Saturday marked the last day of NHRDA competition for 2014. While it was a fantastic event and one that we continue to look forward to, it is a little disappointing that with so many new rides just coming out, that we have to wait another 5 to 6 months before we see them again! (Click here for coverage of Friday’s sled pulling action.)
One of the most exciting engine builds that has been going on behind the scenes for the past few years is the build project of J&R Racing. Their unique one off engine could very well raise the bar not only a single notch above where everyone else is currently, but they may be able to skip a few rungs. We, recently, detailed the engine here if you want to know more specifics. The moral of the story though, is that they have come up with a very unique combination of gas and diesel parts to force feed quite a large displacement engine. At over 500 cubic inches, this engine built by Extreme Engine Development could be north of 3,000 horsepower by the time all is said and done!
Also, making their world debut is the G&J Diesel, MBRP 1941 Willy dragster. We will be featuring this in the next couple of weeks (including video!), but this very sleek and cool looking rig is the product of years of learning and doing. If you don’t know G&J Diesel, maybe you have heard of Dirtymax Racing or the Dirtymax/MBRP drag truck. It is/was one of the oldest continually running pro stock trucks that date back to the DHRA days (Diesel Hot Rod Association). Brad Makinen has been pushing the limits of Duramax performance for over 10 years now and has learned a lot. Over the course of the past year, they (G&J Diesel) have been building this Willy, but it wasn’t until the Dirtymax finally had an engine failure that things got kicked into overdrive. After pushing as hard as they could, they finally got the dragster finished just in time for Big Sky Truck Fest up in Billings, MT. Unfortunately, due to rain, they were not able to make a single pass. So, we were fortunate enough to see the first few passes on the new chassis.
They were still working out the bugs, the MBRP dragster was able to make passes all weekend. While they were probably one of the slowest in their class, they did manage to win because of their racing experience and perhaps other peoples nerves. Either way, a “W” is a “W” and they were happy to take it home on their first showing.
The show itself has been growing year after year and with the improvements the NHRDA and the Texas Motorplex has been making, it should continue to get bigger and better! This is a two day event with sled pulling taking place on Friday (coverage here) and the rest of the show on Saturday.
This year there were over 40 vendors on display in vendor alley and according to everyone we spoke with, they were busy. This could be thanks to the great weather we had which was quite a bit different than last year that got rain delayed.
In addition the 40 vendors, there were 40 great looking and unique trucks in the show and shine. But it wasn’t just pickup trucks, there was, also, a rather large contingency of Semi trucks on display as well as racing!
When the day ended though, it was Kenda Proper with her 2006 Dodge Mega Cab Dually, who took home the Show N Shine Championship!
On the track, it was all business as everyone was pushing to make their best showing for the season finally.
John Robinson took home the Top Diesel World Championship for a second straight year. His final pass was quite a handful as the car was “squirrely” for close to half the pass, but Robinson being a true cowboy, just hung on and kept in it, clicking off an 8.00 run.
As we alluded to earlier, it was Ryan Milliken in the MBRP Willy that captured the World Championship thanks to his strong will and being able to stay calm under pressure. Unfortunately, Kevin Douglass who had been the number 1 qualifier all weekend went red as he jumped the tree.
Battling all week to just make the World Finals was Brett Deutsch. Deutsch got to Texas only to find out that the wiring to his ECM was bad. He and his father worked most of the night and well into the morning to re-wire truck. Even when the elimination rounds started, Deutsch was fighting issues. He was having a heck of a time with his tuning, but did manage to put together two great passes. Not only did he knock out the heavy weight in the class (Jarid Vollmer), but he set a new World Record at 8.810. Deutsch is a perfect example that perseverance and determination can take you all the way!
Hardway Performance Super Street
In Super Street it was Tyler Montgomery that proved to be the most consistent driver with the most consistent rig. There was a number of very experienced racers at the event all biding for the World Championship and it was Montgomery who sent people home round after round to finally take the victory.
BD Power Super Diesel
Verlon Southwick seems to have a thing for the NHRDA trophy girl as he does everything he can to meet her as often as possible. This year he was consistently on the podium and the World Finals was no different.
Strictly Diesel Sportsman
To estimate your ET and consistently run it all day is extremely difficult. As the day progresses the track changes which will make your vehicle run differently. In addition, there are a lot of games that competitors play in the Sportsman class. So, our hats off to Ross Dunagan, who ended up being the most consistent throughout the day and ended up taking home the World Championship.