Although once only a staple of the big-brother Super Stock category, the Stock Eliminator class has become known for wheels-up action over the last decade or so, with wheelie bars becoming less of a novelty and more of a necessity. And while these cars and the wheelstands they power into are typically quite controlled, one racer — Pennsylvania native Don Fezell — proved that Stockers can do anything a small-tire outlaw car can do, given the right circumstances.
Of course, Stockers aren’t quite that they used to be. With the introduction of the supercharged Cobra Jet Mustangs, COPO Camaros, and Dodge Challenger Drag Paks, a class that once considered a 9.99 staggering now sees mid-to-high eights with regularity, and it’s one of these such vehicles — a 2008 model Cobra Jet — that Fezell campaigns.
Two years ago at the NHRA Four-Wide Nationals in Charlotte, Fezell charged into the record books when he made the first eight-second pass in Stock Eliminator history with an 8.95-second, 153 mile per hour pass with his stick-shifted Pony. Needless to say, there’s a lot of horsepower there.
At the NHRA’s 60th anniversary U.S. Nationals over the weekend, site of the biggest and baddest heads-up class racing event on the planet, Fezell arrived with his “Daddy Warbucks II” carrying an automatic transmission for the very first time, and quickly found out just how potent a combination that was.
During the third round of qualifying for the Factory Stock Showdown, Fezell launched into a monster wheelstand out to nearly 200 feet. Not interested in giving up on the run despite a strong 9.01 run already to his credit, he backed off the throttle momentarily to get the nose back on earth, then got back in it, sending the front end sky-high once more that carried well out to the 330-foot clocks. Even after that second hoop-hanger, the front end of this badass Cobra Jet can be seen in the slow-motion view bouncing off the pavement several more times out to and beyond the half-track mark.
Fezell, having seen enough after two pretty stout wheelstands in the first three sessions, wisely put some wheelie bars on the car, and proceeded to drop an 8.96 best in the final qualifier (also the first round of the Factory Stock Showdown).
Video credit: robzneed4speed