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The saying goes, “Everything is bigger in Texas.” We can certainly say that is a true statement after witnessing Day One of the NHRDA World Finals taking place right here in Ennis, Texas. We saw some rip-roaring diesel rigs out here today, and despite the slow start, things were rocking and rolling by the end.

Our day began with rolling out to the appropriately huge Texas Motorplex around noon. Racers were beginning to show up to get their pit area squared away, as well as make it through tech inspection before the racing madness that will be raging all throughout Saturday.

Friday was all about getting the track ready for race day on Saturday. From banners to food vendors, everything had to fall into place before the main event.

It was very interesting to traipse around the grounds, observing NHRDA staff take care of the little details we often don’t consider from the comfort of our bleacher seats: rolling out banners, placing garbage cans around, checking the loudspeakers, and so on. Empty vendor booths were not yet busy dispersing the wonderful aromas of barbecue pork or french fries, but it wouldn’t be long before they could.

The sun continued its westward descent as more and more spectators and racers pulled in. The assortment leaned heavily toward Cummins trucks, then Power Stroke trucks, and a dash of Duramax trucks were interspersed here and there. They ran the gamut from wild to mild with lift kits, custom lights, air bag suspension, compound turbos, and the like.

More and more people trickled in, bringing some radical diesels in with them.

We also saw some very intriguing vehicles that we couldn’t help but get the scoop on – a 1968 Kenworth, a 2005 Dodge Ram 2500 dually, and a couple more – and we can’t wait to tell you more about them (but you’ll have to wait! Feature articles will be coming soon).

Beer: always a welcome addition to any racing event!

Beer: always a welcome addition to any racing event!

Looking out from the end of the 300-foot mud track for sled pull event.

The view from the end of the 300-foot mud track used for the sled pull event.

The big attraction of the day was the sled pull competition that started at around 6pm. After a short national anthem ceremony, the competitors pulled up to the sled (a motorized trailer with a rail-mounted weight that moved from the back to the front as the truck hauled it down a muddy 300-foot track).

One by one, the trucks (again, mostly Cummins) went in as their classes were called and let loose with mud, smoke, and plenty of throttle. The crowd cheered the drivers on as they made their way down the track. By and large, they all made clean passes, except for one.

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Amy Greenway and Jim Greenway, a husband-and-wife racing team, were out representing Baillie Performance, Inc. of Nixa, Missouri. Ann was up first in a black 2001 Duramax daully, also known as “Sally.” She made it all the way down the track, but suffered a breakdown of not only the radiator, but the power steering pump as well.

“Tonight was a little bit of a rough night,” she said. “We’ve had some issues with getting the transmission to shift, so it’s been running in third gear all year long. We thought we had things worked out tonight, but the truck overheated since it couldn’t shift into fourth gear.”

Clockwise from top left: Amy Greenway of Baillie Performance was driving a 2001 Duramax. She made a respectable pass, but suffered a breakdown to the cooling and steering systems right at the end.

Thankfully, Jim’s fate in his 2007 Cummins was much better, as he set a record of 341.03 feet. “He works hard, he loves what he does, and he loves the folks in the diesel community,” beamed Amy. “He and I also really appreciate our sponsors – MBRP, BD Diesel, SNS Diesel, they have all been wonderful.”

Amy's husband, Jim, did an amazing job in his 2007 Cummins. He made it a jaw-dropping 341.03 feet before coming to a complete stop.

Certainly, this was a great way to kick off the World Finals here in the Lone Star State. We can’t wait to see what comes tomorrow, as attractions like dyno pulls, drag racing, burnout contests, and a Show-N-Shine are on the agenda. Stay tuned here to Diesel Army to see what happens next! And don’t forget to follow us on Facebook and Instagram for live videos and up-close-and-personal pictures.

The sled pulls made for a great way to end the day here at the NHRDA World Finals!