Diesel Thunder Spring Break: Friday Night Qualifying

Finally, it’s here. The first race event of the season is underway here at the Emerald Coast Dragway in Holt, Florida. Tonight was the qualifying sessions for all classes racing tomorrow for the big money prizes and what a treat it was to finally hear some diesel power ripping down the track after such a long break. The weather is 65-degrees with a slight breeze and it’s a perfect Florida evening for some drag racing.

We have classes ranging from Sportsman all the way up to Pro Dragster. Everyone has their winter updates and alterations buttoned up and now it’s time to put up or shut up. For starters, it’s clear that the staging lanes are filling up for qualifying, which means tomorrow will be fun.”ET Bracket, 7.70 Index, 6.70 Index, Pro Street, Pro Mod, and Pro Dragster are the classes that we’re going to offer this weekend,” said Michael Cassady of Diesel Thunder.

Regardless of the distance, Industrial Injection and Co. will do what it takes to prepare for the years biggest event.

Honestly, the highlight of the evening was watching Ryan Milliken pilot the ’66 Chevrolet Nova after coming off a career-best performance at one of the largest radial tire races in the world. The Nova was in attendance but didn’t make any qualifying hits midday. In the evening, we looked forward to seeing it in action.

During the testing session before qualifying, Milliken struggled to keep the tires planted on his ’66 Nova. On the last ditch effort, he stuck the tires in round one qualifying which set him in nicely at #1.

With this track being in beautiful Florida, it made for a pile of companies to show up with trucks for this years testing including Industrial Injection, DNR Customs, and a few Dynomite Diesel-powered trucks. You’re in the area, why not have a small vacation getaway from the normal?

Jared Deletka with his Industrial Injection powered GM truck is doing some testing to prepare for the Ultimate Callout Challenge coming up in May in Indianapolis. Delekta made a handful of sub-six-second passes in his truck with even more horsepower in the tank for the eliminations. Dustin Jackson in his Cummins-Powered Ford Lightning was in attendance making some serious steam but chose not to make any hits.

John Gilbert of Stainless Diesel made this trip down from northern Indiana for some pre Outlaw Diesel Super Series testing. (Left) Ryan Milliken, owner and operator of Emerald Coast Dragawy and Hardway Performance looks on at the bloated parking lot with fans ready for action.

Derek Rose with DNR Customs made the trip down from Michigan to also get some testing in on his new powerplant for the 2018 season. This BD Diesel Performance Race Team member is planning on competing in the new Firepunk Diesel Outlaw 5.90 index class for the Outlaw Diesel Super Series sanction. After struggling with an electrical gremlin, Rose finally got in a few good licks to knock the winter rust off.

After delayed flights and unfortunate weather, Danick finally made it to the race track here in Florida. It’s been three years since Danick has white-knuckled this truck for 660′ and he has high hopes.

Danick St. Pierre flew down here all the way from Canada to play around in his 2017 Ultimate Callout Challenge truck in hopes to make some big power this coming year. After some minor adjustments, Danick is just a click off of that 5.90 index time. Adrian Forkum from Nashville, Tennessee brought his Suncoast Transmission backed black Dodge Ram to make a few hits in the 7.70 index class and did well in testing to prepare for Saturday’s event.

With what looked like to be a new build, Jackson Diesel was getting some nice licks during testing on Friday afternoon.

With the first round of qualifying completed, the ladder was beginning to form for Saturdays’ big event. Stay tuned for how it all went down in Florida!

About the author

Artie Maupin

Artie Maupin is from Southeast Missouri and has an extreme passion for anything diesel. He loves drag racing of all kinds, as well as sled pulling competitions.
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