NHRA - National Hot Rod Association

Aaron Stanfield claims third Flexjet Factory Stock championship in four years

Aaron Stanfield has already won races in Top Dragster, Super Stock, and Pro Stock, but he does some of his best work in the Flexjet NHRA Factory Stock Showdown class, where he’s now won three championships in the last four years.  
21 Dec 2023
Kevin McKenna, NHRA National Dragster Senior Editor
2023 NHRA world champion
Aaron Stanfield

If Aaron Stanfield isn’t the most versatile driver in all of NHRA racing, he’s got to be darned close to the top of anyone’s list. Just 28, the third-generation racer has already won races in Top Dragster, Super Stock, and Pro Stock, but he does some of his best work in the Flexjet NHRA Factory Stock Showdown class, where he’s now won three championships in the last four years.  

Stanfield locked up his most recent title at the NHRA Nevada Nationals in Las Vegas. Entering the event with a sizable lead, Stanfield needed to simply qualify for the field in order to secure the No. 1 spot. The title capped off a year that included wins in Bristol and Reading, and by season’s end, Stanfield had a comfortable 85-point lead over his teammate, Stephen Bell, in the final standings. 

“It’s pretty cool to be able to [finish] it here in Las Vegas,” said Stanfield, who now has 11 wins in the Flexjet Factory Stock Showdown class and 24 overall. “I love this racetrack. It’s good to be able to do it, we’re happy to get it done quick this weekend. All the championships are special, and they all have their own story. There’s no such thing as a bad championship, so I’m very thankful, very blessed. Thank you to all the guys that work on my hot rod.” 

At the season-opening Amalie Motor Oil NHRA Gatornationals, Stanfield went to the final round, where he slowed against Joe Welch’s Dodge. Stanfield went on to post two wins in four finals for the season.

Stanfield, who drives a COPO Camaro for the Janac Bros./J3 Energy team, opened the season with a pair of runner-up finishes in Gainesville and Charlotte. In Gainesville, he fell to Joe Welch’s Dodge in the final, and the Charlotte four-wide event provided a crazy finish when Mark Pawuk got timed out. That allowed Lenny Lottig to take the win as both Stanfield and Bell were late off the starting line. As disappointing as the two losses may have been, Stanfield left zMax Dragway with the points lead and never surrendered it the rest of the year. 

Stanfield raced in the final of the four-wide event in Charlotte along with Mark Pawuk, Stephen Bell, and Lenny Lottig. He earned a runner-up finish to Lottig and left with the points lead. 

Stanfield got his first win of the season at Bristol Dragway when he defeated the Cobra Jet Mustang of up-and-coming rookie Del Holbrook in the final round. Both drivers struggled to gain traction, but Stanfield prevailed in spite of an off-pace 8.36 elapsed time.  

“My dad and I always say, ‘You go through struggles, and you’re only one run away from fixing everything,’ ” Stanfield said. “We struggled a little bit during qualifying, but I’m happy to get this done for them, and I have to give a shoutout to Del Holbrook. He’s a new, young guy, and that’s what we need in this sport. I’m glad he had some success today, but we did it. 

Semifinal finishes at the summer events in Norwalk and Indianapolis allowed Stanfield to keep the title well within his sights, and he moved in for the kill with an impressive victory in Reading. Again, Stanfield topped Holbrook’s Ford in the final. 

Stanfield was the championship leader for almost the entire season, but he distanced himself from the rest of the field by winning the Pep Boys NHRA Nationals in Reading. At that point, he was a heavy favorite to win a third title.

“The Flexjet Factory Stock Showdown is just right up mine and my family’s alley,” said Stanfield. “It’s factory cars in heads-up racing, doesn’t get much better than that. We had been down and out a little bit, but we worked hard, kept our heads down, and it paid off [in Reading].” 

Two weeks after wrapping up the Factory Stock title in Las Vegas, Stanfield delivered a suitable encore when he won the Pro Stock title at the season-ending In-N-Out Burger NHRA Finals in Pomona. He had been shut out of the winner’s circle until defeating Matt Hartford in the final. Fittingly, Stanfield finished the season with a holeshot victory. 

Stanfield is quiet and unassuming and is always quick to share credit with his many supporters, who include his father, Greg, wife, Joleigh, Conner Statler, Collin Jackson, JD and Terrissa Coffman of JC3 Energy, David and Joe Janac, and the Elite Motorsports team.  

“Collectively, between Pro Stock and Flexjet Factory Stock, there’s a lot of guys that play a big hand in me being able to do all of this,” said Stanfield, “I’m just very thankful for individually each one of them. I’m so glad to get it done, and I want to thank Flexjet and NHRA.” 

Stanfield has already won races in four different classes, and there’s every reason to think that number will increase next year as his team prepares to roll out a Chevy Camaro for Factory X presented by Holley, as that exciting new class will crown its first champion in 2024. Stanfied’s father, Greg, debuted one of the first Factory X cars this season with great success.  

“We’re going to give it a try,” said Stanfield. “It looks like a lot of fun, and it’s also going to be a challenge, but we like challenges.” 

2023 TRACK RECORD, 883 points

Amalie Motor Oil NHRA Gatornationals


Circle K NHRA Four-Wide Nationals


Gerber Collision & Glass NHRA Route 66 Nationals


NHRA Thunder Valley Nationals


Summit Racing Equipment NHRA Nationals


Dodge Power Brokers NHRA U.S. Nationals


Pep Boys NHRA Nationals


NHRA Midwest Nationals


NHRA Texas FallNationals


NHRA Nevada Nationals


This article originally appeared in the Year in Review issue of National Dragster.