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David Janac Wins Thunder Valley Nationals Flexjet Factory Stock Showdown Race

Auto Imagery/Gary Nastase photos

David Janac won for the first time in the Flexjet Factory Stock Showdown Series today at the Super Grip NHRA Thunder Valley Nationals at Bristol Dragway. The veteran driver powered his Janac Brothers Chevrolet COPO Camaro to victory from the No. 4 qualifier position outrunning point leader Stephen Bell in the final round.
In the final Janac grabbed a starting line advantage and never trailed in the race when Bell overpowered the track coming off the starting line. Janac’s winning elapsed time of 8.037 seconds was an improvement over his semifinal winning time. As Janac crossed the finish line the weight of the achievement hit the veteran driver.

“I started getting excited about the win when I crossed the finish line and I didn’t see Stephen,” said Janac. “That’s when I knew I won, and I couldn’t believe it. I can’t describe the feeling. It’s beyond words. This is an unreal feeling.”

This was Janac’s third career final round with his most recent runner-up finish coming at the Las Vegas Four-Wide Nationals earlier this season. The driver from Caldwell, Texas, has been chasing this win since he started racing in the class in 2018 and the win also gave Janac the $1,000 Flexjet Factory Stock Showdown Bounty when he defeated Chicago winner Bell. He already had plans for some of the winnings.
“I’m going to take my wife Leslie who backs me up on this deal out for a big dinner,” said Janac.
As the runner-up Bell extended his points lead and he shared in the joy Janac, a close friend, was experiencing. The two drivers have been working out of the same trailer since the Winternationals. Both receive support from Stanfield Racing Engines and they have a mutual respect for each other.
“It was a wonderful weekend when we figured out that we were both getting the final it didn’t matter who won,” said Bell, a four-time finalist in 2024. “In the semis I think I hurt the motor and it slowed down a bunch. Today was David’s day and he’s the class of the field. I’m so happy for him.”

After five Flexjet Factory Stock Showdown Series races, Bell has entered three races with the bounty. He has never been able to hold onto the bounty for a second race. Today’s effort was his best outing. The businessman from Shreveport, Louisiana, was in good spirits about his inability to hang onto the bounty.
“I talked about the Flexjet bounty earlier this week about how I’ve done okay, getting the bounty,” said Bell. “I just can’t keep the dang thing. It’s all good and we just need to go out and get it back to see if we can hang onto it for a couple races.”
The Flexjet Factory Stock Showdown Series will return to action June 27-30 at the Summit Racing Equipment NHRA Nationals in Norwalk, Ohio.

This story was originally published on June 9, 2024. Drag Illustrated

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