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Aaron Stanfield wins fourth-straight race to wrap up SAM Tech.edu Factory Stock Showdown title

After a dominant season that now includes four wins, Aaron Stanfield is crowned the SAM Tech.edu NHRA Factory Stock Showdown champion on Sunday at Houston Raceway Park.
25 Oct 2020
Kevin McKenna, NHRA National Dragster Senior Editor
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Growing up, Aaron Stanfield watched his father, Greg, win four world championships in Super Stock and he obviously learned a thing or two because the third-generation prodigy now has a championship of his own after wrapping up the SAM Tech.edu Factory Stock Showdown title on Sunday at Houston Raceway Park. In a dominant performance, Stanfield won for the fourth time this season when he beat David Barton in the final. Two rounds earlier, he secured the season title and for good measure, he also won his first Pro Stock race later in the day.

Stanfield entered the Mopar Express Lane NHRA Springnationals with a nearly insurmountable 170-point lead over former Pro Stock driver Mark Pawuk in the standings meaning he needed only to win two rounds of eliminations or simply outlast Pawuk in order to officially clinch the title. Stanfield opened eliminations with an impressive 7.868 in his round one win over Kevin Skinner’s Cobra Jet Mustang. Pawuk followed suit when he topped Dustin Wheelock with a 7.942.

The title was decided in round two. Pawuk did his part with a brilliant .006 light in his narrow 7.901 to 7.905 win against Stephen Bell, but that only prolonged the inevitable as Stanfield downed David Kramer in the next pair to offically lock up the title. Stanfield ran low E.T. of the round with a 7.885 after Kramer spun the tires on the starting line.

"I'm just really, really happy right now," said Stanfield, who races a COPO Camaro that is owned by fellow Factory Stock racer David Janac. "I've been dreaming of this day since I was alittle boy watching my dad race. I can't believe it actually happened. What a great season."

Stanfield finished off the day with a semifinal win over Pawuk's Dodge and then extended his win streak to 16-rounds with a great 7.87 to 7.90 side-by-side win over David Barton in the final to become the 28th driver to double at an NHRA race and just the second to pull off the pro/sportsman double, joining Pat Austin, who won twice in Top Fuel and Top Alcohol Funny Car.

Stanfield’s 2020 campaign began with a lot of promise as he announced plans to contend for titles in three eliminators, Factory Stock, Pro Stock, and Top Dragster presented by Vortech Superchargers. In addition to winning the Factory Stock title, Stanfield raced in his first Pro Stock final at the Amalie Motor Oil NHRA Gatornationals and he's got a chance to double in Houston since he's alreadty made it to a second Pro Stock final.

The start of the Factory Stock season was delayed when the COVID-19 pandemic forced the postponement of the Amalie Motor Oil Gatornationals in Gainesville. The season began four months later at the Lucas Oil NHRA Summernationals in Indianapolis where Stanfield delivered a semifinal finish. Stanfield qualified No. 4 and then lost to Chris Holbrook’s Cobra Jet Mustang. Since then, he has been unstoppable with three-straight wins in his Indianapolis, Gainesville, and Dallas.

As if his prosess in Factory Stock and Pro Stock wasn't impressive enough, Stanfield has also appeared in three final rounds in Top Dragster this season including a win at the Division 3 Lucas Oil Series event in Indianapolis.