Turning wrenches, chasing dreams series: Bryan Boger
Bryan Boger is the son of Franklin & Linda Boger of Mocksville, North Carolina.
Bryan Boger currently lives in Claiborne County and he credits his parents for his extreme love of cars. He was immediately drawn to fast cars because his father had a 1968 Chevelle and his mom drove a 1968 Plymouth GTX.
Boger talked about his childhood, “By the time I was 14, I had my nose stuck in Hot Rod magazines dreaming of owning one of those beautiful, fast cars. My first car was a Red 1965 Ford Galaxie with a Big Block in it. As with most car guys, all of my friends were fixing up Hot Rods too and trying to see who could be the fastest.
With the Galaxie being a big, heavy car, I was automatically at a disadvantage. That’s when I learned about cams, porting & polishing heads, rear-end gears, and cubic inches. I had very few tools and no shop so all the hot rodding was outside and usually laying on the ground in the heat or cold.”
Boger went in to say, “It didn’t matter, I wanted to go fast. We didn’t go to the dragstrip to start with. Our racing was usually done on a empty side road or streets at night. I never encourage this but times were different then. The first time I got to race at the track was at Farmington Dragstrip which was only about 15 minutes from my house.
I was running a ’69 Chevrolet El Camino. It had a Corvette engine in it and would run pretty fast. I won my first round in that car. It was a close race but I won.”
Boger found out that when he got his first winning time slip that he was subject to the fast car addiction. Boger also talked about his worst moment ever at the track, “My worst moment ever in racing was in built Chevy Nova. I had just completed the burnout and was feeling pretty good about it There was smoke everywhere. I thought to myself, Wow, you’ve really shown everybody what a real burnout is like.
A hand came through the smoke telling me to kill the engine. It wasn’t tire smoke everyone was seeing. I had blown a transmission line coming out of the burnout box and transmission fluid was squirting all over the headers. I pretty much ruined the track for the rest of the night with transmission fluid on the starting line. All was forgiven though as most Drag Racers understand those things happen and many times will offer you parts off of their own cars to help you compete.”
His love for the sport was eventually handed down to his son Austin who became a championship racer in the Jr. Pro ranks.
“I’ve carried the love of Drag Racing, loud engines, tire smoke and competition through the years and when my son, Austin, came along, we decided to let him try it out in a Jr. Dragster. He started at 9 years old and like me, was immediately hooked. I’ve enjoyed watching him race as much as I have enjoyed racing myself.
I believe those days of trying to make my own cars faster and more competitive gave me the knowledge and abilities to be a good Crew Chief for him.”
Boger never really had a crew except for family and friends. He has done his racing the hard way with no sponsors, few tools and elbow grease.
He credits his father for his work ethic, “My Dad taught me a lot about working on cars and sometimes he let me figure it out on my own. My Dad loves Drag Racing and he passed that to me.
I hope I’ve passed some of those skills to my son as well. Austin always knew that I had the same drive to win as he did and that he had a Crew Chief with experience working on his car.
The finest moments I’ve ever had in Drag Racing were with Austin. One of those moments was when we won a track Championship at Knoxville Dragstrip together and another was when we raced in the World Finals. I have a picture of Austin leading a race that was broadcast on Motormania TV during the IHRA World Finals.
That was a great moment! To see my Son and our history of Drag Racing culminate in that one moment was awesome. Austin and I still race together and we are the only crew. We’ve done it so long together, we work good together and know what needs to be done without really having to discuss it.”
The family now races two cars including a 1968 Camaro Super Pro car which runs 140 mph in five seconds, and a 2017 Camaro SS Sportsman car.
Boger talked about their goals, “Our immediate goal is for one of us to take one of the cars and earn another shot at the World Finals. I’m not sure where Drag Racing will take us in the future but I do know that as long as there are cars in our family we’ll be looking for ways to make them faster and more competitive.
I feel sure we’ll be racing until we just can’t race anymore. There’s just nothing like the feel of letting all that Horsepower loose at once to keep you coming back time and again. IHRA has an Ironman trophy. In the next few years, I’d sure love for Austin & I both to have one each to stand side by side. I’d especially like to say thank you to My wife Andrea, and our daughters, Dallas and Trinity, for supporting what we love, My Mom & Dad for instilling the love of cars in me, especially the cool, fast ones.”
Boger also races to uplift people and to share the Biblical word, “Special thanks to God for giving us opportunities to share His incredible grace & mercy in a way that we love. There are many others who have helped along the way too. Too many to name but they know who they are and we sincerely appreciate them.”
When asked what advice he could offer younger racers or those just starting Boger said, “If I had any advice to those who are just getting started, it would simply be this, Don’t ever let it consume you. Don’t neglect your family to race.
There is always a race somewhere but you only have one family. And don’t leave God out of your racing. He allows you to do what you love but never put it before Him.”
Bryan and son Austin will be turning wrenches and chasing dreams hopefully for years to come all while sharing the love of the sport and the love of their Savior.