From Must See Racing
KALAMAZOO, Mich. (May 28, 2022) – For a driver making just his second-ever sprint car start, 16-year-old Andrew Bogusz drove like a seasoned veteran Saturday night at Kalamazoo Speedway.
Bogusz raced to his first Must See Racing Midwest Lights victory in wire-to-wire fashion, taking control of the 25-lap main event from the outside of the front row and holding serve through three first-half restarts before pulling away by 2.116 seconds in the closing stages.
The Shelby Township, Mich., young gun fended off Tim Henthorne early and two-time series winner Cody Gallogly later on before parking his white No. 17 on the frontstretch at the end of the night.
As he exited his race car and climbed atop the wing to celebrate, the explosion of emotion from the teenager was palpable and unmistakable.
“Oh my God, we won a Must See race!” Bogusz screamed in front of the SPEED SPORT TV cameras, tears in his eyes before he turned to his father Terry for a huge hug.
The young standout moved into the Midwest Lights division this season from go-karts and quarter midgets, but said he felt no nerves on any of the restarts Saturday night despite his relative inexperience.
“I just knew that we had a good car,” Bogusz explained. “I’d never been here before today, but I actually felt comfortable because I spent a lot of time on iRacing practicing at Lanier [National Speedway], which drove really similarly to what I had to do here at Kalamazoo. It really helped me settle in, I feel like.
“We knew there would be a learning curve, but we didn’t expect to be here this fast. It’s amazing.”
Two yellow flags for the stalled car of Joshua Sexton prior to lap five could have rattled Bogusz, but he darted away from fellow rookie Sawyer Stout both times.
On the third restart – necessitated after Stout jumped the tire of a slower lapped car and slammed the turn four wall – Bogusz roared away from J.J. Henes and then maintained his advantage through the closing stages. After Henes spun while challenging for the top spot on the final lap, the die was cast.
Gallogly, who was seeking his third series win in a row, couldn’t deny that he “just got beat” on this night after coming through the smoke in the third turn for a runner-up result.
“They were just better,” Gallogly lamented. “Congrats to Andrew; that first win is always special and he’s been super fast the first few races of this season. We’ll go home, do our homework and hopefully come back better for the next one.”
Henthorne converted his pole starting position into a third-place finish, the last car on the lead lap. Henes was credited with fourth place after his spin and Junior Gould closed the top five.
The top four Midwest Lights finishers were given the opportunity to tag the tail of the Must See Racing Sprint Car Series main event by race officials. All four drivers accepted the challenge, with Bogusz finishing the highest of the four in 11th place after 50 laps.
Gallogly kicked off the night with the fastest time in qualifying, a lap of 12.159 seconds around the three-eighths-mile, semi-banked oval. Henthorne and Stout won their respective heat races.
The Must See Racing Midwest Lights season continues Friday, June 17 with the Super Crown at Lorain Raceway Park in South Amherst, Ohio.
For more information on the Must See Racing Midwest Lights Series, visit www.mustseeracing.com.
Must See Racing Midwest Lights Series; Kalamazoo (Mich.) Speedway; May 28, 2022
Qualifying (best of three-lap group sessions): 1. Cody Gallogly, 27, 12.159-Gallogly; 2. J.J. Henes, 36, 12.262-Henes; 3. Joshua Sexton, 51s, 12.415-Sexton; 4. Sawyer Stout, 92, 12.595-Higgins; 5. Andrew Bogusz, 17, 12.710-Bogusz; 6. Tim Henthorne, 15t, 12.852-Sexton; 7. Junior Gould, 65, 13.082-Gould; 8. Dale McQuillen, 21, 13.475-McQuillen; 9. Lauren DePasquale, 18, 13.726-DePasquale; 10. Charlie Baur, 23, 13.873-Baur.
Heat #1 (8 laps): 1. Tim Henthorne , 2. Lauren DePasquale , 3. Dale McQuillen , 4. Junior Gould , 5. Charlie Baur .
Heat #2 (8 laps): 1. Sawyer Stout , 2. Cody Gallogly , 3. Joshua Sexton , 4. J.J. Henes , 5. Andrew Bogusz .
A-Feature (25 laps): 1. Andrew Bogusz , 2. Cody Gallogly , 3. Tim Henthorne , 4. J.J. Henes , 5. Junior Gould , 6. Charlie Baur , 7. Lauren DePasquale , 8. Dale McQuillen , 9. Sawyer Stout , 10. Joshua Sexton .
Lap Leader(s): Tim Henthorne Grid; Andrew Bogusz 1-25.
Hard Charger: #27 – Cody Gallogly (+4)