After finishing second for the second-straight year in national NHRA Stock Eliminator points, Greenwood, Indiana’s Drew Skillman (above) is moving up to Pro Stock for the 2015 NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series season. Elite Motorsports team owner Richard Freeman confirmed this week that Skillman will join newly crowned NHRA Pro Stock World Champion Erica Enders-Stevens as her teammate.
“Drew has a brand-new, bright red Camaro from RJ Race Cars that just got out of paint and we’ll be testing that car by early January and he may be out in it for the first race in February at Pomona,” Freeman said. “I acquired Jeg Coughlin’s truck and trailer and all of his parts and pieces, tools and all that stuff, so that car will be run as a second car with Erica.”
Ex-Allen Johnson tuner Mark Ingersoll also is joining the team and will serve as co-crew chief on both cars with father-and-son duo Rick and Rickie Jones, who steered Enders-Stevens to her precedent-setting title, Freeman added.
It’s been a rapid rise to the top class of NHRA doorslammers for Skillman, 26, who made his first competitive passes in a Ford Mustang Cobra Jet just four years ago. Multiple wins with the NHRA and now-defunct ADRL Supercar Series soon followed, as did a runner-up finish to Justin Lamb by just one point in 2013 and a similar result by 24 points behind Austin Williams last season. Skillman also competed occasionally with an E/SMA Chevy Cobalt in Comp last year.
His grandfather, Ray Skillman, was a drag racer in the 1950s and now owns a large network of auto dealerships in the Indianapolis area. Both Skillman’s grandfather and father, Bill, continue to race in the NHRA sportsman classes.
“Drew is a very good driver and has the funding to do things right so I wouldn’t be surprised to see him have some success early. We also have Rodger Brogdon coming back with us as an engine lease customer. So we have what we feel is a team that’s going to come out there and start up again right where we left off,” Freeman said.
(Photo by Bret Kepner)