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Watson II Earns Factory Super Cars Championship In Memory of His Father

Posted By: Mary Lendzion
Written by Mary Lendzion
Chuck Watson II of Watson Racing and Watson Engineering had a lot in common with his father, Chuck Watson Sr., who passed away in 2021.
They shared a passion for race cars, a proficiency behind the wheel and a propensity to be around, and become friends with, people from all walks of life.
With bated breath, Watson II watched as his father came very close to capturing a championship in NMCA Holley EFI Factory Super Cars a few years ago. That is in large part why he was inspired to earn a championship in the same category in his father’s memory in 2022.
While Watson II wasn’t able to leave work in Michigan for the season-opener, the NMCA Muscle Car Mayhem presented by Holbrook Racing Engines in March at Bradenton Motorsports Park in Florida, he rolled out of the Motor City for the second race on the tour, the Scoggin Dickey Parts Center NMRA/NMCA All-Star Nationals presented by MAHLE Motorsport in April at Rockingham Dragway in North Carolina. He stood on the pedal to set the pace in qualifying with a 7.72 in the car he has been driving, James Betz’s beautiful Mustang Cobra Jet, which was made race-ready at Watson Racing and is powered by a Coyote engine by Kim Mapes and paired with a Whipple supercharger and Turbo 400 by Joel’s on Joy. He won the first round of eliminations when his opponent turned on the red light, piloted to a 7.78 on a solo pass in the second round of eliminations followed by a 7.76 to win the third round of eliminations. Watson II broke the beams on a solo pass in the semifinal and went to the NMCA Winner’s Circle after a 7.71 against Tripp Carter, who saw red. As icing on the cake, Watson II set a class record with a 7.717 at that event.

Staying strong, he led qualifying again, this time with a 7.84, at the NMRA/NMCA Super Bowl of Street Legal Drag Racing presented by Fuelab in May at World Wide Technology Raceway in Illinois. He got by the first round of eliminations when his opponent went red and he had a solo pass in the second round of eliminations. He knew he was going to have his hands full as he prepared for the final round of eliminations against Tripp Carter, but Carter clicked on the red light and Watson II wrapped up his second win in a row with a 7.85. It would have been a close race, as Carter, who kept his foot planted, posted a 7.88 as the pair crossed the finish line.
Watson II led qualifying again, this time with a 7.83, at the Arrington Performance NMRA/NMCA Power Festival presented by TorqStorm Superchargers in July at U.S. 131 Motorsports Park in Michigan. Unfortunately, he ran into trouble at that race when the pre-chute on the back of his car wrapped around the wheelie bar when it deployed and he subsequently impacted the wall. Thankfully, Watson II was not injured, and his team and fellow racers, including Gardner Stone, helped him make temporary repairs to the car in time for the first round of eliminations. He had a solo pass, and while he exited eliminations early after that, he was able to shake it off and set out a few weeks later for the NMCA All-American Nationals presented by Sick the Magazine in August at Summit Motorsports Park in Ohio. At what is affectionately known as America’s Racetrack, he led qualifying with a 7.77, recorded an 8.98 on a solo pass in the first round of eliminations, won the second round of eliminations with a 7.79 and exited eliminations in the third round when he was forced to get out of the throttle.

With his goal within his grasp, Watson II, who had struggled to get parts to freshen his engine between races all season long, laid down a 7.61 to lead qualifying at the last race of the season, the NMCA World Street Finals presented by Chevrolet Performance in September at Lucas Oil Indianapolis Raceway Park in Indiana. He won the first round of eliminations when his opponent went red, broke the beams on a solo pass in the second round of eliminations and won the third round of eliminations when his opponent went red. All of that set the stage for a final round featuring Watson II and A.J. Berge, and Watson II won with a 7.65 against Berge, who was close behind with a 7.72 in his Challenger. Watson II also set a class record with a 7.61.
Even more importantly, along with that win, he earned the 2022 Holley EFI Factory Super Cars championship, in memory of his father.
“This is such a special moment, and to know that my father was riding shotgun with me all season makes it even more special,” said Watson II. “I would like to thank Kim Mapes, Carl Feeny, Kyle Kohler, Craig Sphuler, Jim Betz, Kimmie Mapes, Robyn Watson, Dayco America, Ford Performance, E3, Whipple, Big Stuff and Joel on Joy. Dave Swanson (2022 NMCA Fastest Street Car Stock Eliminator champion) and I operate out of the same rig at the track, and for two cars in different classes to win a championship says something about our team.”
The NMCA will proudly celebrate Watson II and his fellow champions at the Red Line Oil NMCA Muscle Car Nationals Awards Ceremony, held during the Performance Racing Industry Trade Show, Dec. 9, 2022, at the Indiana Convention Center.
Please watch for upcoming stories about each of our champions on and as well as in Fastest Street Car magazine.


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