Veteran Stock and Super Stock competitor David Barton came up just a few hundredths of a second shy in his bid to make history with the first-ever seven-second pass in Stock Eliminator at last weekend’s Dutch Classic in Pennsylvania, but in the process, he completely shattered and reset the class standard with a once-unthinkable performance.
Barton, behind the wheel of the world-beating 2015 Chevrolet COPO Camaro Factory Stock/AA entry owned by Gary Wolkwitz, was aiming to take advantage of the cool, fall, horsepower-producing air that Maple Grove Raceway’s annual Dutch Classic typically provides to Northeast competitors to break down perhaps the last great barrier in Stock Eliminator (although we all said that very same thing when the class broke into the nines and the eights), with his sights on a 7.99 timeslip.
Video credit: Robzneed4speed
During qualifying, Barton ripped off a pass of 8.074 seconds at 168.05 mph, which was more than 1.3 seconds under the class index. During Sunday’s eliminations rounds, the Robesonia, Pennsylvania native got four additional cracks at the seven-second zone, going 8.17 in a round one victory and 8.14 in round two, before recording what would be his best run of the weekend and a new Stock Eliminator world record pass of 8.073 at 153.37 mph. On that run, the shifter reportedly popped out of high gear past 1,000 feet, cutting nearly 15 mph off the terminal speed at the stripe and several hundredths in elapsed time. He bowed out in round four when the car spun the tires off the starting line, but not before turning the Stock Eliminator world on its head.
Video credit: ClassRacer.com
It’s worth noting that, while Barton didn’t get the magical ‘seven’, he did become the first driver in Stock Eliminator history to dial a sub-eight second elapsed time, as he had a 7.99 on the car in round one and a 7.98 in round four.
While the season has all but winded to a close for Northeast NHRA class racers, Barton and others are certainly looking ahead to 2017 where, if the strides in performance made by the Factory Stock racers this year are any indication, the seven-second barrier is destined to fall.