The NHRA Factory Stock Showdown made its debut on Thursday at the U.S. Nationals in Indianapolis with the hopes of showcasing the Ford Mustang Cobra Jet, Dodge Mopar Challenger Drag Pak and the Chevrolet COPO Camaro.
While the U.S. Nationals may have been the perfect place to debut the Factory Stock Showdown class, it simply turned into another chance for the Cobra Jets to grab the spotlight.
Like its ADRL SuperCar Showdown counterpart, the Factory Stock Showdown again turned into a showcase for the Mustang Cobra Jets on Thursday at Lucas Oil Raceway, predominately making up most of the field and putting together most of the top performances.
It’s an impressive nod to the powerful Cobra Jets, and also an indication of how far ahead they still seem to be of the new Dragpaks and COPO Camaros at this point.
“I think (the NHRA and ADRL) are both having the same problems, trying to get the comparison between each car, getting the Camaros and Dragpaks equal with the Mustangs. Again, it turned into an all-Cobra Jet show,” said driver Chris Holbrook, who has won an ADRL SuperCar Showdown event in his Cobra Jet in 2012.
“That’s fine with us, but I think it would just be much better if we could somehow get them closer together, which is hard to do. It’s like Pro Mod years ago, where you’re trying to get everything compared the same.”
Holbrook was ousted in one semifinal by Bo Butner, who will meet up against Brett Candies in the first finals for the new class. Butner has owned the ADRL version, racking up five wins and put together a series of strong runs on Thursday in Indy.
Of course, both Butner and Candies campaign Cobra Jets, but Ray Skillman is still high on the potential for the Factory Stock Showdown.
His son, Billy, and grandson, Drew, both competed – and drove Cobra Jets – in the Factory Stock Showdown and Ray praised the new class.
“I think it’s fun and a neat deal, and I just hope it continues to grow into Stock and Super Stock in the coming years,” Skillman said. “I think the crowd will absolutely love them because you can relate to these things.
“A Mustang looks like a Mustang and maybe by this time next year Chevrolet will be involved. It would be like back in the 60s when Super Stock was so strong.”
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