Summit Racing Equipment NHRA Nationals in Norwalk, Ohio were this past weekend. Following a historic qualifying performance in which four Mopar Dodge Challenger Drag Pak drivers swept the top four starting positions, Mark Pawuk and Joe Welch made Factory Stock Showdown history again in the first-ever all-Mopar Dodge final round of the class, with Welch earning his second consecutive win in a close battle.
Welch qualified No. 1 and raced past David Barton, Scott Libersher and Stephen Bell before meeting Pawuk in a battle of Mopar Dodge Drag Paks. The two recorded nearly identical reaction times, with Welch holding a slight advantage on the way to a winning with a 8.107/168.07 run.
DSR driver Pawuk, making his first Factory Stock eliminations start in his Mopar Dodge Challenger Drag Pak, notched a holeshot victory in the quarterfinals against Chuck Watson. Pawuk was quicker off the starting tree with a .081 reaction time to Watson’s slower .098, giving enough margin to make Pawuk’s 8.091/169.19 run pay off with a round win. In the semifinals, Pawuk used his supercharged 354-cubic-inch HEMI to overcome a slight deficit at the start, recording a quicker and faster 8.104/169.02 to knock out Aaron Stanfield’s 8.178/166.66 and advance to the final.
Shortly after winning her first round of Top Fuel competition, Leah Pritchett quickly hopped in her Mopar Dodge Challenger Drag Pak and switched into Factory Stock Showdown mode for round two eliminations. Qualified in the top three, Pritchett trailed Stephen Bell at the start and was unable to catch his quicker 8.137 ET with her 8.179/168.98 effort.
Former NHRA Pro Stock driver Allen Johnson is getting comfortable in the seat of his Mopar Dodge Challenger Drag Pak, qualifying No. 4 and earning his first career Factory Stock Showdown round win to advance to the quarterfinals. Johnson was a bit too quick on the trigger against Aaron Stanfield, leaving the line early and losing on a red-light foul.
A pair of 1965 Mopar HEMI-powered Dodge Coronet “A990” package cars ran fast and hard to claim the Dodge Top Finisher award in Stock Eliminator and Super Stock at Norwalk. In the Stock Eliminator final, Todd Hoven from Milltown, New Jersey, drove his 1965 AA/SA Dodge HEMI® Coronet to the event victory. Hoven, who has a prior NHRA national event win and numerous divisional finals to his credit, was consistent all weekend.
Hoven has raced in the Stock Eliminator category since 1997 and has also competed in a Mopar Dodge Challenger Drag Pak. In the final round, Hoven’s Coronet had the starting line advantage over his opponent and ran right on his 10.08 ET dial-in. Hoven is also a first-time recipient of the Dodge Top Finisher award.
For the Super Stock category, lifelong Mopar racer Bob Marshall wheeled his 1965 SS/AA Dodge HEMI Coronet to the runner-up finish. The Columbus, Ohio, resident has been racing his “Dodge Material” HEMI Dodge Super Stockers for many decades and has earned numerous wins at the national event and divisional level. Marshall motored to his first Dodge Top Finisher award as he raced through six rounds of intense eliminations against some of the toughest drivers in the class.
The Dodge Top Finisher award, now in its second year, awards $500 to the Stock Eliminator and Super Stock drivers who advance the furthest behind the wheel of a Mopar-powered Dodge, Chrysler, or Plymouth race car. The honor is awarded in both Sportsman categories at all 24 NHRA national events.
FCA US Media