CHICAGO (May 19, 2024) — Over three days at the Route 66 NHRA Nationals Stephen Bell kept his focus on winning another Flexjet Factory Stock Showdown national event. Through three qualifying session Bell made solid runs and entered race day as the No. 6 qualifier but leading up to race day the event belonged to No. 1 qualifier Lee Hartman. It was fitting that Bell and Hartman would meet in the final with Bell taking the win.

“Holy cow it was a great weekend,” said Bell. “It was my son Charlie’s high school graduation, and we made a decision early in the year I was going to get a plane. I was going to come in and qualify, go to graduation, bring the girls back and we were going to see what happens. You can’t even make this up. Back and forth and having your son, my best friend in the whole world, graduating high school and we got to win a race with my girls here. This is the best day ever.”

Bell, the Winternationals winner, had a competition bye in the first round when his opponent Del Holbrook did not make the call for the first round. Bell took full advantage of the single running 7.923 seconds at 173.32 mph to get a solid set up for the second-round race against Tony Scott Jr.

In the quarterfinals against Scott, Bell grabbed a starting line reaction time advantage and never trailed in the race, winning with a 7.868 second pass against Scott’s 7.878 second run. His quick time gave him lane choice over Flexjet Factory Stock Showdown point leader Mark Pawuk in the semifinals.

2024 NHRA Chicago
2024 NHRA Chicago
2024 NHRA Chicago

With the points lead on the line, Bell took his third win light of the day driving around Pawuk in the semifinals. Pawuk was first off the line but immediately lost traction and opened the door for Bell. Bell made another solid run lighting up the scoreboard with a winning time of 7.906 seconds.

While Bell was working his way to the final Hartman, the No. 1 qualifier, was tackling three tough competitors on the other side of the elimination ladder. Hartman outran Michael Lloyd in the first round and then dispatched veteran Scott Libersher in the second round. In the semis he faced most recent winner, Ricky Hord. He took out the Las Vegas Four-Wide Nationals winner to collect the $1,000 Flexjet Bounty. Hartman made the quickest pass of the event to grab the bounty and win over Hord. His 7.868 second run at 170.04 mph outpaced Hord’s 8.055 second run. When Hord launched off the starting line, he carried the front end of his Camaro for an extended period robbing him of valuable seconds.

The final round was all Bell, who took a starting line advantage .028 to .064 and never trailed winning with a 7.871 second elapsed time in front of Hartman’s 9.749 second pass. The win was Bell’s sixth career Flexjet Factory Stock Showdown Series national event win.

“Lee was the class of the field,” said Bell. “Qualified No. 1, I think he was low E.T. almost every session, and I told my crew guys Dean and Dylan, look we don’t have anything to do but roll the dice. It was just a great call. Dean and Dylan did an incredible job and the guy in the seat ain’t so bad either.”

The Flexjet Factory Stock Showdown Series will return to action June 7-9 at Bristol Dragway.

Final Round Results
Stephen Bell, (.028), 7.781 sec, 173.61 mph def. Lee Hartman (.064), 9.749 sec, 122.61 mph

Flexjet Bounty Program
Gatornationals (Gainesville, Fla.)
$1,000 bounty collected by Mark Pawuk, defeated Stephen Bell (Norwalk winner)

Winternationals (Pomona, Calif)
$1,000 bounty collected by David Davies II, defeated Mark Pawuk (Gatornationals winner)

Las Vegas Four-Wide Nationals (Las Vegas, Nev.)
$1,000 bounty collected by Mark Pawuk, defeated Stephen Bell (Winternationals winner)

Route 66 Nationals (Chicago, Ill.)
$1,000 bounty collected by Lee Hartman, defeated Ricky Hord (Las Vegas Four-Wide Nationals)

2024 Flexjet Factory Stock Showdown Results
Gainesville – Mark Pawuk, winner; Stephen Bell, runner-up
Pomona – Stephen Bell, winner; David Davies II, runner-up
Las Vegas1 – Ricky Hord, winner; David Janac, runner-up
Chicago – Stephen Bell, winner; Lee Hartman, runner-up

Flexjet Factory Stock Showdown Point Standings

  1. Stephen Bell — 374
  2. Mark Pawuk — 344
  3. David Janac — 286
  4. Ricky Hord — 258
  5. Scott Libersher — 220
  6. David Davies III — 210
  7. Lee Hartman — 195
  8. Doug Hamp — 191
  9. Anthony Troyer — 175
  10. Tony Scott Jr. — 173

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Flexjet, Inc., a global leader in 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 certified at Level 2 with IS-BAO. 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 nearly 50 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 or follow us on Instagram @FlexjetInc.

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