Stephen Bell and his Stanfield Racing Engines Chevrolet COPO Camaro picked up their first victory of the season Sunday at the Summit Racing Equipment NHRA Nationals at Summit Motorsports Park.
Bell earned his fourth career victory against Lee Hartman in the final round. Bell would be second to leave the starting line but take the lead immediately and he would never trail on a 7.783-second pass at 177.74 mph to Hartman’s 7.809 at 175.32 mph run.
“This means everything to me. As a child, I wanted to race cars. My family supported me, love my wife, I love my family and we’ve been blessed with a lot of success to be able to come out and do things like this, to race with the Stanfield family. I get to be the monkey in the seat that does a pretty good job and then wins one of these things. It’s like Christmas Day. I’m just the happiest guy in the world,” Bell said. “Lee Hartman, he’s a gentleman, he’s a friend and he’s got a fast race car. There was no room for error on our end. We just stayed levelheaded. We knew we had a fast race car and we just had to find out if we could keep it going. This team worked hard to make that happen.”
Before reaching the finals, Bell, who is now second in the championship points standings, had to face points leader and most recent event winner Aaron Stanfield and his COPO in the semifinals. With the $1,000 Flexjet Factory Stock Showdown bounty on the line, Bell would run a 7.758-second pass at 178.14 mph beating Stanfield’s 7.790 at 174.62.
“When you race someone as tough as Aaron you know you have to be at the top of your game,” said Bell. “You add on the fact that there was the $1,000 Flexjet bounty on the line I knew it wasn’t going to be an easy win. There are no easy wins out here. I love the bounty program and I am looking forward to holding onto that bounty title for a lot of races and watching that bounty number go up.”
En route to the semifinals, Bell ran a 7.761 at 177.07 mph to take down David Davies and his Save Our Allies Dodge Drag Pak’s 7.821 at 176.40, then put up a 7.739 at 177.21 mph to send Ricky Hord and his COPO Camaro’s 7.875 at 172.76 home.
In the quarterfinals, Bell matched with Jesse Alexandra and his Camaro for a tight side-by-side drag race. Bell would take the win with a 7.801-second pass at 177.63 mph to Alexandra’s 7.803 at 176.47.
The Flexjet Factory Stock Showdown series will continue its season at the Dodge Power Brokers NHRA U.S. Nationals at Lucas Oil Indianapolis Raceway Park, August 31-September 4.