In NHRA Factory Stock Showdown competition at Bristol Dragway, Joe Welch qualified No. 2 in his 2015 Mopar Dodge Challenger Drag Pak and drove to the event win at the NHRA Thunder Valley Nationals. Welch’s 8.275/164.67 run in the final round knocked out Arthur Kohn to earn his first NHRA National event win.
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 stacked 24-car 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.
For the second race in a row, Randy Parker of Four Oaks, North Carolina, was the Dodge Top Finisher winner in Stock Eliminator. Parker drove his I/SA 1980 Dodge Mirada, powered by a Mopar 360 cubic-inch small block through two rounds of competition at Bristol.
Like Parker, Mopar Sportsman Racer Ed Longhaney from Wade, North Carolina, repeated as Dodge Top Finisher in Super Stock, after also winning the award last week at the NHRA Richmond event. Driving his fast and consistent SS/KA 1974 Plymouth Duster 360, Longhaney raced through six rounds of competition to reach the final round and earn a runner-up spot in the highly competitive Super Stock 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.
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