COPO Camaro and Mustang Cobra Jet in Fight for Factory Super Cars Championship

When the NMCA created the Holley EFI Factory Super Cars category last year in a nod to the very competitive Stock and Super Stock categories of the 1960s, drivers with Ford Mustang Cobra Jets, Chevrolet COPO Camaros and Dodge Challenger Drag Paks dove in to display their Detroit-made muscle.

From the first event of the season in March at Bradenton Motorsports Park in Florida to the fifth event of the season in August at Summit Motorsports Park in Ohio, they cruised nose-to-nose to eight-second elapsed-times, and the category’s current elapsed-time and top-speed records of 8.117 and 165.72 mph were set by Chuck Watson, Sr. in his 2016 Cobra Jet.

Sitting in the number one and number two positions in points respectively going into the final points event of the season, the 16th Annual SDPC Raceshop NMCA World Street Finals, Sept. 21-24 at Lucas Oil Raceway in Indiana, are Scott Libersher, who has 2400 points in his 2015 and 2017 COPO Camaros, and Watson, Sr., who has 1975 points in his 2016 Cobra Jet. Behind them, in the third position in points, is Paul Roderick, who has 1460 points in his 2017 Cobra Jet.

Libersher’s season started with an 8.31 to set the pace in qualifying in his 2015 COPO Camaro featuring a 350ci LS engine by David Barton, 2.9 Whipple supercharger and Turbo 350 transmission at the event in Florida in March. He followed that with an even better 8.21 to set the pace in qualifying at the event in Georgia in April.

That translated to a win at that event, and he followed it with wins at the events in Kentucky in May and Illinois in July, where, instead of his 2015 COPO Camaro, he ran his 2017 COPO Camaro with a 350ci LS engine, 2.9 Whipple supercharger and Turbo 400 transmission.

“The COPO Camaros and the Cobra Jets are pretty evenly matched, and it’s amazing how fast they’re going, and Dodge is knocking on the door with the DragPak,” said Libersher, who also competes in NHRA Factory Stock Showdown. “The level of competition in this class makes it even more exciting, and every race is a battle. You never know who will walk away with the win at any race. For example, Chuck (Watson, Sr.) is consistently quicker than me, but I’ve been able to get around him based on reaction time.”

Watson, Sr.’s season got into high gear when he led qualifying with an 8.21 at the event in Kentucky in May, and he went on to runner-up at that event as well as the event in Illinois in July.

“The class is really competitive and exciting, and all three brands of cars are about as comparable as they can be, all things considered,” said Watson, Sr. “My car has been incredibly consistent and great, but I’ve been struggling with my reaction times, and I’ve lost to Scott (Libersher) twice because of that.”

Watson, Sr., who also competes in NHRA Factory Stock Showdown, relies on a 302ci Ford engine by Kim Mapes, 2.9 Whipple supercharger and Turbo 400 transmission to power his 2016 Cobra Jet which rolls on Mickey Thompson slicks, and with his second place finish in the category last year, he’s hungry to move to the top spot. He admits, however, that he’s going to have his work cut out for him at the final race of the season this weekend.

“Scott and I have become the best of friends, and that makes racing with him that much more fun,” said Watson, Sr., “But, I’d really like to be able to pull off the championship this year.”

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