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Points Leader Bill Skillman Looks to Hold Off Tough Factory Stock Showdown Contenders at U.S. Nationals

The most prestigious race of the NHRA season, and arguably in all of drag racing, will once again host one of the largest fields of Constant Aviation Factory Stock Showdown competitors. The Dodge Power Brokers NHRA U.S. Nationals at Lucas Oil Indianapolis Raceway Park will feature a 25-car field with two days of eliminations putting the competition between Chevrolet COPO Camaros, Ford Cobra Jets and Dodge Challenger Drag Paks at an all-time high.

Sitting in the points lead with just three events left in the season, Bill Skillman and his Ray Skillman Ford Cobra will be looking for their second consecutive victory at the race coveted as “The Big Go.”

“Three races left in the season including this one, and we’re pretty confident. We got penalized after the last race, second race in a row.  So, we’re working to get power back, changing combinations. We don’t know quite what to expect because we haven’t tested it down a racetrack,” Skillman said. “We’ll have some confidence after a couple runs. We’ll just have to see what the large field looks like. Find out what the performance will be. Putting a car on the dyno doesn’t always show you what happens on the track.”

As the most recent winner Skillman will be carrying the $1,000 bounty on their shoulders when eliminations begin on Sunday thanks to the Constant Aviation Factory Stock Showdown Bounty Program.

“It’s a privilege, having the bounty by having won the last race. The way the bounty works it’s whoever beats you first, not whoever wins the race. It’s good motivation. Nice to have the money out there,” Skillman said. “Can’t win any of it if you’re winning races but it makes it fun. Knock the king off the hill. Expensive class to be in if you want to go fast so it’s a nice bonus.”

Last year Jesse Alexandra picked up his first career Factory Stock Showdown win and was overwhelmed at the top end of Lucas Oil Raceway. After four years racing against the best Factory Stock competitors in the country Alexandra realized a life-long dream on drag racing’s biggest stage.

“I can’t believe it,” exclaimed Alexandra, moments after his big win. “It was a roller coaster of ups and downs. We just had a great hot rod (in Indy). We have a great team behind us. I must thank my family and David and Ray Barton. All the guys back at the shop working hard for us. It is just crazy that it all came together.”

Aaron Stanfield, handling the Stanfield Racing Engines COPO Camaro, will be feeling double the pressure as he once again will compete in both the Constant Aviation Factory Stock Showdown category as well as the Camping World Drag Racing Series Pro Stock class.

“The U.S. Nationals is the one to win. Our team’s goal is to double up in Constant Aviation Factory Stock Showdown and Pro Stock. We have been working hard to be prepared as possible,” Stanfield said. “Thank you to the Janac Brothers for giving me the opportunity to achieve a big accomplishment like this.”

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The Constant Aviation Factory Stock Showdown activities at the Dodge Power Brokers NHRA U.S. Nationals at Lucas Oil Indianapolis Raceway Park will begin with one qualifying pass on Friday at 5:30 p.m., passes on Saturday at 12:15 and 4:00 p.m. and Sunday 11:15 a.m. A wild two days of eliminations begins Sunday at 2:00 p.m. and continues to completion on Monday at 11:15 a.m.

Constant Aviation Bounty Program

Gatornationals (Gainesville, FL)

$1,000 bounty collected by Anthony Troyer, defeated Aaron Stanfield, Las Vegas winner

Charlotte Four-Wide Nationals (Charlotte, NC)

$1,000 bounty collected by Stephen Bell, defeated Lenny Lottig, Gatornationals winner

Virginia Nationals (Richmond, VA)

Bounty unclaimed, Charlotte winner Bill Skillman undefeated

Thunder Valley Nationals (Bristol, Tenn.)

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$2,000 bounty collected by Scott Libersher, defeated Bill Skillman, Charlotte Four-Wide and Virginia Nationals winner

Summit Racing Equipment NHRA Nationals (Norwalk, Ohio)

$1,000 bounty collected by Bill Skillman

2021 Constant Aviation Factory Stock Showdown Schedule/Results

Gainesville – Lenny Lottig, winner; Anthony Troyer, runner-up

Charlotte1 – Bill Skillman, winner, David Barton, runner-up

Richmond – Bill Skillman, winner, Dan Condon, runner-up

Bristol – David Barton, winner, Stephen Bell, runner-up

Norwalk, Summit Nationals, Bill Skillman, winner, David Barton, runner-up

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Indianapolis, U.S. Nationals, August 30- September 5

Reading, Dodge Nationals, September 15-18

Dallas, Fall Nationals, October 13-16

Constant Aviation Factory Stock Showdown Top Ten Points Standings:

  1. Bill Skillman                   435
  2. David Barton                427
  3. Lenny Lottig                  301
  4. Aaron Stanfield            258
  5. David Janac                   253
  6. Stephen Bell                 237
  7. Mark Pawuk                  235
  8. Dan Condon                  225
  9. David Davies III            224
  10. Anthony Troyer         195

This story was originally published on September 3, 2022. Drag Illustrated

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