Joe Welch Prepped for First Flexjet Factory Stock Showdown Four-Wide Experience at zMAX Dragway
April 27, 2023
CONCORD, N.C. (April 26, 2023) – For only the second time in Flexjet Factory Stock Showdown history, Chevrolet COPO Camaros, Ford Cobra Jets and Dodge Challenger Drag Paks will battle it out across four lanes at this weekend’s Circle K NHRA Four-Wide Nationals at zMAX Dragway just outside of Charlotte.
Coming off a victory at the season opening Gatornationals at Gainesville Raceway in Florida, Joe Welch enters the Four-Wide Nationals not only with the points lead but a national speed record to his name and the $1,000 bounty on his back. He’ll have some added obstacles this weekend, Welch has never raced in the four-wide format.
“This will be my first time racing four-wide. I’ve been asking my friends what to expect. I don’t want to get clocked out up there,” Welch said. “I’ll have to get my game face on. But I’m looking forward to it, a new experience. I’m sure it puts you on your toes and I’ll probably struggle a little bit. I’m 74-years old, so change doesn’t come easy. I’m looking forward to it.”
Welch and his Joe Welch Racing Dodge Drag Pak picked up the $1,000 bounty at the Gatornationals through the Flexjet Factory Stock Showdown Bounty Program after defeating previous race winner Aaron Stanfield in his Janac Brothers Chevrolet COPO Camaro during the finals. Welch will now carry the bounty until he is beaten, with $1,000 being added each race weekend he goes undefeated.
“When you have the bounty on you, it’s exciting, everyone is gunning for you. It’s kind of fun. Having a bullseye on our back, gives everyone a little more motivation,” said Welch, who set the Flexjet Factory Stock Showdown national speed record at 185.18 mph during the Gatornationals finals. “We have some things to work on with the car, some suspension work. Found some things in Gainesville but we hoped for the best and it worked out for us.
“I didn’t really think about the national record until after the race. Speed is an indication of horsepower. Most of our speed came from us getting the attitude of the car right. We worked hard to get our nose down and make it more aerodynamic,” Welch said. “Of course, you want to have your name on any record out there, I just wish there was more weight behind it with points or something.”
Eager to get back into his COPO Camaro is Stanfield, who ended the 2022 season on a strong note and has carried over that momentum. He’s currently second in points after earning the No.1. qualifier at the Gatornationals before finishing runner-up to Welch.
“We learned a lot last year racing four-wide and I think that will help us this weekend,” said Stanfield. “It has been a while since the Gatornationals and I am looking forward to getting back in the seat. I think the bar has been raised in this class and there are a lot of cars out here that can win a race at any time.”
Flexjet Factory Stock Showdown will kick-off at the Circle K NHRA Four-Wide Nationals at zMAX Dragway with qualifying sessions Friday at 3:15 and 6:00 p.m. and Saturday at 11:45 a.m. and 2:45 p.m. Eliminations will begin Saturday at approximately 5:15 p.m. with the second round picking up Sunday at 1:20 p.m.
If maintaining performance vehicles is your passion – translate those skills into becoming a Flexjet aircraft maintenance technician (AMT). Explore a career with the world-class Flexjet Maintenance group today.
Flexjet, Inc., a global leader in subscription-based private aviation, first entered the fractional jet ownership market in 1995. Flexjet offers fractional jet ownership and leasing and is the first in the world to be recognized as achieving the Air Charter Safety Foundation’s Industry Audit Standard, is the first and only company to be honored with 24 FAA Diamond Awards for Excellence, upholds an ARG/US Platinum Safety Rating, a 4AIR Bronze Sustainable Rating and is IS-BAO compliant at Level 2. Red Label by Flexjet, a market differentiator, which features the most modern fleet in the industry, flight crews dedicated to a single aircraft and the LXi Cabin Collection of interiors. To date there are more than 40 different interior designs across its fleet, which includes the Embraer Phenom 300 and Praetor 500, Bombardier Challenger 350, the Gulfstream G450 and G650. Flexjet’s European fleet includes the Embraer Praetor 600 and the Gulfstream G650. Flexjet’s helicopter division sells fractional, lease, and on-demand charter access to its fleet of owned, operated and maintained Sikorsky S-76 helicopters which boast 55,000 hours of safe flying certified by Wyvern and ARG/US and serving locations throughout the northeastern United States, United Kingdom, and southern Florida. Flexjet is a member of the Directional Aviation family of companies. For more details on innovative programs and flexible offerings, visit www.flexjet.com or follow us on Instagram @FlexjetInc.