The NHRA U.S. Nationals is inarguably the most prestigious event in drag racing, and being able to claim a win at this event is a true career highlight for any racer, in any class. For the Sportsman racers in Stock and Super Stock, the U.S. Nationals carry even more significance because of the chance to win your class runoff, a head-to head battle with those who are your equal. GM was well represented this year in both Stock and Super Stock with a flotilla of Chevrolet Performance COPO Camaro’s competing and picking up wins, including the highly competitive Factory Stock Showdown.
The COPO program has been extremely popular since its introduction in 2012 with racers snatching them up to compete at NHRA events across the country. Even professional category superstars like Pro Stock champion Erica Enders have gotten in on the action making laps at the track in one of the iconic machines. The COPO program puts GM head-to-head in the horsepower wars at the track with Ford’s Cobra Jet and Dodge’s Drag Pak Challenger, so any win against a rival is huge.
At the 2017 U.S. Nationals, the COPOs put on a clinic of dominance in Stock and Super Stock by picking up a pile of wins across the board. In Super Stock, both Stephen Bell and Brett Candies were able to march through their classes and pick up eliminator wins. A total of 24 COPOs entered the Stock Eliminator portion of the U.S. Nationals, with Jim Boburka in FS/C, Victor Cagnazzi in FS/D, Jeff Taylor in FS/E and Daren Poole-Adams in FS/F all picking up class wins.
For any COPO racer, the crown you want to wear is the one awarded to the victor of the SAM Tech Factory Stock Showdown. This is where the quickest 16 factory-built racing machines all line up to race heads-up in the ultimate of manufacturer wars. The Factory Stock Showdown this year came down to an all-COPO final, with David Barton ousting Stephen Bell for the hardware.
According to GM Drag Racing Program Manager Roger Allen, this year’s success at the U.S. Nationals for the COPO racers was exactly what they expected. “We were extremely happy with the showing from our COPO customers at the Chevrolet Performance U.S. Nationals. Once again this year, COPO Camaro’s continue to dominate many Sportsman classes at the Chevrolet Performance U.S. Nationals.”