David Janac and his Janac Brothers Racing Ford Mustang Cobra Jet earned their first Flexjet Factory Stock Showdown No. 1 qualifying position of the 2023 season Saturday at the Dodge Power Brokers NHRA U.S. Nationals at Indianapolis Raceway Park.
Janac handled his Ford Mustang to a 7.756-second pass at 171.77 mph in the second qualifying session to overtake the Factory Stock Showdown top spot. Janac opened qualifying with a 7.766 at 178.40 that had him come into the session sitting No. 2.
“It’s a great feeling. I am surrounded by a bunch of great guys,” said Janac. “Without them I wouldn’t be here. I mean that and they all mean the world to me. I was thinking about holding on to that No. 1 and I need to get that out of my mind and concentrate on what I’m doing. It’s hard because this is very exciting for me.”
Janac closed out qualifying with a 7.803-second pass at 177.04 mph in the third session and then ran into trouble in the final session recording only a 9.405 at 97.83. With the No. 1 qualifying position, Janac earned a bye in the first round of eliminations.
“These are demanding cars,” said Janac. “They’re very fast cars. It’s just fun to drive and compete at this level.”
Veteran drag racer Mark Pawuk and his Empaco Equipment Dodge Drag Pak had a stellar performance in the final qualifying session under the lights. Pawuk, who was seeded No. 26, laid down a 7.772-second pass at 181.84 mph to catapult himself into the No. 3 qualifying spot.
“We’ve been changing things all weekend,” said the veteran driver. “Unfortunately, we haven’t left the starting line. We were just struggling and overpowering the racetrack. We almost went down in Q3 earlier today and started to go and then it spun the tires. We got to weight to transfer better, and we went back to our old setup just to get it down there and thankfully it made it down the track.”
“Everybody out here is tough,” said Pawuk, who will face Michael Lloyd in round one. “There’s a lot of good racers out here. My car has been performing well. We’ve gotten the thing to come around big time. Hopefully we keep going in this direction, but I’m just glad I wasn’t 26. I got moved up into at least in the top half. I feel a little better about my chances for tomorrow.
“Everybody can run good at any point you got a bunch of good drivers out here. You know, the variable with these cars is a nine-inch rear tire. We all make a lot of power, but it’s tuning them appropriately to not do what I’ve been doing. It’s awesome to see that many cars show up and it speaks well for the class and what’s even more awesome is having Dodges and Fords and Chevy’s all competing against each other,” added Pawuk.
Defending event winner and reigning class champion David Barton is currently No. 15 with a 7.875-second pass and will race Lindsay Wheelock in the first round. Meanwhile, Stephen Bell who has the Flexjet Factory Stock Showdown bounty on his back from winning in Norwalk, Ohio, is sitting No. 11 with a 7.836 and will take on Chris Hall in round one.
Current points leader Aaron Stanfield is sitting No. 8 with a 7.822 after they won the specialty Mission Foods #2Fast2Tasty NHRA Challenge in the Pro Stock Car category earlier in the day. Stanfield will line up against Judson Holt to kickoff eliminations.