NHRA - National Hot Rod Association

Factory X presented by Holley class drew rave reviews in 2023 debut

Years from now, the 2023 season will be remembered as the year that Factory X presented by Holley went from concept to reality. 
13 Dec 2023
Kevin McKenna, NHRA National Dragster Senior Editor
Factory X presented by Holley

Years from now, the 2023 season will be remembered as the year that Factory X presented by Holley went from concept to reality. 

Designed to bridge the gap between Factory Stock Showdown and Pro Stock, Factory X features the popular Chevrolet COPO Camaro, Dodge Challenger Drag Pak, and Ford Mustang Cobra Jet factory muscle cars. The Factory X class was first announced at the 2021 PRI Show, but a number of delays, primarily due to parts availability, pushed the official debut of the class to mid-2023.   

The Factory X class features a lot of modern technology, including supercharged and fuel-injected engines, as well as a five-speed manual transmission, 10.5-inch rear tire, and a race weight that is approximately 900 pounds less than their Factory Stock counterparts. 

Greg Stanfield wowed the crowd in Norwalk when he officially debuted the sport’s first Factory X race car. Stanfield was solidly in the 7.2s with his Rod Shop Camaro.

Longtime Factory Stock racer Geoff Turk put the first Factory X car on the track with his Black Bird X Dodge Challenger, but that car was damaged in a testing accident. The wait finally ended when Greg Stanfield rolled out his Rod Shop COPO Camaro in June at the Summit Racing Equipment NHRA Nationals in Norwalk. The reviews were overwhelmingly positive, even though Stanfield made just a handful of single exhibition runs.  

“These cars are a blast to drive, but they’re also pretty challenging,” said Stanfield, a five-time world champ and winner in every class from Stock to Pro Stock. “They aren’t as quick as Pro Stock cars, but it’s a totally different feeling because of that [supercharger] and the smaller tire. I believe this class will be a big hit.” 

Fittingly, the first actual Factory X race was held at the sport’s marquee event, the Dodge Power Brokers NHRA U.S. Nationals in Indianapolis. By then, the field had expanded to four cars, with Stanfield joined by former Comp racer Jim Cowan in a Camaro, Chris Holbrook’s Mustang, and 2012 Pro Stock champ Allen Johnson, driving Turk’s rebuilt Challenger. All three brands were represented, and Stanfield claimed the first Wally, beating Holbrook in the final with a 7.25. 

Geoff Turk damaged his Black Bird X Challenger in a testing accident but rebuilt the car and hired Allen Johnson as his driver. They won the St. Louis event and cracked open the Jesel 200-MPH Club in the process.

Stanfield went on to win two more of the Factory X exhibition races in Charlotte and Las Vegas, while Johnson scored a win in Charlotte, beating Holbrook in the final. In St. Louis, Johnson also became the charter member of the Jesel 200-MPH Club with a 202.55-mph speed. 

So, what does the future hold for Factory X presented by Holley? 

Stephen Bell earned a lot of praise for his Bob Glidden tribute Cobra Jet Mustang. Stanfield Racing’s Conner Statler first drove the car in Charlotte, and then Bell took over. 

In 2024, Factory X presented by Holley will compete for a world championship at eight events in Gainesville, Las Vegas 1, Charlotte, Chicago, Norwalk, Indy, St. Louis, and Dallas. With elapsed times already in the low 7.0s, the first official six-second run is also likely to happen early in the season.  

There are also more cars on the way, quite a few more, including three-time Factory Stock champ Aaron Stanfield, who is currently putting the finishing touches on a Factory X COPO Camaro.