Making your way through 190 cars over six days of racing and coming out on top of the heap, that is the goal of nearly every driver in the Stock Eliminator class at the Chevrolet Performance U.S. Nationals. A rather lofty goal, but Bruno Massel was up for the challenge. Bruno went head-to-head with another COPO driven by Joey Wilkes in the final round Monday afternoon. Bruno was able to edge Wilkes out and took home the victory - the first ever for the COPO Camaro in an NHRA National Event.
“It really hasn’t sunk in yet,” explained Bruno. “It was an amazing weekend to say the very least. We had a good showing in the Factory Stock Showdown making it to the final and then to be the last man standing amongst nearly 200 entries at the most prestigious of all drag races is incredible! It was great to get the first national event win for COPO and for my sponsors Autogeek.net, Chevrolet Performance and Lucas Oil Products. Without them, this day wouldn’t be possible.”
After qualifying 7th on Friday with an 8.698 ET, 1.402 under his index time of 10.10, Massel rolled through his early rounds. This left just the semi-finals and finals to be run on Monday.
In the semi’s, Massel took out Bob Gullett, and set his sights on the finals against fellow COPO driver, Joey Wilkes. Wilkes had just knocked out NHRA Pro Stock competitor and three-time U.S. Nationals winner, Dave Connolly, in his semi-final matchup.
Massel ran an 8.825 (8.79 dial) in the finals against Wilkes’ 9.978 (9.97 dial), taking the win on a holeshot with his great .043 reaction time. A huge victory for Bruno as well as Chevrolet Performance, taking the first National event win for COPO Camaro in the biggest race of the year, the Chevrolet Performance U.S. Nationals.
“On behalf of the COPO Camaro team and Chevrolet Performance, we want to congratulate Bruno Massel on his historic National Event Win at the 60th Annual Chevrolet Performance U.S. Nationals,” stated Roger Allen, NHRA Project Manager for Chevrolet Performance.
Roger continued, “Bruno’s great driving and the strong, consistent performance of his COPO Camaro is what it took to take home the prestigious U.S. Nationals Wally and the commemorative ring. We are proud to be associated with Bruno Massel Racing as his victory capped an epic weekend of racing for the COPO Team, where 34 COPO owners amassed seven class wins.”