NHRA Factory X Driver Geoff Turk, Walks Away From Wild Crash During Testing

Terrifying Moment For 'Blackbird X' Driver, Shows Importance Of Safety Equipment...

There is a lot of excitement surrounding the debut of the NHRA’s new Factory X Class. NHRA Factory X is an exciting new category reserved for 2019-and-newer manufactured automobiles, including the Chevrolet COPO Camaro, Dodge Challenger Drag Pak, and Ford Mustang Cobra Jet, and kick off later this month. Competitors will be racing for an NHRA championship.

The new NHRA Factory X presented by Holley series will feature cars that have a minimum weight limit of 2,650 pounds, which is nearly 1,000 pounds lighter than a Factory Stock Showdown car, and a manual transmission is mandatory. With the potential to showcase big-performance numbers and standout runs in the 6-second range immediately.

In NHRA Factory X, presented by Holley, cars must race on 33-inch-tall, 10.5-inch-wide tires. The vehicles must be stock, including bumper covers, and match the make, model, and year claimed. The OEM-sized doors must work from both sides. Additionally, each car must have a stock grille that fits the body used. Finally, headlight and taillight assemblies must remain in their factory locations.

But while the series has yet to debut, drivers have been testing and fine-tuning their cars in preparation for the first exhibition event. This event is set to take place at the 13th Annual NHRA Four-Wide Nationals at zMax Dragway from April 28th to 30th.

During a session at the strip to fine-tune his Challenger Drag Pak Factory X race car at Beech Bend Raceway Park, Geoff Turk experienced a terrifying moment. As he was running at the top end of the track, Turk hit his brakes before releasing his chutes, and the front brakes locked up, causing the car to slide. Unfortunately, he was unable to locate his chutes in time, and the car hit the wall, flipped, and slid down the track before finally rolling over and coming to a stop back onto its tires at the end of the track.

Thankfully, Turk walked away without any serious injuries from the incident. “I’m a bit beat up and slightly limping but mostly ok,” he said in a social media post.

Geoff Turk’s Blackbird X Drag Pak after his incident. (Geoff Turk).

“When I first touched the carbon brakes, which I had been warned about, [there was not] much response, so I pressed harder; they locked up in the front, then frantically I searched for the chute button (something I had no problem finding the first full pass, but this time under duress and sliding) and didn’t hit it, should of, would of, could of, hit the handle or perhaps mounted the button in an easier place as most do, now sliding and trying to correct, I hit one wall hard, flipped over, slid on my roof to the end of the track, where I was unceremoniously, and deservedly so for my driver errors, flipped back over onto the tires,” explained Turk.

Regarding the car, it sustained extensive damage. But, Turk reports that his “Blackbird X” repairs are “already in progress.” We hope that the team has the car back up and ready for action soon, which we are confident they will.

2023 NHRA Factory X presented by Holley Schedule:
Date: Event: Location:
4/28 – 4/30, 2023 13th Annual NHRA Four-Wide Nationals (EXHIBITION)  zMAX Dragway, Charlotte, NC
6/9 – 6/11, 2023 22nd Annual NHRA Thunder Valley Nationals (EXHIBITION) Bristol Dragway, Bristol, TN
6/22 – 6/25, 2023 17th Annual Summit Racing Equipment NHRA Nationals Summit Motorsports Park, Norwalk, OH
8/11 – 8/13, 2023 34th Annual Menards NHRA Nationals presented by PetArmor Heartland Motorsports Park, Topeka, KS
8/17 – 8/20, 2023 41st Annual Lucas Oil NHRA Nationals Brainerd International Raceway, Brainerd, MN
9/22 – 9/24, 2023 15th Annual NHRA Carolina Nationals zMAX Dragway, Charlotte, NC
9/29 – 10/1, 2023 12th Annual NHRA Midwest Nationals World Wide Technology Raceway, St. Louis, MO
10/26 – 10/29, 2023 23rd Annual NHRA Nevada Nationals The Strip at Las Vegas Motor Speedway, Las Vegas, NV 


Robert S. Miller

Robert S. Miller is a diehard Mopar enthusiast who lives and breathes all that is Mopar. The Michigander is not only the Editor for MoparInsiders.com, 5thGenRams.com, and HDRams.com but an automotive photographer. He is an avid fan of offshore powerboat racing, which he travels the country to take part in.

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