Day Two of the NHRDA World Finals – to put it simply, it was the last hurrah of 2016, and it was a great one at that. More than a thousand visitors descended upon the Texas Motorplex to celebrate (and participate) in all things diesel.
The big attraction of the day was, of course, the diesel drag racing taking place on the quarter-mile track. Racers provided the thrills in all sorts of vehicles, from the suped-up three-quarter-ton pickups to a Volkswagen station wagon to semi trucks. Complementing the rubber-burning, diesel-churning machines was some impeccable work by NHRDA staff to keep things fair and rolling throughout the day.
On several occasions, racers would leave a little “present” on the track, whether it was an exploded differential or even some random champagne spray (the latter really irritated NHRDA and resulted in the careless individuals being kicked off of the track). Armed with spray glue, brooms, the “tire rake” tractor, and their own sneakers (for testing the stickiness afterward), the racing organization’s workers were always quick to react and maintain normal operations.
By far, our favorite class had to be the Top Diesel class. Like the alcohol or octane-driven counterparts in the NHRA, these dragsters were long, narrow, and ridiculously fast for what they were. Not to mention, loud! One such example would be Wade Moody; he and his vehicle were an incredible force to witness.
Elsewhere, a Show-N-Shine competition pitted machine against machine to see which one would gather the most votes. Across three categories – pickup truck, bob tail semi, and semi combo – more than two dozen vehicles were displayed, each one as spotless and polished as the flying-bug-ridden Interstate 287 would permit (which is to say, not very). Nevertheless, we found some very aesthetically pleasing and outstanding specimens during our walk through the area, and will be coming out with features and mini-features on these rigs in the near future.
Beyond the Show-N-Shine, we could hear the telltale screams of diesel motors being driven to their limits. This was, of course, the Dyno Run section of the event, where for $80, regular Joes and Janes could throw their rig on a dynamometer and see if their bragging had any basis in reality. At the time of our visit, one man and his black 2008 Ford F-250 were holding the record at 1,032 horsepower – Clay S. from Watterford, Texas (unfortunately, the staff managing the event said they were not testing for torque for some reason).
Due to time constraints, NHRDA was forced to cancel one of its attractions, the Burnout Contest. This is usually the one that caps off the day just before the Awards Banquet, but drag racing and cleanup time ran long by about two hours.
While the cancellation of the Burnout Contest was an unfortunate occurrence, it couldn’t put a damper on what was otherwise a magnificent day dedicated to diesels. We tip our hats to Stacy Cohle, NHRDA, and everyone who made this event fun and amazing, and we can’t wait to do it again in 2017.