Southern Spotlight: Results From Diesel Thunder Spring Break 2018

After a few days of race day preparation, we finally earned a full day of great weather. The stands were packed all day for this event and people were loving their diesel-filled day in Florida. Vendor row had a few companies lined up to display their new products and swag for everyone to see and purchase along with a few vehicles on display.

Don “Big Don” Ellison made an announcement for the sportsman drivers to the lanes. As you can see, everyone was eager to get the day started.

Friday evening was round one of qualifying which left us with at least one more qualifying pass before eliminations. With the program running along smoothly, the track okayed another round. After the extra two rounds of qualifying, our bracket for the day was complete.

Karl from Redline Diesel Power brought their new rig trying to get some kinks worked out. Clearly, this truck has no problem squatting and hooking up. During a qualifying pass, the truck bounced and shook the tire so hard it actually deployed the parachute. On the right, Micahel Dalton prepared for his final round showdown versus Ryan Milliken later in the evening.

Wade Moody in the Flo-Pro Exhaust dragster as the only dragster on the property obviously qualified no. 1. In the Pro Mod class, It was Ryan Milliken with his sub five-second pass in the green reaper taking the pole. Derek Rose was the only entry in 5.90 Index, making him the winner and no. 1 qualifier.

Anarchy Diesel’s red-hot Ram was one of the days quickest vehicles and they were making a charge for the podium.

In the Top Dragster class, Wade Moody with basically a test session won his class as the only dragster on the property. In his first and final elimination pass, he hit the traps at 164.63 mph at 4.311 seconds. Moving onto the Pro Mod category, it was between the three qualifiers, Ryan Milliken of Hardway Performance, Michael Dalton with RLC Motorsports, and Susan “The Stump” Soga.

Saturday was jam-packed from end to end with fans on both sides of the strip ready for a day of hard-core diesel action, which included a mobile dyno from Diesel Doctors.

With Ryan Milliken qualifying in the number 1 spot, that earned him into a bye-run into the final round. Micahel Dalton went on to defeat Soga in the semi-final round with a 6.104. Entering a gun fight with a knife, Dalton met the known green diesel Nova of Milliken’s in the final round which ended up being a thriller.

When the lights dropped, it was Dalton that went full steam ahead with the lead while a few hundred feet back Milliken was struggling to get the 275 tires to hook. Unfortunately for Dalton, he was having a few issues of his own riding on the rev limiter down the track. Milliken saw the issues ahead and stayed in the throttle and passed Dalton at the finish line of a winning margin of .0024. Measuring that decimal ended up being just over two inches.  Milliken ended his night with the W with only a 7.617 pass.

After some unfortunate luck, even after qualifying no. 1, Dustin Jackson couldn't take his lightning to the winner's circle.

There was very little downtime in the entire day of racing. The only hiccup came when Dustin Jackson had a harmonic balancer issue when the bolts came out and detached itself from the truck. At the end of the track, I noticed that something wasn’t right at all. Luckily, Dustin made it out unscathed, but the truck will need some major attention to the engine bay before it can return.

Moving on in the Pro Street category it was a stacked field with drivers like Johnny Gilbert of Stainless Diesel, Jared Delekta of Industrial Injection, Enrique Gonzalez of TDS-Miami, Emilio Blanco of Anarchy Diesel, and Karl Mireiter of Redline Diesel Power.

Enrique Gonzalez from TDS-Miami brought his well-known Chevrolet Colorado that’s equipped with a nitrous-fed Duramax Diesel.

In another close one, Jared Delekta was holding off the Anarchy Diesel truck to the half-track, but overpowered the tires and was forced to let out of the throttle allowing Blanco to pass him for the win. In the final round, it was Blanco who topped the podium against Mireiter running a 5.81 to the 1/8th. Unfortunately, the Redline Diesel Power machine compromised a turbocharger going down track stealing away what would have been a very close race.

In the 6.70 class, it was driver Susan Soga, the number one qualifier, taking the win against Skyler Gauvin in the final round to take home the trophy and the prize money. Soga’s win was credited by a holeshot win and running a 6.826.

In the 7.70 Index class, it was a full field of trucks. This is one of the most popular classes as the trucks that fit this class are daily driven vehicles that make good enough power to bury themselves into the sub-eight second range. At the end of the day, it was Jonothan Wayne Coblentz of Wayne Automotive Performance taking the win over Devin Ratliff. Coblentz ran a 7.909. Being quicker on the tree, this led to his holeshot win.

John Gilbert of Stainless Diesel ended up having some issues which led to them not finishing the competition. Ryan Milliken and his right-hand man, Daniel Pierce, discuss the gameplan to get this slick ride down the track.

Ending the night in the Sportsman category where drivers will guess at their elapsed time for the 1/8th mile it was Mike Bond who guessed the best. With yet another holeshot victory, Bond went on to run an 8.643 on an 8.46 dial with a .073 reaction time.

That wrapped up our trip to the Emerald Coast Dragway for the 2018 Diesel Thunder Spring Break event. Stay tuned as Diesel Thunder has two more points chasing events coming up this year and things are only going to get better from here on out! For more information about Diesel Thunder, check out their website.

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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