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Three-Time NMCA Champion Bill Skillman Leads NHRA Factory Stock Championship Going Into Final Three Races

Posted By: Steve Baur
Photography by Dr. Rudy Rouweyha and the Race Pages Staff
 
Whether its in NHRA Constant Aviation Factory Stock Showdown or NMCA Holley EFI Factory Super Cars classes, the competition is super tight among the Ford Performance Cobra Jet Mustangs, Chevrolet Performance COPO Camaros, and Dodge//Mopar Challenger Drag Paks, and Bill Skillman just wrestled the points lead in NHRA Factory Stock Showdown from David Barton after taking victory at the Summit Racing Equipment Nationals in Norwalk, Ohio.
 
Barton and his COPO Camaro had just taken the points lead after a win in Bristol, and both Aaron Stanfield and Lenny Lottig remain in the hunt. Skillman claimed wins in North Carolina and Virginia, and just after taking his third win of the 8-race season, the NHRA made a rules parity adjustment that will see the Cobra Jet combination detuned through the implementation of the a newly required, larger supercharger pulley.
 

“We are constantly working on the car,” said Skillman’s crew chief, Tomi Laine. “We made a bunch of changes on the car and it started to pick up in the 330 and 60. I was expecting something sooner or later.”
 
After resolving some engine clearance issues at the beginning of the year, Laine found that crankshaft durability became the next weak link, with one breaking in Skillman’s black Comp Cobra Jet most recently.
 

“When you push the motors, you fix one thing and then something else comes around,” Laine told us. “At this point, there are some mechanical design issues because they are not meant to make that much power. We have to run them so hard when you want to win and be the fastest with the Ford. We have been working on it every day to try and get some of the power back from this pulley change. It affects everything in the rest of the combo.”
 
Laine and the rest of the Skillman crew will continue to test and work with engine builder Holbrook Racing Engines to improve on Skillman’s Ford Performance Cobra Jet Mustang to try to maintain his lead in the NHRA points. Skillman currently sits in third place in the NMCA Holley EFI Factory Super Cars championship points race as well, just 270 points behind leader Chuck Watson II and with plemnty of points available from the three races still left on the calendar. Could he double up this year? 

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