David Barton and his Retail Fixtures / Sawmill Auto Chevrolet COPO Camaro picked up their first victory of the season Monday at the NHRA Nevada Nationals at The Strip at Las Vegas Motor Speedway.
In the 12th final round of his career, first of the season, Barton would take on Kevin Skinner and the Columbus Joint & Clutch Ford Cobra Jet in the final round of eliminations. The pair would be nearly identical off the starting line, but Barton would pull away to go 7.729 seconds at 177.46 mph for the win while Skinner slowed to a 9.003 at 107.92.
“It was a long weekend but when you come out with a win, that makes it worth it. Really proud of this team, putting in the work to get the job done for the last race of the season,” Barton said. “It hasn’t been a perfect season but we’re ending it on the right note. Have to thank all our sponsors for their support, our families who support all these guys getting to come out to the track and the competitors, hard fought win today and one hell of a competitive season.”
En route to victory, Barton, who is the outgoing series champion, took down Mark Pawuk and the Empaco Equipment Dodge Challenger in the first round with a 7.767 pass at 176.07 while Pawuk spun the tires off the starting line.
“I’m stepping away from racing to focus on helping our customers and work on building our business,” said Barton. “To walk away with a win in my final Flexjet Factory Stock Showdown race feels great. I have to thank my wife Samantha, all the guys in the shop, the Libersher family, Chevrolet, VP Racing, NGK Spark Plugs, Retail Fixture, Saw Mill Auto, Mickey Thompson, Joel Rabe, Tim Rubendall and Alex Anderson.”
In the second round, Barton and the COPO Camaro team collected $1,000 with their victory over the Texas NHRA Fall Nationals winner, Lenny Lottig, thanks to the Flexjet Factory Stock Showdown. Barton would be second off the starting line but manage to chase down Lottig with a 7.738-second pass at 177.16 mph to Lottig’s 7.787 at 175.73.
In the semifinals, Barton would meet No. 1 qualifier Stephen Bell. Barton would have the starting line advantage and never trail for a 7.803 at 177.04 that defeated Bell’s 7.836 at 164.27.
“Pretty cool that we picked up the bounty, never going to complain about more money. But now we also have the bounty on our backs heading into next season,” Barton said. “Hopefully we carry it for a races going into next year.”
On his way to his fifth final round, Skinner and his Ford Cobra Jet first had to take down Doug Hamp in the first round. Skinner had the win with a 7.768-second pass at 176.56 to Hamp’s 7.794 at 178.61. The win set Skinner up to run Dell Holbrook in the quarterfinals. They left the starting line at the same time, but Skinner was able to pull away with a 7.714-second pass at 177.44 mph while Holbrokk had a 7.956 at 173.29. In the semifinals, Skinner managed at 7.714 pass at 176.86 to defeat Lee Hartman’s 8.429 at 134.00.
With the end of the NHRA Nevada Nationals at The Strip at Las Vegas Motor Speedway, the NHRA Flexjet Factory Stock Showdown season comes to a close. Aaron Stanfield will be carrying the championship title into the 2024 season.