NHRA Gainesville 2024


MARCH 5, 2024

GAINESVILLE, Fla. (March 5, 2024) — The Flexjet Factory Stock Showdown will begin its season at historic Gainesville Raceway, March 7-10, for the 55th annual Amalie Motor Oil NHRA Gatornationals. The heated competition between Chevrolet COPO Camaros, Ford Mustang Cobra Jets and Dodge Mopar Challenger Drag Paks will be front and center at a total of 10 NHRA national events in 2024.

After an off-season of change, the look of the field will change dramatically as previous series champions have moved on to new challenges. Last season Aaron Stanfield took top honors, but the multi-time champion is stepping away from full-time competition in the class along with 2022 champion David Barton, who will focus on his engine development business. Both former champions will be around the class, but their full-time absence will open the door for other drivers.

“Aaron has been dominant in this class for a lot of years, and he is a great friend. We had a fun battle last year for the championship,” said Stephen Bell, the 2023 Flexjet championship runner-up. “I think this year we are going to see a lot of new faces in the winner’s circle and the championship will be up for grabs. I can’t wait to get to the Gatornationals and get the season started. We have done some testing but until you get into competition you don’t really know what you have.”

With the Gatornationals absence of Barton, the winner of the Nevada Nationals Factory Stock Showdown title, the Flexjet Factory Stock Showdown Bounty of $1,000 shifts to the reigning champion but Stanfield is also not on the entry list, so championship runner-up Bell will carry the added pressure of starting his championship chase with a figurative bullets-eye on his COPO Camaro.

“I love the Flexjet bounty program and I think it adds a lot to the class,” said Bell. “I had the bounty last year after I won the Norwalk national event and it was pretty cool. This class has so many tough drivers and good cars I think you’ll see the bounty on a lot of drivers this season.”

Last year Joe Welch took home the win at the Gatornationals, his third Flexjet Factory Stock Showdown national event win, running low ET and Top Speed of the race. The win was special for the racer from Stevensville, Michigan. Turning on five win lights and outrunning Stanfield for the win was quite an accomplishment.

“I get to the finals so few times, you have to give it all you got,” recalled Welch after the victory. “That last run – it was straight as an arrow. Aaron’s a good friend of mine and a great competitor. I just knew I had to give him my best. The chips were going to fall where they may and this time the win light came on for me.”

This season with ten races spread across the country the competitors in the Flexjet Factory Stock Showdown Series will have their hands full chasing the championship. In 2023 the series saw seven different drivers hoist the infamous Wally trophy for winning an NHRA national event. Lenny Lottig took home three national event wins to lead the class. Veteran racer Mark Pawuk picked up his first win in the Flexjet Factory Stock Showdown era and Jesse Alexandra won the U.S. Nationals for the second time in the hyper competitive class. Pawuk and Alexandra will be back in action in 2024 and each is looking to pick up more wins and possibly the Flexjet championship trophy.

“Winning the U.S. Nationals again was great. The field was huge in the Flexjet Factory Showdown with lots of real heavy hitting competitors. There were a lot of guys that could have done this job. The Lord was with me, and it is just crazy how it all came together,” said Alexandra, after the Indy win. “Winning out here against these kinds of competitors. Stephen Bell is like, ‘The Guy,’ for me. He’s so good all around. He’s so good on the tree. He’s such a good competitor. He drives so well. We have gone back and forth. I mean when I can race with him just to be on the same track with him is an honor. I tell him that all the time. He’s a great, great competitor.”

Qualifying for the Flexjet Factory Stock Showdown season opening Amalie Motor Oil NHRA Gatornationals begins Friday, March 8 with sessions at 1:30 and 4:00 p.m. Elimination rounds will take off on Saturday and Sunday with final eliminations scheduled for 3:50 p.m. on Sunday, March 10.


  • March 7 – 10: 55th annual Amalie Motor Oil NHRA Gatornationals, Gainesville Raceway, Gainesville, Fl.
  • March 21 – 24: 64th annual Lucas Oil NHRA Winternationals, In-N-Out Burger Pomona Dragstrip, Pomona, Calif.
  • April 12 – 14: 24th annual NHRA Four-Wide Nationals, The Strip at Las Vegas Motor Speedway, Las Vegas
  • May 17 – 19: 24th annual Gerber Collision & Glass Route 66 NHRA Nationals presented by PEAK Performance, Route 66 Raceway, Chicago
  • June 7 – 9: 23rd annual NHRA Thunder Valley Nationals, Bristol Dragway, Bristol, Tenn.
  • June 27 – 30: 18th annual Summit Racing Equipment NHRA Nationals, Summit Motorsports Park, Norwalk, Ohio
  • Aug. 15 – 18: 42nd annual Lucas Oil NHRA Nationals, Brainerd International Raceway, Brainerd, Minn.
  • Aug. 28 – Sept. 2: 70th annual NHRA U.S. Nationals, Lucas Oil Indianapolis Raceway Park, Indianapolis
  • Sept. 12 – 15: 39th annual Pep Boys NHRA Nationals, Maple Grove Raceway, Reading, Pa.
  • Sept. 27 – 29: 13th annual NHRA Midwest Nationals, World Wide Technology Raceway, St. Louis

About Flexjet
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 25 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.

Elon Werner, 214-244-1184, [email protected]