Constant Aviation Factory Stock Showdown
INDIANAPOLIS, IN – For the first time this season Joseph Welch of Longboat Key, Florida, will start the Constant Aviation Factory Stock Showdown from the No. 1 qualifier position at the Dodge//SRT NHRA U.S. Nationals from Lucas Oil Raceway. On Friday night Welch made the third quickest run lighting up the scoreboard with a 7.888 second, 175.21 mph pass. This morning in a rain shortened session he made the quickest run of the U.S. Nationals jumping to the top of the field with a 7.776 second, 119.95 mph run, the quickest No. 1 qualifier time of the 2021 season.
Last night David Barton, the Houston SpringNationals winner and two-time 2021 No. 1 qualifier, made a stellar 7.816 second run at 176.67 mph pass. He was at the top of the over twenty Factory Stock race cars attempting to qualify at the most prestigious drag race in the country after the first day.
Welch will receive a competition bye in the first round behind the wheel of his white and blue Dodge Challenger Drag Pak. Topeka winner John Cerbone will head into race day with the Constant Aviation Factory Stock Showdown $1,000 bounty on his head. Arthur Kohn of Richmond, Texas, will be the first competitor with a shot at collecting the bounty when eliminations get underway on Sunday.
INDIANAPOLIS, IN – The biggest race of the NHRA season will feature the biggest qualified field of Constant Aviation Factory Stock Showdown racers. This weekend’s Dodge // SRT NHRA U.S. Nationals at Lucas Oil Raceway will be open to a 32-car field covering two days of eliminations. This season has seen new winners at every national event and the competition level at the U.S. Nationals will be at an all-time high as Chevrolet COPO Camaros, Ford Cobra Jets, and Dodge Challenger Drag Paks will be racing to the most prestigious national event trophy. John Cerbone, of Yorkton Heights, New York, will enter the race as the most recent winner and carrying the $1,000 bounty into eliminations behind the wheel of his Saw Mill Auto Chevrolet COPO Camaro.
“I am heading into The U.S. Nationals feeling the same way I do at every race, you just have to get into the field,” said Cerbone. “You have to be in the field to have a shot at winning. We ran Indy in the Factory Stock [SP1] Showdown last year and Indy is a special deal. It is a fun race, and it is a little longer race. I have been racing with Pro Stock’s Kenny Delco at Indy for decades, so this is a cool event. Everybody wants to win the U.S. Nationals and I am no different. You want to be able to say, ‘I won Indy.’”
The past two races have seen Leah Pruett race to runner-up finishes with her Don Schumacher Racing Dodge Challenger Drag Pak. In Topeka she came up just short of victory to Cerbone and at the Dodge Mile-High Nationals Stephen Bell got to the finish line ahead of the 2018 U.S. Nationals Factory Stock Showdown winner.
TOPEKA, KS – The Menard’s NHRA Nationals Constant Aviation Factory Stock Showdown No. 1 qualifier John Cerbone drove his Saw Mill Auto Chevrolet COPO Camaro to victory today at Heartland Motorsports Park in Topeka. The Yorkton Heights, New York, resident defeated Jesse Alexandra, Arthur Kohn, Aaron Stanfield and Leah Pruett. Following the win Cerbone celebrated with his Barton Racing teammates and wife Pattie.
“This is spectacular. That final round was tough,” said Cerbone. “I knew Leah was going to be right on it. She had everything thrown at her. She was really fast the round before. I was getting progressively faster all day. We did everything we could. David Barton tuned up the car. He did everything he could to make this car the fastest thing out there. My wife Pattie has been here helping. All of the Barton Racing guys were awesome since first round.”
“We have everything we need to win. We know we can do it again if all the cards fall our way. Robert and Danielle Falcone spared no expense to put this race car together,” said Cerbone.
Cerbone took out three fellow COPO Camaro racers before outrunning Pruett’s Dodge Mopar Drag Pak, who was racing in her second consecutive final round.
TOPEKA, KS – John Cerbone, of Yorkton Heights, New York, blasted to the Constant Aviation Factory Stock Showdown No. 1 qualifier position today at the Menards NHRA Nationals presented by Pet Armor. Cerbone drove his 2019 Chevrolet COPO Camaro, which flies the livery of Saw Mill Auto for car owners Robert and Danielle Falcone along with Ronnie Mayo, to the top spot for the first time in his Factory Stock career with an impressive 7.909 second, 164.13 mph pass during the second qualifying session. It is Cerbone’s first No. 1 qualifier of 2021 and his previous best starting position was fifth. He will face Jesse Alexandra in the first round and he is the fourth different driver to earn a No. 1 qualifier in the Constant Aviation Factory Stock Showdown this season though five races.
