A lot has happened to Aaron Stanfield in the last month, and most of it has been good. The third-generation racer won his first race in the SAM Tech.edu Factory Stock Showdown at Indy when he beat Mark Pawuk in the final round. Then, Stanfield went to Gainesville where he reached his first Pro Stock final round.
Stanfield had a chance to double up with a second Gainesville win in Factory Stock, but had to wait a week when rains in Florida postponed the final. Rains delayed that race even further in St Louis, but the wait proved to be worth it as Sanfield defeated teammate David Janac in the final to open up a sizable lead in the race for the championship. In the all COPO Camaro final round, Stanfield got off the starting line first and never trailed, winning with a 7.954 to Janac's quicker 7.949.
From the time he arrived in Gainesville until the rain washed away the final, Stanfield rated a slight edge against the rest of the Factory Stock field. He qualified his supercharged COPO Camaro on the pole with a 7.951 and was one of just three seven-second qualifiers on Saturday when conditions were extremely hot and muggy. In spite of his performance in qualifying, Stanfield didn’t have an easy time reaching the final. He opened eliminations with a close 7.992 to 7.999 win against Kevin Skinner, who was driving the field’s lone Ford Cobra Jet. Stanfield helped himself early with a five-hundredths advantage at the start. A round later, Stanfield narrowly beat David Barton in a battle featuring two of Factory Stock’s most accomplished engine builders. Barton left first and ran a 7.978 but was five-thousandths of a second behind Stanfield’s 7.958 at the finish line.
Stanfield made his slowest run in the semifinal round with an 8.010, and that was just enough to hold off Doug Hamp’s 8.038 in his rapidly improving COPO Camaro. The second round was typical of the high level of competition in Factory Stock with all but one race decided by a few hundredths or less. Applying in excess of 1,500 horsepower to the track via a nine-inch wide rear tire has always been a tricky proposition in Factory Stock racing, but most of the competitors in Gainesville seemed to nail the set-up, or at least come very close given the warm conditions. Janac wasn’t nearly as consistent as Stanfield, but he got progressively quicker in the first two of eliminations with runs of 8.072 and 7.999 in his wins against Scott Libersher and Jesse Alexandra. Janac added an 8.026 in his semifinal victory against the third member of Team Stanfield, past Gainesville champ Stephen Bell, who spun the tires.
Following his second, win, Stanfield has opened a sizable lead over the field that includes Mark Pawuk, Janac, Jesse Alexandra, and Barton.