Drew Skillman has not officially been crowned the SAMTech.edu Factory Stock Showdown champion, but he is all but assured to lock up his first NHRA world championship at the AAA Texas NHRA FallNationals following first-round action Saturday.
Skillman won his first-round as easily as possible when his dad, Bill Skillman, didn't show up for the race. Bill is the only person who can make a run at his son and the elder Skillman is not planning on competing at the FallNationals. Further sealing the deal [though not officially, it should be noted] was Bo Butner failing to make the call in the first round. The driver of the Summit Racing Equipment Ford Mustang experienced engine issues in the first round, officially eliminating him from championship contention.
"This is the fourth motor in three races," said Butner. "We have some issues, and we really don't know what they are yet. It had power in the last qualifying run, but something was hurt. It might have been hurt before that. We checked everything, and it was good – we thought – but it is the same issue we've fought the last three races. It's been since the rule change for some reason, but I don't understand that. We're kind of stumped, but we'll figure it out."
Butner doesn't know if he'll be back in action at the FallNationals in Dallas, but Skillman will become the champion as soon as he makes a qualifying pass.
"We have another motor, but we don't want to put it in if there is an issue," said Butner. "We'll go test before Dallas, put some more sensors in different places, and see if we can find what's going wrong. Our goal is to be at Dallas – and I can't sit out and not run – but I have to think smart. I'm sure Drew is going to win the championship, and I congratulate him and am happy. Whether we finish second or 10th really doesn't matter to me. I just want to be geared up for next year and be prepared."