“This is my first No. 1 in Factory Stock Showdown and I have to thank the Falcones, Ronnie Mayo and the Barton Racing team along with my wife Pattie,” said Cerbone. “I knocked the electrical out when I was crossing the finish line which is why my speed was down. I was just shoving it into neutral thank goodness so my ET was good. I have been racing the Constant Aviation Factory Stock Showdown class for a year and a half. I like everything about this class. I think the cars are great and the people are great. Every time you go up there you are racing someone that can beat you. You can lose to anyone in this class at any time.”
TOPEKA, KS – The Constant Aviation Factory Stock Showdown will head to Kansas for the Menard’s NHRA Nationals presented by Pet Armor this weekend, August 13-15. The teams will be eager to get on track following the challenges of the first-time event three weeks ago at the Mile-High Nationals at Bandimere Speedway. Stephen Bell, of Shreveport, Louisiana, took the win in his Chevrolet COPO Camaro over Leah Pruett in her Dodge Mopar Challenger Drag Pak. It was a tough event as drivers and teams worked to maximize power in the thin mountain air outside of Denver, Colorado.
“In Denver you had no oxygen so you had to trick the car,” explained Bell. “The timing curves were different along with all the rations and set-ups. The great thing about going back to Topeka is we were able to win there the last time the race was contested. As humbly as I can say it, I am really looking forward to coming off a win and being the defending champion at the next race. It has been a wonderful three weeks and I am super excited about the win and winning as a team.”
In 2019 Bell took the Menards NHRA Nationals title from the No. 12 qualifier spot defeating Arthur Kohn in the final round. Bell also posted low ET of the event, a 7.908 second pass, in the final. It was a dominant performance the Louisianian would like to repeat this weekend. The car dealer has been enjoying his most recent win.
DENVER – Stephen Bell drove his Chevrolet COPO Camaro to the Constant Aviation Factory Stock Showdown winner’s circle from the No. 3 qualifier position at the Dodge//SRT NHRA Mile-High Nationals today in front of a near record setting crowd. Bell took out Doug Hamp, Leonard Lottig, Arthur Kohn and finally Leah Pruett for the win.
“I am feeling now as good as I have ever felt in my life,” said Bell, after picking up the win. “It was a great day and we worked really hard. [Crew chiefs] Greg and Aaron Stanfield made great tuning decisions all day and I did an OK job driving the car.”
Throughout the day Bell kept his focus and took every round one by one. The final round was a race for the ages as Bell and Pruett left the starting line almost simultaneously with Bell getting the slightest of reaction time edges, .051 to .053, and at the finish line it was Bell getting the nose of his Camaro in front of Pruett’s Dodge Drag Pak. The final elapsed times lit up the scoreboard 8.259 to 8.265 seconds respectively.
Aaron Stanfield Grabs Constant Aviation Factory Stock Showdown No. 1 Qualifier at NHRA Mile-High Nationals
DENVER – Aaron Stanfield drove his Janac Brothers Racing Chevrolet COPO Camaro to the No. 1 qualifier position in the Constant Aviation Factory Stock Showdown today at the Dodge//SRT Mile High Nationals at Bandimere Speedway. The driver from Bossier City, Louisiana, ran the quickest time of qualifying during the final session going to the top of the 16 car field with an 8.234 second pass at 164.65 mph. He will face Anthony Troyer in the first round of eliminations tomorrow.
The NHRA Gatornationals winner moved around the provisional No. 1 qualifier David Barton in the final session. Heading into the last qualifying session, which was delayed due to a rainstorm, Barton was holding onto the No. 1 position and in a side by side race he was edged out by Stanfield for the top spot. Barton from Sinking Springs, Pennsylvania improved on his previous best time but it was not enough to hold off Stanfield. Both drivers improved on their previous best times in the final session.
“That was a good drag race from start to finish. My car left pretty hard and made the best run of the weekend,” said Stanfield. “By the third run we started kind of getting a handle on the tune-up. The second run it did a really big wheelie and we had to gather it back and get it back under control. The conditions got really good tonight. The track tightened up and it cooled off. It was the makings of a fast run out here on the mountain and we were able to take advantage of it.”