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Drew downs Bill in all-Skillman, all-Ford Factory Stock final

Drew gets the best of Bill Skillman in the first father-son final round in the SAM Tech.edu Factory Stock Showdown.
23 Jun 2019
Kevin McKenna, NHRA National Dragster Senior Editor
Race coverage
skillman

Based on their recent results, it seems more and more obvious that the Skillman family really enjoys racing in the SAM Tech.edu Factory Stock Showdown. After five of eight races this season, the father-son duo of Bill and Drew Skillman have combined to win four times. Their latest race at the Summit Racing Equipment NHRA Nationals might well be their most memorable with Drew stopping father Bill in the class' first father-son final round. The there was no mercy asked for, or given in the final round where Drew squeezed out a narrow 7.921 to 7.931 win over his disappointed, yet proud papa.

"We had a great weekend out here," said Drew, who now holds a massive lead in the battle for the season championship. "Ray Skillman Motorsports did a great job preparing our cars. [Crew chief] Tomi Laine, [engine builder] Chris Holbrook, and everyone who works their butt off on our cars did a fantastic job. I got to race my dad in the final. We finally did a good job on the ladder. We're going home with a win and a runner-up. You can't ask for more than that."

Power management remains a necessary component for success in Factory Stock and the Skillmans have all but mastered it. Drew was the top qualifier with a 7.875 and Bill was not far behind in fourth place. The top four spots were occupied by Fords including Kevin Skinner and Bo Butner.

Drew, already a winner in Gainesville, and Richmond, tacked on three more round wins by beating Randy Taylor, Pete Gasko Jr., and Butner. The race against Butner required a bit of starting line driving ability with Skillman taking an early lead and holding on for a 7.939 to 7.904 holeshot win over the current Pro Stock points leader. The final margin of victory was just seven-thousandths of a second.

"I expected Bo to be a little better than that on the Tree," Skillman laughed. "I knew I had to be on time. We made some good runs today, but we were a little slower than Bo's car so we needed all of it."

Bill, who earned his first NHRA national event title earlier this year at the Four-Wide event in Charlotte, drove to his second final of the season  by beating reigning Factory Stock champion Leah Pritchett, Scott Libersher, and engine builder David Barton. Bill was also extremely consistent with four runs in the seven-second zone.