Drag racer Joe Welch kicked off the season with a win at the Amalie Motor Oil NHRA Gatornationals at Gainesville Raceway in the Flexjet Factory Stock Showdown. Welch, driving his Joe Welch Racing Challenger Drag Pak, faced some tough competitors, including Chevrolet COPO Camaros and Ford Mustang Cobra Jets on his way to the finals. In the final round, Welch was pitted against Aaron Stanfield, who drove his Janac Brothers Chevrolet COPO Camaro to the finals as the No.1 qualifier. Despite the challenge, Welch emerged victorious, running a 7.638-second pass at a Factory Stock Showdown speed record of 185.18 mph, defeating Stanfield’s 8.308 @ 134.70 after he shut off early. Welch’s victory not only secured him the win but also set the speed record and earned him $1,000 for beating Stanfield, thanks to the Flexjet Factory Stock Showdown Bounty Program. He also collected $10,000 from the Direct Connection Drag Pak contingency program for his win.