NMCA Factory Super Cars competitor Chris Holbrook recorded the quickest and fastest run in the history of the category, and the quickest in the modern era of Detroit’s big-three “factory wars” Saturday at the season-opener in Bradenton, Florida.
The Livonia, Michigan native, who is one of the longest-tenured racers in the category, dating back to the days of the ADRL’s SuperCar Showdown, clocked a stunning 7.660 at 181.06 mph in his supercharged 2019 Ford Mustang Cobra Jet to lead qualifying.
Holbrook was joined in the 7.60s — uncharted territory for the category in both the NMCA and NHRA to this point — by Tennessee’s Tripp Carter, at 7.696. Two other racers, Jim Betz and Chuck Watson, exceeded 180 mph — also previously uncharted waters in the class.
Holbrook parlayed his dominating performance into a victory on raceday, clocking a 7.70 in round one, a 7.75 in a defeat of Terry Munroe in the quarterfinals, and an off-pace 7.93 in the semis, setting up a final round match with another Ford powerhouse in Bill Skillman. There, Holbrook was better on both ends of the racetrack, taking a .09-second advantage out of the gate and charging to a 7.70 to 7.73 victory.
A season ago, citing continual rule changes in the Factory Stock Showdown category by the NHRA to retain parity, the NMCA divorced itself from the NHRA rules package for its Factory Super Cars eliminator in hopes of creating a more inviting and cost-effective venue for racers. The NMCA’s rules structure, with smaller supercharger pulley sizes for the 2019-20 COPO Camaro and Mustang Cobra Jet, allows such performances as Holbrook’s incredible 7.66 — a number you’re not likely to see in the NHRA fold this season.