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Thursday, June 13, 2024

Chris Estep: DragChamp Racer Spotlight

Chris Estep is in this week’s DragChamp Racer Spotlight. Learn all about this DragChamp Pro Member in his spotlight below!

BENTON, IL- Chris Estep has been drag racing for the past 25 years and was first introduced to the sport by his dad. His early childhood consisted of him going to I-57 Dragstrip and watching his dad race. When he turned seven, he got behind the wheel of his first race car, a Junior Dragster. Chris mainly races Super Pro but does like to dabble in Footbrake once in a while. His main focus though, is on chasing big money Top Bulb races.

Learn more about Chris below!

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His Race Car

His current race car is his dad’s 1970 GTO. This was his dad’s high school car and has been in the family for 36 years now. It got turned into a race car in the 90s by Dale Kelso at Competitive Edge in Murphysboro, Illinois. The car has always been Pontiac powered and now has a stock 455 block with a 474 rotating assembly, 67 Firebird heads, and a GET’M Performance carb. The drivetrain is a BTE transmission and a 9 inch rear end. It runs 6.30s-6.40s.

Chris also just bought a 1976 Trans Am, which he used to race in high school, and hopes to have it back on the track next season.

Accomplishments

Chris’ first big win came in 2021 at the Working Man’s $10Ks where he won the Saturday main event. His biggest accomplishment to date would be making the split at the OG Million this past year.

Outside of Racing

When Chris isn’t behind the wheel of his race car, he works for Luke Bogacki Motorsports and is responsible for taking care of the whole racing operation. From working on the race cars to building new cars and maintaining the motorhome and trailer, Chris stays busy working for Luke. Outside of racing and work, Chris also enjoys spending time outdoors and going hunting. His favorite music artists are Jelly Roll and Upchurch and his favorite film series is John Wick.

Chris & his daughter

Chris’ Q&A

What’s on your bucket list, future goals, what do you hope to achieve?

Bucket list would be to win the Million and future goals is to be able to stay in the sport. As far as work, I’ve been fortunate to work on race cars for a living for the last 8 years.

What is your favorite race car, and why?

Our 70, I grew up in this car came home from the hospital in it and it is by far my favorite. It’s been around my whole life and was the first big car I got to drive at 15 years old.

Who has made the biggest impact on your racing success?

Number 1 would be my dad, he has always supplied me with a race car and anything else I needed to be able to hit the road and travel to the big races by myself.

Who do you look up to in the sport?

My dad for sure would be the first wouldn’t be where I am if it wasn’t for him but also my boss, Luke Bogacki, he has taken me under his wing and taught me things I probably would never know in this sport.

How do you support your racing, side hustle, sponsor, partner, etc.?

Mostly out of my pocket, I don’t have a side hustle or a backer if I want to go out of town it’s on me. I do get some help from sponsors on parts. My three main sponsors are GET’M Performance, BTE Racing, and This is Bracket Racing. 

Who do you hate to see in the other lane, and why?

Honestly there’s not really anyone I hate to see in the other lane, they can all get their ass kicked.

What’s the hardest part of drag racing?

With Top Bulb, everything is so tight these days, keeping the car nasty and staying on top of maintenance and everything to have a good car is one of the hardest things to do but these days you have to have a good car.

What’s your most embarrassing moment in a race car? 

Honestly we all have done something embarrassing in this sport but I would say for me was this year at the OG Million. In the round of the split, I flat met the tree coming on and stared at the bump up on the steering wheel because I knew it was red. If it wouldn’t have been such a huge round. it probably wouldn’t have been that bad but I was embarrassed in myself .

What do you enjoy the most at the racetrack?

The camaraderie, being able to hang out with people you don’t get to see all the time, only at the race track. 

Are you superstitious?  If so, what are they? 

No 

Do you love to win or hate to lose?

Love to win

Which are you better at the starting line or the finish line?

Finish line

What motivates you to continue racing?

My daughter. I can’t wait to see her grow up racing and kick me out of the seat of our 70 GTO.   

If money were no object, what would your racing operation look like?  Car, trailer, class, race schedule, etc.

I honestly would have the same set up that I have right now, an enclosed trailer, dulley truck, bed camper and GTO. My schedule would be a little more busy, I only get to race big money stuff maybe once a month or once every 2 months. 

How often do you use a practice tree?

Not as much as I probably should. I do use it during the winter but don’t really use it during season.

What is your daily driver?

1997 Dodge 1500  

Where do you spend the most time on the internet? 

Youtube 

What is your favorite sport?  Favorite team? 

Drag racing

What are you really good at?

Working on race cars 

Name one thing most people don’t know about you?

That I spent 3 years working on a Top Fuel car  

Would you rather hang out with a crowd or have a quiet evening at home?

Crowd

What’s your favorite thing to eat?  Individual item, meal, or restaurant?

Italian food  

Who would you like to thank, who helps you the most?

First off, I’d like to thank my dad, he helps me anytime I need anything and allows me to do whatever I want to his car that I feel would make it better.  Also, my boss, Luke helps me all the time with parts, fuel, and other things and allows me to take off work to chase big checks. My engine builder, Joe Davis does way more than just put my motors together, he is like a second dad to me.

I would also like to thank my sponsors, Trevor and Jamie Wiggins with GET’M Performance and Brandon Barrentine with BTE Racing .

What is a piece of advice you’d give to an aspiring racer?

If you want something in life, you can have it with hard work and dedication. 

For more DragChamp racer spotlights, click here.

Want to become a DragChamp Pro Member like Chris? Check out the details here

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