donald “Duck” Long’s No Mercy 13 on October 30. Then the following weekend, Team Buginga scored another win at the Haltech World Cup Finals: Import vs Domestic.
The veteran radial tire racer doubled up, winning both the Pro 275 and X275 titles at No Mercy 13, which took place at South Georgia Motorsports Park with record entries. This a feat that had never been done before until Buginga proved he is one of the best small tire racers in the world.
Buginga pedaled his way to a win against Eddie Harrison in Pro 275 is his ProCharger-powered ’03 Mustang, fondly known as “Fred.” “I don’t know what happened, but basically, the track had gone away, I think,” Buginga explained.
“We both smoked the tires, and it was like a Top Fuel final. It was a pedal fest – it was so loud and obnoxious. You don’t realize how loud those cars are until you have to pedal them,” he continued. The New Englander found traction first and clocked a 4.70-second victory lap at 165.62 MPH. Harrison followed with a 6.39-second run at 125.34 MPH.
Buginga didn’t have much time to celebrate as his crew member picked him up in a golf cart and took him back to get ready for the final round in X275. Buginga powered “Big Red” and ’03 Mustang Cobra to a win over Rob Goss, who had just laid down a record-setting run in the semi-finals.
It was a duel at the starting line, as Buginga and Goss each took their time to pre-stage. Buginga went in first, followed quickly by Goss. Buginga was first to leave the line with a 0.031-second reaction time. Both cars again lost traction, but Buginga was able to get to the finish line stripe first at 158.74 MPH pass at 5.74-seconds.
Buginga’s two victories were extra sweet as he etched his name in the history books. “To race at No Mercy – it’s like racing the elite of the elite. They’re all heavy hitters. It’s like a final round in every round, so to make it to the finals in one of those races is pretty significant.”
Next weekend rolled around, and Buginga was ready to carry his previous success at No Mercy 13 into the sold-out World Cup Finals: Import vs Domestic at Maryland International Raceway. Team Buginga qualified number one in x275 vs Hot Rod and sixth in Outlaw vs Extreme.
Team Buginga went on to win x275 vs Hot Rod, going the low of every round going into the finals. They were able to take home the cash prize of $15,000.
Buginga credits the help from his crew, Jamie and Johnny Miller, Franny Mcarthy, Matt “Brooksy” Brooks, Gary Rice, Mark Savage, Derek Mota Ratio Jim, Bob Gardner, his wife Jen Buginga, son Lil’ Manny Buginga and daughter Lilly Buginga. Plus, Buginga thanks his sponsors who make racing possible – M&M transmission, Menscer Motorsports, Pro-Line Racing, Fuel Tech, Merillat Racing, FT Injectors, DiSomma Race Engines, Procharger Harts Turbo, JW Racing and Fabrication, VP Fuels John’s Racecraft, Racewires, UPR Race Products, Summit Racing, Jimmy Fab, Neal Chance Converters, Indy Gear and MJM Construction.