ET Dragracing

Factory Stock Showdown and NHRA Sportsman Classes at Bristol, TN

Welch takes first Factory Stock win

Results compiled by Kay Burk

Photos by Chris Haverly

Joseph Welch raced to victory in the SAM Factory Stock Showdown to lead the list of winners at the 18th annual Fitzgerald USA NHRA Thunder Valley Nationals and the NHRA Lucas Oil Drag Racing Series. There were 24 cars trying for the 16-car Factory Stock field.


Welch qualified No. 2 in his 2015 Mopar Dodge Challenger Drag Pak. Welch ran consistent 8.20’s through most of eliminations with an 8.275-second lap at 164.67 mph in the final of the School of Automotive Machinists Factory Stock Showdown in beating Arthur Kohn who left early with a red-light foul start. The win was Welch’s first in his first final round at the NHRA national event level.

Mopar Dodge Top Fuel driver Pritchett’s busy Bristol weekend included a round one Factory Stock win in her 354-cubic-inch HEMI engine-powered Mopar Dodge Challenger Drag Pak. After qualifying 13th in the field, the Mopar-powered driver raced to victory over Leonard Libersher to open eliminations, but fell to Kohn in a close side-by-side race in round two. Pritchett left first with a .030 reaction time, but Kohn just edged out her 8.330/165.46 effort at the stripe with a winning margin of approximately three inches.

After struggling to hit on the right combination in his Mopar Dodge Challenger Drag Pak at the first two NHRA Factory Stock events, longtime Mopar driver Allen Johnson raced to a qualifying spot in the top half of the field before his home crowd at Bristol Dragway. The Tennessee native qualified No. 7 in making his first Factory Stock eliminations field, before falling in round one to Bill Skillman.

Pritchett’s DSR teammate, Mark Pawuk, made his Factory Stock Showdown debut at Bristol. Pawuk posted a best qualifying attempt of 8.756 seconds in his Mopar Dodge Drag Pak but was unable to crack the top 16 and advance to the elimination rounds.

David Barton (shown) set Low ET for the Factory Stocks at 8.264 seconds. Stephen Bell hit the Top Speed of 165.74 mph.

Scott Libersher (near lane) ran 8.337/164.19 to defeat Bill Skillman’s 8.490/160.46 in the second round.

Eddie Longhany Jr. met up with former NHRA Lucas Oil World Champion Joe Santangelo in the Stock Final which proved to be one of the closest finals of the day. Longhany was out first and ran 10.698, 118.70 which held off Santangelo’s 10.686, 113.69 by about 9 inches.

Defending event champion Aaron Stanfield went dead-on his dial at 6.320 seconds at 217.84 mph in defeating Joe Fisher and his Racing RV’s sponsored Top Dragster. Fisher gave Stanfield a run at 6.498, 197.54.

Tii Tharpe grabbed his third win of the year in the Mickey Thompson Top Fuel Harley Series and the fifth of his career when Doug Vancil fouled at the start.

SUPER STOCK: Scott Stillings (near lane), Pontiac Grand Am, 8.854, 148.72 def. Ed Longhany Sr., Plymouth Duster, 10.690, 121.79.

SUPER COMP: Tyler Caheely (far lane), Dragster, 8.928, 170.71 def. Jacob Elrod, Dragster, 8.930, 165.01.

SUPER GAS: Steve Furr (far lane), Chevy Camaro, 9.917, 160.81 def. Ray Miller III, Chevy Camaro, 9.927, 164.21.

TOP SPORTSMAN: Jeff Brooks, Henry J, 6.720, 206.29 def. Royce Freeman, Chevy Camaro, 6.933, 202.18. 



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