Aaron Stanfield grew up in a drag racing dynasty. His father Greg Stanfield and his late-grandfather Howard Stanfield are two of drag racing's all-time greats. The bar was set high at an early age for the 26-year-old racer, but as we learned in the March 2020 National Dragster cover story—he's proven himself beyond just being part of a successful family tree.
Coming into the 2021 TascaParts.com New England Nationals Aaron Stanfield's Janac Motorsports Camaro was projected to finish in the top half of qualifying and a round win or two on race day. When Friday evening’s pro session kicked off with Pro Stock, fans witnessed Mason McGaha run 6.538 seconds at 210.28 mph to claim the low qualifier. Aaron Stanfield, who has the lowest average reaction time in 2021 (at 0.024 seconds) took the second spot with a 6.545 second run at 210.83 mph, and Erica Enders pulled out a 6.548 seconds 210.24 mph after completing an uncharacteristically long burnout. Matt Hartford's softer 6.551-second pass at 210.37 mph came with a nearly identical 60-foot time to Stanfield's run.
Cautious runs replaced record-setting attempts during Saturday's second session. Mason McGaha’s 6.538, Aaron Stanfield’s 6.545, and Matt Hartford’s 6.551 Friday night runs all survived both Saturday qualifying sessions and kept them in the second, third, and fifth place slots respectively. While Erica Enders 6.545 on Saturday showed improvement over her Friday night run and reminded competitors of what she’s capable of at this track.
McGaha's low-qualifier e.t., Hartford's Houston success, and Enders' historic performance at Epping meant Stanfield was flying under most observers' attention—but to the competition's peril.
In round one of Sunday's Pro Stock session, Stanfield paired up against Alan Prusiensky. The Pro Stock Hemi under Prusiensky's hood didn't seem happy, but Stanfield was when he ran low e.t. of the day.
It’s not easy to beat Stanfield on the line, and even great reaction times from McGaha and Stevens weren't enough to keep Stanfield from mowing them down in rounds two and three.
When it came down to the final, Stanfield squared off against Greg Anderson who had stollen the younger McGaha's low-e.t. thunder. The last time these two cars went down the track the was only 500 hundredths of a second difference between them. Stanfield left first, which may not have been a huge surprise, but then Stanfield's Elite power outran Anderson too. It always makes the Pro Stock competition a little sweeter for the fans when there's an Elite vs. KB powered-car final.