Jesse Alexandra and his Barton Chevy COPO Camaro picked their second Dodge Power Brokers NHRA U.S. Nationals Flexjet Factory Stock Showdown victory Sunday at Lucas Oil Indianapolis Raceway Park.
In the finals, Alexandra faced-off with Stephen Bell and his Stanfield Racing Engines COPO Camaro. Alexandra would get the hole shot victory by leaving the line first with a 0.019-second reaction time that combined with his 7.831-second pass at 175.05 mph would be just enough to defeat Bell and his 0.048 reaction time with a 7.811 pass at 177.60.
“This is great. I wish my wife, Lana, was here with me. This is crazy to win the U.S. Nationals again. This was such a big field in the Flexjet Factory Showdown this week with lots of real heavy hitting competitors. There were a lot of guys that could have done this job. The Lord was with me today and it is just crazy how it all came together,” Alexandra said. “Winning out here against these kinds of competitors. Stephen Bell is like, ‘The Guy,’ for me. He’s so good all around. He’s so good on the tree. He’s such a good competitor. He drives so well. We have gone back and forth. I mean when I can race with him just to be on the same track with him is an honor. I tell him that all the time. He’s a great, great competitor.”
With the win, Alexandra also had a $1,000 pay day for beating Bell, the previous event winner, through the Flexjet Factory Stock Showdown Bounty Program.
“Getting the win and the Flexjet bounty makes this extra special,” Alexandra said. “This whole weekend was amazing and we won again two years to the day of our first U.S. Nationals win. What an amazing weekend.”
En route to the finals, Alexandra defeated Richard Ingram in the first round with a 7.823-second pass at 176.35 mph to Ingram’s 8.474 at 157.08. In the second round he took out Scott Libersher’s 7.879 at 174.30 with a 7.829 at 175.66 setting him up to face Joe Welch in the fourth round. Welch’s 7.853 at 177.96 wouldn’t be enough for Alexandra’s 7.794 at 175.21. Alexandra would take on heavy-hitter Aaron Stanfield in the semifinals pulling off a 7.805 pass at 176.07 while Stanfield ran into trouble for only a 9.189 at 123.72.
“I couldn’t have done this without my awesome team,” said Alexandra. “My brother of speed and teammate Lenny Lottig, along my crew chiefs Dave Yediny and Tomi Laine, I have the best crew with Linda Lottig, Jim Retzlaff, Louie, Dave Pence, Frank Aragon and Jay Schwoch. I also want to say, ‘thank you’ to everyone at SCAG which is based in my hometown, for all they do for drag racing.”
Bell worked his way through Chris Hall who red lit in the first round then had a 7.788-second pass at 176.26 mph to defeat Richard Bierie’s 8.259 at 166.05. In the fourth round, Bell laid down a 7.7826 at 175.66 while Conner Statler recorded no time. In the semifinals, Bell took down No. 2 qualifier Lenny Lotting with a 7.813 at 173.65 to Lottig’s 7.812 at 175.71.
Flexjet Factory Stock Showdown competition continues at the Pep Boys NHRA Nationals at Maple Grove Raceway in Reading, Pa. September 14-17.