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Fernando Cuadra Jr. Powers to First Final Round of His Pro Stock Career at ‘Big Go’

The Elite Motorsports Pro Stock team made a fantastic showing this week at the Dodge Power Brokers U.S. Nationals at Lucas Oil Indianapolis Raceway Park. Not only did Fernando Cuadra Jr. race his way to an impressive runner-up finish for the first time in his career, but Aaron Stanfield nabbed his second Mission Foods #2Fast2Tasty challenge victory to become the overall season winner of the specialty event.

Cuadra Jr. raced the Pro Stock Camaro formerly driven by multi-time Pro Stock world champion Jeg Coughlin Jr. and his performance throughout the weekend gave him a positive boost in momentum.

“After seeing what this car can do, for the first time all season I’ve been able to get a good night of sleep,” said the Mexico-based racer who competes alongside his father and brothers. “To make it to the finals at the U.S. Nationals is a step farther than what we did last year at this race, so it’s truly a dream come true.”

In his Janac Bros. / JC3 Energy Camaro, Stanfield defeated Pro Stock drivers Dallas Glenn and Kyle Koretsky to clinch his second #2Fast2Tasty challenge victory of the season. Emerging victorious in this race-within-a-race specialty event also made Stanfield the overall Pro Stock season winner in the Mission Foods #2Fast2Tasty challenge. 

On race day, seven of the eight Elite-powered Pro Stock machines made the field to compete in the first round of eliminations. It was an unfortunate start for Cristian Cuadra, who ceded the Round One win to Camrie Caruso when he kicked the cap off of the rear differential, leaking gear oil on the starting line. Cuadra Jr. defeated his Elite Motorsports teammate Bo Butner while Troy Coughlin Jr.’s / White Castle Camaro got around Jerry Tucker in the other all-Elite first-round matchup. Erica Enders powered past Chris McGaha in her Johnson’s Horsepowered Garage Camaro while Stanfield took a definitive starting line advantage all the way to the stripe against Eric Latino. 

In the quarterfinal round, Cuadra Jr. defeated his teammate, Coughlin, inspiring Enders to change lanes in the next pairing where she faced Dallas Glenn. In a stunning drag race, five-time world champion Enders got the holeshot win against Glenn thanks to a reaction time of .023 seconds. 

With a stunning reaction time of .018 seconds in the semifinals, Cuadra Jr. took down Kyle Koretsky to advance his Corral Boots Camaro to the first final round of his career. Matt Hartford defeated Enders before facing and defeating Cuadra Jr. in the finals. 

In NHRA Lucas Oil Drag Racing Series action, Bo Butner picked up his second consecutive U.S. Nationals win in Super Gas. His wife, Randi Lyn Butner, won class in Super Stock. Patterson-Elite Super Stock standout Aydan Patterson became the third generation driver in his family to win Class at the U.S. Nationals.

The next stop for the NHRA Camping World Drag Racing Series will be the Pep Boys NHRA Nationals at Maple Grove Raceway, September 14-17. 

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This story was originally published on September 4, 2023. Drag Illustrated

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