Drivers with Mustang Cobra Jets, COPO Camaros and Challenger Drag Paks have been delivering show-stopping performances all year long as part of the NMCA’s Holley EFI Factory Super Cars category, and among them is Chuck Watson Sr.
As a fierce competitor and owner of Watson Engineering and Watson Racing, which builds the latest Mustang Cobra Jets, Watson Sr. knows his way around the starting line and the finish line, and proof of that is in his second place finish in points in the very competitive category in 2016 and 2017.
But to know Watson Sr. is to know that he’s not going to rest until he reaches champion status, and he’s in the process of proving that.
In his 2016 Mustang Cobra Jet packing a supercharged 5.0 liter engine built and maintained by his crew chief, Kim Mapes, Watson Sr., who also competes in NHRA Factory Stock Showdown, has run as quick as 8.02 and currently holds an NHRA Factory Stock Showdown record with a 174.4 mph.
He earned runner-up finishes with an 8.04 at the 10th Annual NMRA/NMCA All-Star Nationals in April at Atlanta Dragway and an 8.36 at the 17th Annual NMCA Quick Fuel Technology Bluegrass Nationals in May at Beech Bend Raceway in Kentucky, and he flew to an 8.06 to earn his first win of the year at the prestigious 13th Annual Nitto NMRA/NMCA Super Bowl of Street Legal Drag Racing in July at Route 66 Raceway in Illinois.
“We learn something about the car at each race, and now that we’ve taken care of all of the big things that help the car go faster, we’re in the process of finding the smallest of things that can help the car go faster,” said Watson Sr., whose son, Chuck Watson, II, also competes in NMCA Holley EFI Factory Super Cars in a Cobra Jet. “It’s an ongoing, never-ending process, and one of the latest things we tried was a new Neal Chance converter for the NMRA/NMCA race in Illinois, and the car loved it and really responded to it.”
What Watson Sr. is doing is working, as he’s currently leading points in NMCA Holley EFI Factory Super Cars going into the fifth out of six races on this year’s NMCA tour, the 17th Annual Honeywell Garrett NMCA All-American Nationals, featuring the 50th Anniversary Ford Performance Cobra Jet Reunion presented by TascaParts.comand the Chevrolet Performance Challenge Series, Aug. 23-26 at Summit Motorsports Park in Norwalk, Ohio.
He’ll have his work cut out for him as there’s a heaping helping of heavy hitters in the category, including Geoff Turk, Scott Libersher, Gardner Stone and Leonard Libersher, among others, but he’s determined.
“We’re confident that with the right weather conditions, we can run 7s,” said Watson Sr. “I know that Geoff Turk was the first to run 7s in his Mopar for the Holley EFI Factory Super Cars 7-Second Club, but I want to be the first to do it in a Ford, and that, and the class championship, are our goals.”