The NHRDA Ends Its Season With A Spectacular Sho

Diesel events have been growing in popularity, and one event that has really picked up steam is the NHRDA World Finals in Ennis, Texas. The NHRDA stands for the National Hot Rod Diesel Association, an organizing body that puts on both sled pulling and drag racing events across the United States and Canada. Competition is fierce, as there are divisional winners, and then all the best of the best meet in Ennis, Texas, at the end of the year for a shot at the overall National Championship. Winning the Texas event is considered a badge of honor, as it’s an extremely hard-fought victory.

The Ballie Diesel Pulling Team made a strong showing at the World Finals. This FASS-sponsored Dodge went 326 feet, good enough for a 10th place finish in the 2.6 class.
Duramax-powered rides like “Bad Asset” came to mix it up with the Cummins-powered crowd. The competition in 2.6 was tough, however, and this truck’s 318-foot pull was only good enough for 18th place.
Amalee Artcona’s “Save The Racks” truck raises breast cancer awareness and was a tough competitor in the 2.6-inch turbo class. The Dodge has unique link bars for both the front and rear axles to eliminate wheel hop.
Longer-wheelbase rides like this ATS Diesel-sponsored common-rail Ram did well in Texas, pulling a strong 324 feet.
You never know what you’re going to see at the World Finals, as competitors come out of the woodwork for this Texas-based event. This diesel-powered International puller was towards the back of the pack in the competition, but a crowd favorite.
Malcolm Cross was another Canadian racer who made the trip and put on a good show. His brightly colored Cummins-powered Chevy managed a 9.17-second pass in Pro Street.
The Armor Inc. Pro Street drag truck (near lane) was one vehicle that really kicked off the drag racing action, with a strong 8.95- second effort at 157 mph. The back-halfed Dodge features a common-rail Cummins for power.
Ever see a dual-axle big rig run more than 100 mph in the quarter? We didn’t until we got to Texas, where this awesome semi was making passes. At 20,800 lbs., our horsepower guesses are around 1,500 to 1,700 hp at the wheels!Ever see a dual-axle big rig run more than 100 mph in the quarter? We didn’t until we got to Texas, where this awesome semi was making passes. At 20,800 lbs., our horsepower guesses are around 1,500 to 1,700 hp at the wheels!

The action got started on Friday with sled pulling in the 2.6- and 3.0-inch Inducer Turbo classes as well as Super Stock, a truck class with unlimited turbocharger rules. There were also exhibition pulls from Hot Farm tractors, which use larger cubic-inch diesels to put down the power and pull up the front wheels.

On Saturday the action went over to the drag strip with an entire day of diesel drag racing. There was a Sportsman bracket class, where competitors would try and run as close as possible to their dial-in times, without going under and breaking out. There was also Super Diesel, an 11.90-second Index class; Super Street, a street truck-based class with a 6,000-lb minimum weight; Pro Street at 4,500 lbs.; and finally Pro Stock and Top Diesel, strictly for diesel racing vehicles.

Anthony Reams was one of the more entertaining Super Street trucks to watch, as the high-horsepower 12-valve Cummins went sideways out of the hole on nearly every pass. Unfortunately, after a high nine-second qualifying effort, Anthony’s truck broke before eliminations when a rear pinion sheared off.
The kings of the strip are in the Top Diesel class, where we saw John Robinson’s “Power Service” funny car pared up with Jared Jones in the Scheid Diesel dragster. Although John would go on to win the eliminations, these side-by-side six-second passes during qualifying had the crowd on their feet. Jared Jones would run the quickest and fastest pass of the day: 6.46 seconds at 225 mph.
The Reality Check chassis dynomometer was on hand for anyone who wanted to test their street truck’s mettle against the rollers. We were impressed by the number of powerful daily drivers, as 600-800 horsepower readings were common throughout the day.
“Half Lit,” an extremely hot mechanical puller built by Patterson Custom Diesel and based out of Colorado Springs, Colorado, had the flagman running for his life at the end of the track. Unfortunately, something snapped in the drivetrain, ending what could have been a winning pull.
G&J Diesel and MBRP Exhaust brought one of the coolest diesels ever to be seen on a drag strip, this Duramax-powered Pro Stock 1941 Willys. With twin parallel Garrett turbochargers and nitrous, the lightweight ride managed a few shakedown passes in the 140-mph range, and should run easy 8s when turned up.

The weekend saw literally hundreds of competitors hook to the sled or go down the strip, as well as dozens of trucks in the show and shine area and strapped to the mobile dyno. The pits housed a vendors row, where products for Ford, GM and Dodge/Ram trucks were on display. For those wondering which diesel events to attend in 2015, we’d put Texas high on the list, as there’s no sign this event is slowing down any time soon. DW

Consistency counts for everything in bracket racing, where Fords like this F-250 and Excursion made it through many rounds with good reaction times and great driving.
Another crowd favorite was “The Dumpster,” a 10-second Duramax-powered van that was built on the tightest budget imaginable. The van was detuned and running without nitrous for Super Diesel, an 11.90-index bracket class.
One of the fiercest competitors on the drag strip is Verlon Southwick, who made it to the final rounds of both Super Diesel and Sportsman. Verlon won the Super Diesel class, which also gave him the overall National Championship.
Bully Dog brought their famous record-holding Pro Street truck to the party and laid down a number of high eight-second passes. Their consistent performance made it look like they would be a shoe-in for the Pro Street finals.

National Hot Rod Diesel Association

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