Chevrolet-branded drag racers collected many major titles during the 2017 Fallen Patriots NHRA Route 66 Nationals presented by K&N Filters in Joliet, Illinois.
The prestigious “A level” event, which also included the 33rd Annual JEGS Allstars event (race-within-a-race) featured some very high profile and significant victories.
Sunday’s Route 66 Nationals Super Stock final round featured, for only the 10th time in NHRA drag racing history, a father and son battle for the title. Aaron Stanfield, son of longtime drag racer and reputed engine builder Greg Stanfield, roared to his third career national event victory driving his GT/IA classed 1987 Camaro. Aaron was able to hold off Greg Stanfield who was driving the FSS/C 2015 Camaro owned by Louisiana’s Stephen Bell. Greg Stanfield had been the event’s pole qualifier when he took his supercharged machine to an 8.598 e.t. to pace the Super Stock field.
History was made when prolific Sportsman drag racer Dan Fletcher (Churchville, New York) won the Super Street 10.90 class racing his 1967 Nova. The victory made Fletcher only the third driver in NHRA drag racing history to collect 100 career national event titles (joining John Force and Frank Manzo). For the versatile Fletcher, who has won in a variety of classes, including Comp, Super Stock, and Stock, this milestone win came in what was his 150th career final round appearance. Fletcher beat Californian Greg Ventura, who red-lit with his Chevy Nova in the final round.
Sportsman racing highlights also included two major wins for home state Illinois racer Luke Bogacki. “Cool Hand,” as he is affectionately known, rolled his topless 1963 Corvette to the Super Gas title and drove his Chevy-powered dragster to the Super Comp crown. Bogacki had a perfect .000 light in the SG final, and it was career win numbers 13 and 14 for the full-time touring professional Sportsman racer.
The Route 66 Nationals also included another big Bowtie win in Pro Stock. Indiana’s Drew Skillman scored when he was able to outgun Erica Enders-Stevens in the all-Chevy Camaro final, winning with a 6.627 at 209.23 mph to Enders-Stevens’ 6.655 at 207.37 mph. For Skillman, who had qualified Number three, it was his fourth career NHRA national event title.
Chevrolet drivers also shined during the JEGS Allstars event, which was completed during Saturday’s racing event schedule.
That action was highlighted by Michigan’s Andrew Hill and his convincing win in Stock Eliminator with his crowd-pleasing D/SA-classed 1970 Camaro. Canadian Ken Mostowich (Calgary) won in Super Gas 9.90 with his Corvette and Josh Dalrymple (from the Pacific Northwest) prevailed with his 1967 Camaro in the Super Street 10.90 class.
Check out our extensive event photo gallery below of the 2017 Fallen Patriots NHRA Route 66 Nationals presented by K&N Filters.
Photos: Bruce Biegler