A new pro action on the horizon? NHRA announces A / FX exposure class

The National Hot Rod Association (NHRA) today quietly unveiled the set of rules for a new show category for the 2022 season, known as A / Factory Experimental (or A / FX), which will feature a Modified and Lightweight Factory Stock Showdown (FSS) production cars. The class, which follows the formula that many journalists (this one included) and countless racing fans are clamoring for, will use the 2020 Chevrolet COPO Camaro and its supercharged 350 Magnuson, the 2021 Dodge Challenger Drag Pak with a supercharged 354 Whipple, and the 2019 Ford Mustang Cobra Jet with the 327 Whipple Supercharged Suit.

While not an exact representation, the Ford Mustang shown here and the sixth generation Camaro below provide a glimpse of what these A / FX cars might look like.

The significant difference, however, will be the minimum weight of 2,650 pounds, nearly 1,000 pounds less than a Factory Stock Showdown car. This will be accomplished through the allocation of factory-sized composite doors and noses, polycarbonate windows, and aluminum or composite floors on the passenger side, among other concessions. In addition, manual transmissions up to five forward speeds and clutches up to three discs are mandatory – not automatic as in FSS. In another start, 14-inch fenders with a wicker beak will be needed, and the training tires will drop from 9 inches in FSS to a 33 × 10.5.

Dragzine has contacted the NHRA for comment and will update this story as more information becomes available. Needless to say, however, it deserves kudos for mixing the existing Pro Stock category formula with that of Factory Stock Showdown, creating a package that should perform near the 6-second zone at around 200 mph. It should be noted that chopping, channeling and altering the factory body lines is prohibited, as is any lengthening of the wheelbase from the stock, and therefore the end product will be the appearance car of factory that Pro Stock nayayers sucked in – similar to those found in the outlaw and NMCA / NMRA categories – with more Pro Stock compliant performance. And if it takes off, plant support could be transferred from FSS by Dodge and Chevrolet. Either way, there are cars and engines from all three manufacturers to build these cars, which just can’t be said for the GM-exclusively powered Pro Stock class.

You can view the A / FX rules at NHRAracer.com, from page 48.

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