Chuck Watson became the latest winner of the School of Automotive Machinists and Technology Factory Stock Showdown when he defeated Kevin Skinner in an all-Cobra Jet final round. Watson’s company, Watson Racing, specializes in aftermarket parts for modern Mustangs and has played a pivotal role in the development and manufacture of the Cobra Jet Factory Race car for Ford Performance. In the final, the Michigan-based Watson made the quickest pass of the weekend with an 8.190, 165.25 in the final to hold off Skinner, who spun the tires at the start.
“This is a great deal,” said Watson. “We’ve worked hard on this car and it has responded really well. It went down the track this weekend and that was not an east thing to do. I can’t say enough good things about Ford for making cars like this. It’s great. We’ve got a win now and I’m hoping that at some point we’re going to run in the sevens. We’re real close to that right now.”
Saturday’s first round provided all the drama and unpredictability that the SAM Tech Factory Stock Showdown has become known for. There were red-lights, big wheelstands, tire spin, and upsets as Skinner, Watson, Barton and Pro Stock champ Erica Enders survived to make Sunday’s final rounds. The most impressive run of the round came from Watson, who powered his Cobra Jet Mustang to an 8.293, 164.49 in his win over Steven Bell, who blazed the tires at the start.
Last March in Gainesville, at the season-opener for the SAM Tech Factory Stock Showdown, Watson reached the final round before he lost to David Barton’s COPO Camaro. Watson and Barton raced again in the semifinals of the next event in Charlotte and once again Barton prevailed. The third time was the charm for Watson in the semifinals in Norwalk where he drove to an 8.227 to 8.278 victory.
Skinner, who is a two-time Factory Stock Showdown champ, reached the final round with an 8.416, 162.65 after two-time Pro Stock champ Enders spun the tires in her Omaha Track COPO Camaro.
The SAM Tech Factory Stock Showdown will return for the fourth of five rounds at the upcoming Chevrolet Performance U.S. Nationals where the starting field will be expanded from 8 to 16 competitors.