Boggs Ready for May 27 Jani-King Southern Showdown
The second-generation racer from Grayson, Ky., plans to use that information when the O'Reilly Southern All Star Racing Series returns to the lightning-fast four-tenths-mile clay oval Friday night, May 27, for the Jani-King Southern Showdown.
"We learned something when I had that big wreck and flipped that car," Boggs said prior to his victory in the April 9 Pit Pass Cabarrus Super Nationals at The Dirt Track. "It turned me up on the right-side wheels. I flipped into the wall and started tumbling. I thought to myself that it was pretty stupid to be running the car so tight that it wouldn't turn. Why did I need that much traction?
"So I freed the car up, and I found that if you don't have to bully the car it will still go around the race track pretty quick. It's a little easier on the driver that way too. I learned a lot by wrecking the car and seeing pictures of the car before the crash."
Boggs' father, Jack, was a big winner in late-model racing prior to his tragic death in 1999 at the age of 49. And while the younger Boggs acknowledges he learned a lot from his father, he says he had to learn the racing game the hard way, on his own.
"My dad raced, and a lot of times they raced NDRA (National Dirt Racing Association) races on Wednesday and I didn't see him a lot. He traveled a lot. He traveled all over the country. It was hard sometimes," the 35-year-old Boggs said. "Our family didn't get to spend a lot of time together, but I learned a lot from 13 on up working with him.
"I tell people that I didn't go to college, but I graduated from one of the best racing schools there ever was, 'Black Jack College' I call it."
Despite his father's success, Jackie Boggs had a rough road to the top echelon of the sport.
"He was real tough on me. When I was 18, I didn't want to help him anymore and he told me that if I wasn't going to work for him I couldn't work on my car in his shop," Boggs recalled. "I thought that was kind of tough. People thought he helped me a lot, but he really didn't. I helped him a lot. I did a lot of work for him, but on the other side of it, I had to do it on my own. I think we could have worked together and gained a little bit of knowledge quicker."
Boggs doesn't believe he'll ever match his father's achievements. "My dad was a great racer," he said. "I will never fill his shoes, but I would like to win some of the races he's won like the World 100. I'd like to win The Dream that he hasn't won. I see a lot of people, and, even today, some guys came up and said they knew him. It will make you tougher, having a tragedy like that in your life. You just have to go with the flow and carry on. It's all you can do."
Boggs has done more than carry on. He's become a proven winner. He races 55 to 60 times a year, but never travels more than 300 or 400 miles from home in order to remain close to his wife and three children.
"You can pretty much race for $10,000 to win every weekend in that area," said Boggs, who is thrilled with the growth dirt-late-model racing is experiencing. "I see bigger rigs and more cars all the time. I think this thing is growing by leaps and bounds.
"Usually, I'm gone on the weekends and back home on Monday, so It's not too bad," Boggs added about his racing schedule. "It's better than working a normal job."
While he has won his share of races, Boggs believes he's actually a better mechanic than he is race car driver.
"I don't consider myself a good race car driver. I like to work on the cars," he said. "I do all the mechanic work on the car. It is the challenge of trying to outdo the other guy that I like. There's nothing like going out there and kicking their butt when you are sitting over here in the corner of the pits by yourself and you go out there and wear them out."
Doing the work himself gives Boggs added confidence when he hits the track.
"Knowing the car is right is a really big advantage," he said. "If I don't go through the car myself a lot of times, I am not in the right frame of mind. I have to work on my own stuff. I have always been that way. Once I get the car the way I want it, it seems to always run better. I think it is just peace of mind."
Part of Coca-Cola 600 Week, adult tickets for the Jani-King Southern Showdown are just $25 with children 12 and under admitted for $10. Tickets can be purchased online at www.charlottemotorspeedway.com or by calling 1-800-455-FANS.