NHRA is pushing ahead with promotion of its 2019 SAMTech.edu Factory Stock Showdown series, expanding the class to eight races, with inaugural races in Richmond and Topeka next year.
The eight contests on the docket, all held in conjunction with NHRA’s Mello Yello professional categories, include its season-starting Amalie Motor Oil Gatornationals in March, the Four-Wide Nationals at Charlotte in late April, mid-May’s Virginia Nationals on the Richmond dragstrip, early June’s Menards Heartland Nationals at Topeka and a visit to Norwalk, Ohio for the Summit Racing Equipment Nationals in late June.
A long break for the SAMTech.edu Factory Stock Showdown competitors ensues from the Norwalk race until the Labor Day weekend, when the class performs at the Chevrolet Performance U.S. Nationals outside Indianapolis. After that, Factory Stock Showdown races at St. Louis for the AAA Insurance Midwest Nationals and ends its season with the AAA Texas Fall Nationals in Dallas, Oct 17-20.
Last season’s Factory Stock Showdown champion was Don Schumacher Racing’s Leah Pritchett, who also secured fourth place in NHRA’s Mello Yello Top Fuel category, winning two races along the way. She earned a year-end NHRA Wally based on her performance in all SAMTech.edu races, and after a string of three consecutive victories in her Mopar Dodge Challenger Drag Pak last year.
“The high level of competition on the track within the SAMTech.edu NHRA Factory Stock Showdown continues to be a fan favorite,” said Josh Peterson, NHA vice president for racing administration. “The support provided by SAMTech.edu and the automobile manufacturers has helped the class see continued growth in participation.”
Brian Massingill, director of student motorsports for the School of Automotive Machinists & Technology (SAM Tech) noted, “When SAM Tech signed on to sponsor the Factory Stock Showdown, we knew it was a special class. However, we didn’t expect it to gain the notoriety it has in so little time. In three short years, we have gone from four races to eight, from 8.50s to 7.90s (elapsed times), and from eight-car fields to 16” for eliminations.
“The enthusiasm from the manufacturers, racers and drivers has helped propel this class to a fan favorite. With continued support from NHRA, this class will keep growing for years to come. Whether it’s prospective jobs for our graduates, class projects on the track or experimenting with new ways to make horsepower in our labs, the opportunities the Showdown provides students, faculty and staff at SAM Tech are irreplaceable.”
The 2019 NHRA SAMTech.edu Factory Stock Showdown schedule follows:
March 14-17: Amalie Motor Oil Gatornationals, Gainesville, Fla.
April 26-28: Four-Wide Nationals, Charlotte, N.C.
May 17-19: Virginia Nationals, Richmond, Va.
June 7-9: Menards Heartland Nationals, Topeka, Kan.
June 20-23: Summit Racing Equipment Nationals, Norwalk, Ohio
Aug 28-Sept 2: Chevrolet Performance U.S. Nationals, Indianapolis, Ind.
Sept 27-29: AAA Insurance Midwest Nationals, St. Louis, Mo.
Oct 17-20: AAA Texas Fall Nationals, Dallas, Texas