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NHRDA VISITS STORMY NORTHERN CALIFORNIA WITH DIESEL DRAG STRIP ACTION

It has been one of the wettest years on record for California, and as we watched raindrops puddle up on truck windshields, all we could do was hope for the best. The National Hot Rod Diesel Association (NHRDA for short) made the trip to Sacramento where it would host dyno, drag racing, and sled pulling action. Three events became two as the sled pull was rained out. Still, everyone rallied in between rainstorms to get the dragstrip prepped, and the NHRDA was able to pull off a race!

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The staging lanes were full as soon as the rain let up, as competitors were ready to make their one and only qualifying pass and then hurry into eliminations.

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The Sportsman Class saw some close racing even though it was a dial-in bracket; these two Duramaxpowered rides flew down the track neck and neck, running a 13.75 to a 13.74!

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Mike Durand from Dmax Store brought his own race truck out and competed in the 11.90 bracket. Some inconsistent launches took him out before he could make a run for the finals.

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Ron Reiswig from Huntington Beach, California, was one of the fastest trucks in Super Street, running 10.24 at 137 mph. Unfortunately, a blown head gasket took him out before the finals.

With only one round of qualifying, the action was immediate as soon as the fi rst tire hit the track. There were Sportsman, 11.90, and 10.90 Index classes, as well as heads-up classes like Super Street and Pro Stock. The drags kicked off with the Sportsman class, which is a bracket class where competitors must run as close as they can to their dial-ins without going under. In a highly competitive fi eld, the title came down to local favorite Russ Wullenwaber in his ’17 Chevy against Scott McKinstry in a ’17 Ford. In a heck of a race, McKinstry ended up edging out Wullenwaber by the slimmest of margins and took the win in the most smoke-free final ever.

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G&J Diesel and driver Jarid Vollmer made the trip out with their awesome 7-second Willys. Unfortunately, the team ran into issues after the burnout and was unable to make a full pass.

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We got to find out just how fast a stock ’17 Ford could be when Scott McKinstry raced this borrowed brand-new Blue Oval. The Ford proved to be pretty quick and McKinstry a good driver, as he ran a 14.883-second time on a 14.88 dial-in!

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Some racers did all they could to win. Sacramento regular DeAndre Fitzgerald deep-staged his Chevy, but was still taken out by Verlon Southwick.

The 11.90 class was another battle for all involved, and a class that held a unique variety of trucks. Mike Ostrowski’s sleeper, a 4bt-powered classic Chevy, was perhaps the most interesting of the bunch, and we doubted the single-turbo rig could be a serious competitor. But Ostrowski made believers out of us when he ran a 12.1-second pass the first round, and eventually dipped into the 11.90s to make it all the way to the semi-finals. The finals saw an all-GM battle, as Brian Howard’s low 4×4 broke out, posting an 11.86 to Nate Morgan’s winning 12.00 at 111.52 mph.

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Mike Ostrowski’s old Chevy wasn’t the only sleeper in the 11.90 Class, as this lifted GMC ran consistent high 11s and low 12s. We bet its 117mph trap speed felt plenty fast!

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Chris Krebs wowed everyone by piloting his ’99 Dodge Ram 2500 to an awesome 10.96 at 123 mph. The truck has a stage 2 Monster pump, compound turbos, and Krebs says it should be capable of mid-10s once the nitrous is turned on.

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Russ Wullenwaber went all the way to the finals in Sportsman in his brandnew ’17 Chevy, where he lost to Scott McKinstry. The Duramax-powered ride ran low 15s all weekend.

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Hands-down the best burnouts of the bunch belonged to Rick Fletes, who daily drives and drag races his Duramax Chevelle. Troubles off the starting line hampered him in the 10.90 class, where he ran a 12.1 at 120 mph.

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One of the fastest Duramax-powered trucks on the grounds was owned by Chris Weyl, who ran consistent mid-10s in Super Street.

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The finals in Super Diesel came down to Brian Howard’s low 4×4 and Nate Morgan’s hood-stacked Chevy. In a close race, Howard ended up breaking out trying to run Morgan down, 11.86 to 12.00.

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What happens when your sled pull gets rained out? You enter the burnout contest!

Dropping a whole second off a truck’s elapsed time can be tough, so it was mostly race vehicles in the 10.90 class. Rick Flete’s Chevelle had traction issues, which left the door wide open for Chris Krebs’ Dodge. One of the quickest VP-pumped trucks around, Krebs had run in the 10.90s every qualifying pass, and an 11.00-second ET in the finals. The last class was Pro Stock, where the MBRP-sponsored G&J Willys made some shakedown runs in its first appearance of the year.

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Try as we might, we couldn’t find any info on this awesome Cumminsswapped Ford, a serious offroad piece with cut fenders and a four-link suspension front and rear.

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Folsom Diesel Works and BD Diesel were some of the vendors on hand showing off new products. Whether you were looking for a lift, a turbo kit, or just someone to work on your truck, it was in the NHRDA’s vendor row.

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The dyno had a crowd around it all day, and a number of trucks were able to make runs despite the looming rainclouds.

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Northern California is definitely Dodge country, and we saw every Generation of diesel Ram while walking around the pits.

Despite the weather, the NHRDA and Sacramento Raceway were able to overcome adversity and put on a great drag race. The quality of vehicles in the show was a reminder of why we attend these types of events. Whether it was an 11-second sleeper, lifted screaming four-wheel-drive, or diesel-swapped musclecar, just about everyone could find something they liked, which is why these events are so fun. The next stops for the NHRDA will be in Ennis, Texas and Tulsa, Oklahoma, as they continue their yearly tour.DW

RESULTS

PRO STOCK

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WINNER: Jarid Vollmer ’41 Willys BROKE

SUPER STREET
WINNER: Chris Weyl ’06 GMC 13.94 at 76.45
RUNNER-UP: Ron Reiswig BROKE

10.90 INDEX
WINNER: Chris Krebs ’99 Dodge 11.00 at 123.19 mph
RUNNER-UP: Verlon Southwick BROKE

SUPER DIESEL (11.90 INDEX)
WINNER: Nate Morgan 12.00 at 111.52
RUNNER-UP: Brian Howard 11.86 at 105.27

SPORTSMAN
WINNER: Scott McKinstry ’17 Ford 14.88 on a 14.883 dial-in
RUNNER-UP: Russ Wullenwaber ’17 Chevy 15.24 on a 15.43 dial-in