Evan J. Smith
Freelancer
June 10, 2015

Now in its 50th year of operation, Old Bridge Township Raceway Park, better know as “Englishtown,” is one of the premier stops on the NHRA Mello Yellow tour. The fans flocked to the New Jersey drag strip to watch the 46th running of the popular and historical Summernationals.

The facility has changed quite a bit since it opened in 1965, but the energy and passion for racing in the Northeast exists, and the NHRA drag racing was as hotter than ever. Racing fans were thrilled with the nitro burners, Pro Mods, Pro Stock Bikes and all the sportsman categories, including Stock and Super Stock and the Factory Stock Showdown.

The 2015 Summernationals was highlighted by the NHRA Factory Stock Showdown, a class created to showcase the Ford Cobra Jet Mustangs, Chevrolet COPO Camaros, and Dodge Drag Pak Challengers. Factory Showdown competes within the Stock Eliminator category, but run in a separate heads-up eliminator. There are two classes separating the supercharged and naturally aspirated cars, and the winner of each group races for the overall Showdown championship.

Holbrook vs Don Fezell
Kevin Skinner, Factory Stock Showdown winner.
Bo Butner ran strong in FS/X, clocking an 8.79 with his 429 powerplant.

Qualifying was intense, as Clay Arnett led the pack in his COPO, running 8.389, followed by Don Fezell who ran 8.458 in his 2008 Cobra Jet Mustang, and Kevin Skinner at 8.52. In FS/X Bo Butner lead the way with an 8.80.

Bo Butner secured a spot in the FS/X (naturally aspirated) final in his bright orange Butner Auto Cobra Jet, after defeating a redlighting Joe Welch in his COPO Camaro. Butner’s CJ packs the new 429 “Ninja” push-rod combo and ran as quick as 8.79 at 148 mph.

Mike Ficacci 5.0 naturally aspirated Coyote CJ.

Competing in FS/XX (supercharged) Kevin Skinner powered to a strong 8.49 at 158 mph to win the title over Chris Holbrook, who spun off the line and could only muster a 9.42. Earler, Holbrook laid down the quickest pass in NHRA Stock history, when he blasted to an 8.383 at 161.29 mph.

Bill Glidden won Pro Mod in his flagship Mustang.

Another popular win came in Pro Modified when Bill Glidden, driving his Mustang used a holeshot to defeat Don Walsh Jr. who was wheeling a twin-turbo Camaro. It was like old times at E-town watching names like Glidden and Walsh. Glidden left first (0.045 to 0.136) and ran a 5.923 at 243 mph to hold off Walsh, who ran 5.897 at 252 mph. This is Glidden’s first NHRA Pro Mod victory and was a rematch of the Houston final, where Walsh defeated Glidden.

“Yo” Ken Miele, Micro Strategies FS/XX CJ
Anthony Bongiovanni, Arrow 5.0 Coyote Super Stock CJ
Chris Holbrook, fastest pass in NHRA Stock history, 8.383 seconds!
Kevin Skinner (left) chats with Chris Holbrook prior to first round.
Gary Richard blasts off the E-town line in his 5.0 blown CJ.
Bongivoanni Racing Cobra Jet line up.
Tex Miller E/SA Ford Mustang.
Kevin Skinner, winner of the Factory Stock Showdown with a 2014 Cobra Jet Mustang.
Mike Ficacci takes a round win in Super Stock.
Nick Scardelli came back after hitting the wall, but lost a close one to Anthony Fetch.
Chris Holbrook chases a Challenger.
Bobby Fazio scored a class win in L/SA.
Eddie Brooks ran this all-motor CJ in FS/H.
The crowd built around the Factory Stock Showdown final.
Butner spun handing the win to Kevin Skinner, who ran deep into the 8s all weekend.

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