Lucas Walker is your 2022 DragChamp Bottom Bulb Racer of the Year presented by Laris Motorsports Insurance
Cover photo by Too Tall Racing
01/18/23 – Welcome to the 2022 DragChamp Bottom Bulb Racer of the Year Top 10 List presented by Laris Motorsports Insurance. We ranked the best Bottom Bulb racers of the year to complete the Top 10 List. Read below to see which racers made the biggest impact over the 2022 season.
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DragChamp Top 10 List
1 –Lucas Walker
Lucas Walker earns his first Bottom Bulb Racer of the Year title after winning from coast to coast and all points in between. Walker kicked off the 2022 season with $10K victory at the New Years Nationals followed by a $7K victory at the Southern Big Buck Nationals in Louisiana. He headed to Vegas for the Spring Fling where he used two cars to take home a $30K payday. A day after winning in Vegas, Walker picked up a win in Kentucky at Beacon Dragway. He earned several big money runner-ups including two at the WFC, one at the Alabama 2-Step, and another at the Division 2 ET Finals. Late in the season Walker won $40K at the Beach Bash in Gulfport along with a win ($2,500) and runner-up ($5K) at Gleason and a $5K win at Beacon. While competing at the large big money races (SFG, GABR, Fling), Walker won at least one No-Box final at each event he attended. Congrats to Lucas on a great season!
2 – Nasty Nick Hastings
Much like Lucas Walker, Nick Hastings showed out on the biggest stages throughout the 2022 season. From local races to Million dollar races, Nick continues to excel winning on a seemingly weekly basis which is why he’s been the Bottom Bulb Racer of the Year for three consecutive seasons! Nick continued his domination in 2022 to secure the #2 spot. The highlight of his season had to be in September when he won $100,000 at the BTE Labor Day 250K and followed it with a $100,000 runner-up the following week at the Fall Fling.
3 – Gage Burch
While it’s hard to keep track of everything Gage Burch wins each season, there’s no doubt he’s one of the best off the bottom in the country. Throughout any given season, Gage easily accumulates more weekend doubles that anyone. While he normally races in South Florida, Gage travels the country to the largest events each season. Even though the venues change, the results are the same, Gage finds his way to the winners circle. To close the season, Gage made all three finals at the New Years Nationals winning 2 of 3 finals. Burch also picked up wins at the BTE Labor Day 250 and the Loose Rocker Super Pro $75K in addition to multiple big money doubles at Bradenton.
4 – Taylor Bowling
Taylor Bowling put on a clinic at the Final Call Promotions races in 2022. Bowling single handedly destroyed the competition at their three events winning numerous big money checks and making multiple finals at each. Taylor earned a $20K runner-up at the Footbrake 150 in Gulfport, won Super Pro at Beech Bend off the bottom, won $5K at Music City off the bottom, and made both No-Box finals at the Beach Bash in Gulfport. Bowling also won a shootout at the Great American bracket race and made the semis at the New Years Nationals. Add in multiple No-Box finals between Beech Bend and Music City and you have a Top 10 season.
5 – Randy Biddle Jr.
RBJ quietly put together an impressive season while also pausing his racing season when he and his wife Jessica had a baby. Biddle was so dominate that I believe he won at every race he went to except three of them in 2022! He won at the Farm, multiple races in the VMP Triple Threat series, won at the WFC, and at the big money race in Galot. RBJ destroyed the field at the MotorMile winning every race except for one where he fell in the semifinals. He also won the track championship by 20+ rounds!
6 – Tom Aretakis Jr.
Tom Aretakis became the first bottom bulb racer to win the Original 50 Grander in Michigan. In addition to his victory in the legendary main event, Tom also won a $10K warm up race earlier in the OG 50K weekend. In addition to tons of late round finishes in big money races, Aretakis doubled up No Box Bash winning two $5K’s, won No Box on two occasions at the SFG 500, won $3K at US 131, and added a $7,500 runner-up at the Money Maker race at Mid-Michigan.
7 – Matt Ricchezza
Matt Ricchezza stood out on the East Coast winning on a consistent basis in 2022. Ricchezza really shined at the FRBR Promotion events in 2022 winning two $10K’s, a $5K, and going to the semifinals at a $20K. Matt won five of seven finals at Atco, was the $3K runner-up at the No Box 660 race, and won a $5K at Numidia. Ricchezza closed the season winning the Gambler’s race at the Division 1 ET Finals.
8 – Mitchell Seymore
Mitchell Seymore closed the 2022 racing season on a heater. In the last few months, he won probably more than anybody in the country. Highlights include a $10K victory at Gleason, two $5K victories at Baileyton, Turkey Trot $2K victory at Capital City, a Shootout victory at the Drag Coverage Night of Fire race, and was doubled at 5 cars twice at the Alabama 2-Step Bottom Bulb race.
9 – Taylor Pofahl
DragChamp Pro member Taylor Pofahl grabs a Top 10 spot after making 15 final round appearances in 2022. Pofahl enjoyed a ton of success at his “local” tracks including Beacon Dragway and Music City. He made four No Box finals at Music City along with posting numerous semifinal finishes. At the IHRA Division 2 ET Finals, he won the Gamblers race, split & quit another Gamblers final, and made the quarters in the main race. Pofahl ran himself in a final at Knoxville and added a runner-up the following day. He raced at Clarksville three times during the 2022 season and won all three races.
10 – Michael Beard
Michael Beard continues to win at the highest levels of the sport while still staying somewhat under the radar. He routinely competes against the biggest names and toughest bottom bulb racers in the country and still manages to snag his share of victories. In 2022, Michael’s highlights included a $5K victory at the WFC, a $2,500 victory at the Big Buck Nationals in Ohio, a $7,500 runner-up at the Twin 75 Hundos, a semi in the Gamblers race and a $10K victory at the Alabama 2-Step race at Capital City, and a No Box weekend points championship at Pacemakers.
Andy Anderson earned a shout out after winning the NHRA Pro ET national championship. In addition to his success in Las Vegas, Anderson made six finals on the season, won the Maple Grove track championship, and was runner-up in the NHRA Division 1 Race of Champions.
Dan Caissie grabbed out attention after winning the NHRA Division 1 Pro ET Championship for the second straight season. After wining the 2021 NHRA National title in 2021, Caissie came up short of the repeat this season. In addition to his D1 title, Caissie also won the Race of Champions along with numerous other races throughout the season.
AJ Jenkins gets the hard charger award this season. Earlier in the season Jenkins destroyed his car in an on-track accident. He and some friends pulled his Dad’s old car out of the garage and put it together for the first time in 10 years. Jenkins went on to win $20K at the Door Wars with it, added a $5K victory at the Dominion Duels, and grabbed a runner-up at the New Years Nationals. He closed the season winning the Maryland International Raceway track championship.
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