Once again, the unofficial elapsed time record has been lowered in the Factory Stock Showdown class. This time Stephen Bell the number two finisher after the 2018 season was completed is now the top dog with a 7.743 @ 176.84 blast made at Houston Raceway Park Monday. Digesting the rest of the numbers from the run show a 1.160 60’ time and a 4.968 @ 141.91 mph in the 660’. The Stanfield Racing Engines equipped Chevy Camaro is unofficially the first Factory Stock Showdown car to run in the 7.70’s at over 175 mph.
This comes just days after Kevin Skinner laid down a 7.825 @ only 156.03 (with a 1.178 60’ time and 4.960 @140.88 to the 660’ block) and then Bill Skillman’s 7.810 @ 175.13 during the Bradenton test session. It’s apparent the Holbrook Racing Engine Fords have the steam to hang right in there with the Stanfield Chevy contingent.
Also testing at Houston on Monday was Randy Taylor who switched over to Stanfield Power after being with Gray Motorsports for a few seasons. Randy went a best of 7.835 @ 174.89 throwing his hat into the ring. Arthur Kohn last year’s third place finisher in the class ran a 7.933 @ 173.99 lowering his career best of 7.993 @ 173.12 (with a 1.148 60’ time) set at the St. Louis race last year.
So, what’s the cause for the huge performance gain? One of the major contributing factors is the approval of new supercharger technology. For the Camaros they were granted a new Magnuson supercharger that is more efficient than the one’s ran last year. Other changes have been talked about in NHRA meetings, but so far, no official statements have been given to the drivers.
The last remaining question is, how did the Dodges do two weeks ago at their test session in Bradenton? None of their time slips have surfaced yet to compare their runs against the Bell and Skinner laps. Have they been able to pick up their performance since Mark Pawuk’s 7.92 and Leah Pritchett’s 7.93 at the St. Louis event last year? Luckily for us the Bradenton NMCA race is only six weeks away and then the NHRA Gatornationals is one week after that. The density altitude and track prep will be the same for everyone and records will change hands more than once!
With multiple other racers knocking on the seven second door. the Factory Stock Showdown class will be fun to watch in 2019! What’s not to like about factory appearing cars from the big three auto makers on nine inch tires and superchargers?