Factory Stock expands to 8 events next season

Top Fuel driver Leah Pritchett (far lane) was the Factory Stock champion this year driving a Mopar Dodge Challenger Drag Pak. 


The SAMTech.edu Factory Stock Showdown returns to the NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series in 2019 and will expand to eight races. The category that has attracted fans and racers (many from the Pro Stock class) will be on the schedule at Richmond, VA, and Topeka, KS.


The 2019 schedule is

March 14-17: Amalie Motor Oil NHRA Gatornationals, Gainesville, FL

April 26-28: NHRA Four-Wide Nationals, Charlotte, NC

May 17-19: Virginia NHRA Nationals, Richmond, VA

June 7-9: Menards NHRA Heartland Nationals, Topeka, KS

June 20-23: Summit Racing Equipment NHRA Nationals, Norwalk, OH

Aug. 28-Sept. 2: Chevrolet Performance U.S. Nationals, Indianapolis

Sept. 27-29: AAA Insurance NHRA Midwest Nationals, St. Louis

Oct. 17-20: AAA Texas NHRA Fall Nationals, Dallas


“When SAM Tech signed on to sponsor the Factory Stock Showdown, we knew it was a special class however, we didn’t expect it to gain the notoriety it has in so little time,” said Brian Massingill, director of student motorsports for the School of Automotive Machinists & Technology. “In three short years, we have gone from four races to eight, from 8.50s to 7.90s, and from 8 car fields to 16. The enthusiasm from the manufacturers, racers, and drivers has helped propel this class to a fan favorite. With continued support from the NHRA, this class will keep growing for years to come.”  

Gilbert hopes second outing will go better

Western Australia’s Craig Gilbert will compete in only his second ever Competition Bike event at the Perth Motorplex’s Goldenstates event this Saturday, Dec. 1.


Gilbert, 51, stepped up from the Modified Bike ranks to the nitrous-powered category earlier this year and made his competitive debut at round three of the 2018/19 Summit Racing Equipment Sportsman Series (Mildura’s Sunset Strip Nationals in September).


“After being in Modified Bike for a few years, I stepped up and bought Rob Cassar’s old roller and he built my new motor – we obviously had some teething issues in Mildura, but my first time on NOS was absolutely incredible; I couldn’t stop laughing, I couldn’t stop smiling, it was insane,” Gilbert laughed.


After a miscalculation forced a rebuild on his latest “BatAttack” machine, the maintenance fitter is ready to get back into it at his home track this Saturday for what is round five of the national series and he will be raising money for a special cause.


“Back in 2011 I rode for Variety – The Children’s Charity as Batman and when I started racing here in Perth I had the Batman stickers on the bike and it has just snowballed from then to now where the team is called BatAttack Racing and I donate my event winnings straight to the Variety kids,” he explained.  

GM announces end of Impala, other sedan brands

One of old favorites, Rob Moore’s 1959 AA/GS Impala.


Amid shrinking numbers of sedan automobiles sold (North American customers now prefer SUVs, crossovers, hatchbacks and trucks), General Motors has announced that they will end production of six cars by the end of 2019. On the chopping block are the Buick LaCrosse, Cadillac CT6, Cadillac XTS, Chevrolet Cruze, Chevrolet Impala, and Chevrolet Volt.


GM also announced massive layoffs (reportedly about 8,000) and is closing five North American facilities as it moves toward self-driving, electric cars. By closing three assembly plants and two transmission plants, GM hopes to save $6 billion by 2020.


The announcement comes seven months after Ford Motor Co. said it plans to cut the Taurus, Fiesta, Fusion, C-Max and Focus sedans in the U.S. By 2021 the only car it plans to sell is the Mustang. In 2016 Fiat Chrysler Automobiles (FCA) began paring compact sedans from its lineup and that decision to cut money-losing sedans in favor of profit-rich SUVs and trucks has proved lucrative for the automaker.


So far, the Camaro brand is safe. Whew.

Force Racestation moves sales to online only

John Force Racing has announced that merchandise sales at their Racestation and Museum will now be online only.


The Museum in Yorba Linda, CA, will continue to be available for special events and facility rentals but will be open only at special hours for fans to visit during the NHRA Winternationals and Finals.


Yep, as Sears is finding out, those old brick and mortar stores just aren’t where the customers are anymore.  

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