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Double Trouble: Flexjet Factory Stock Showdown Races Four-Wide for First Time in Vegas and Concludes Rain-Delayed Winternationals

The NHRA Las Vegas Four-Wide Nationals will be packed with Flexjet Factory Stock Showdown action this weekend at The Strip at Las Vegas Motor Speedway, April 12-14. The fan favorite class featuring Chevrolet COPO CamarosFord Cobra Jets and Dodge Challenger Drag Paks will battle it out across four lanes for the first time in Las Vegas and just the third time in class history. In 2022 and 2023 the factory stock hot rods raced at famed zMAX Dragway outside of Charlotte, North Carolina with Bill Skillman and Lenny Lottig taking home the NHRA Wally trophies for their winning efforts, respectively. This weekend a tough group of Dodge, Chevrolet and Ford competitors will be lining four-wide to see who will race to the winner’s circle on Sunday in the third race of the NHRA Flexjet Factory Stock Showdown Series.

Before the four-wide champion is crowned there is still some unfinished business to handle as points leader Mark Pawuk, 2023 series runner-up Stephen Bell and David Davies will be racing to finish the rain delayed NHRA Winternationals. The trio of drivers’ race day was cut short in March by a rain and hailstorm that forced the abrupt conclusion of the historic west coast race and moved the final two rounds to The Strip. Pawuk and Davies will square off in one semifinal and Stephen Bell will have a bye run into the final. The final two rounds of the Winternationals will be run on Saturday in conjunction with the final two rounds of Las Vegas qualifying.

“This is my first chance to double up and I am really looking forward to this weekend in Las Vegas,” said Pawuk, the points leader and driver of the Empaco Dodge Drag Pak. “I would love to keep my win streak going with two wins in Las Vegas, but it will be tough. David and Stephen are great competitors and great guys. I appreciate Flexjet sponsoring the series and I know David will give me a great race in the semis. I still have the Flexjet bounty, so I want to hold onto that for a few more races. This race will be interesting because this is an altitude race. Everyone will have to have a new engine combination so it will be interesting.”

For Bell, who is looking to pick up his first win of the season as he chases his first Flexjet Factory Stock Showdown world championship, the opportunity to win two races in two days is an exciting prospect.
“It would be great if things went our way and we could get two wins this weekend but honestly I would be thrilled with one trophy,” said Bell, driver of the Stanfield Racing Engines Chevrolet COPO Camaro. “This four-wide format gives you the opportunity to make a little mistake and still get moved on. I am glad I have that bye run in the Winternationals race on Saturday because we can get a little aggressive. David and Mark are tough competitors and either one I get will be a great race in the final. Las Vegas is a great event and the facility is amazing so it will be a busy and fun weekend for sure.”

Pawuk and Davies will be paired up in lanes one and two for their semifinal race, with Davies having lane choice. Bell will make a competition bye run. At the end of the final qualifying session Bell and the Davies/Pawuk winner will race for the Winternationals crown while simultaneously making their final qualifying pass. data for each lane of the four-wide track. On Saturday at the end of four-wide qualifying. Each Flexjet Factory Stock Series team will get four qualifying runs this weekend allowing the teams to accumulate points.

“This will be a busy weekend for sure,” said Davies, driver of the Mission 22 Dodge Drag Pak. “Having the chance to double-up is cool and really being able to get my first win is a big deal. I am looking forward to getting out there for Q1 and Q2 to get some data and then get ready for Saturday which will be race day for the Winternationals. We’ll have to make some adjustments, but I have a great team. Racing against Mark is always tough but fun and the main upside is there will be a Dodge in the final no matter what.”

Race day on Sunday will be a brand-new opportunity for Bell, Pawuk and Davies to reach another winner’s circle. The 16 quickest factory stock competitors will square off in three rounds of four-wide competition with each of the first two rounds advancing two competitors. In the unique four-wide format the first two drivers to reach the finish line advance until the final quad when the semifinals and finals are run together with a chassis 1-2-3-4 finishing order determining the champion. There will be a guaranteed first-time four-wide winner this week and Pawuk is hoping he will be holding the trophy at the end of the day.

“Adding a four-wide win to my resume would also be a bucket list item,” said Pawuk. “I made it to the final quad in Charlotte last year and I timed out during staging. There was a lot going on and I just took a little too long and really made it a wild final for everyone else. I am going to make some changes this weekend to make sure I am ready to go. The fans like the four-wide races and it is something different.”

Qualifying for the Flexjet Factory Stock Showdown begins Friday, April 12 with sessions at 1:00 p.m. and 4:10 p.m. (PST). The final two qualifying sessions will take place on Saturday at 1:20 p.m. and 4:15 p.m. (PST) with elimination rounds starting Sunday at 10:00 a.m. (PST).

This story was originally published on April 11, 2024. Drag Illustrated

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