NHRDA World Finals: The Fastest Diesels in the Nation
Aside from the newly created Outlaw Diesel Super Series (ODSS), the National Hot Rod Diesel Association (NHRDA) is the only diesel-centric organization that hosts a grand finale to close out its racing season. Each year, a busy event schedule that spans across the U.S. (and even into Canada) culminates in an ultra-competitive, everything-on-the-line-style drag race. Fittingly enough, the NHRDA’s biggest event takes place in Texas. Specifically, the quarter-mile Texas Motorplex facility in Ennis, just outside Dallas.
This year’s NHRDA World Finals saw mid-to-high 6-second passes from the dragsters in the Top Diesel class, mid 7’s in Pro Stock, mid 8’s in Pro Street and low 9's in the Super Street class. Just as impressive were the mid 11's put up by the 10,000-lb big rigs in the Hot Rod Semi category, along with great side-by-side 10.90 and 11.90 Index racing. Then just before nightfall, the points champions were crowned, and the 2016 NHRDA racing season was laid to rest.
Check out all the season finale highlights below.
Blasting down the track to the tune of an 8.40 at 167 mph was Dustin Jackson in this triple-turbo, Cummins-powered, first-generation Ford Lightning. Unfortunately, the pass was too quick for what the truck’s chassis was certified for (8.50), so Jackson was not allowed to continue racing. Look for this old-school Ford to have an updated (certified) chassis by the start of next season and watch the pass that got Dustin into trouble.
Top Diesel Champion
Wade Moody and his Flo-Pro-sponsored Duramax-powered rail had a busy 2016. Not only did Moody travel the country to follow a good portion of the NHRDA circuit, but he pulled off the first 6-second quarter-mile pass ever made under the power of a Duramax engine. His dedication and driving ability landed him the win at the World Finals with a 6.97 at 197 mph, as well as the championship trophy in the NHRDA’s Top Diesel class.
Taking the runner-up spot in the Top Diesel class was the Scheid Diesel rail. After a 6.65-second pass at a blazing 214 mph gave them the number one qualifier position, the rail unfortunately wasn’t able to make it down the track in the final round.
G&J Diesel’s MBRP-sponsored 1941 Willys Americar is one of the most unique vehicles on the diesel drag racing scene. The Duramax-powered Willys, nicknamed the Batmobile, was piloted by Jarid Vollmer in 2016 and would take home top honors in the NHRDA’s Pro Stock class. On its last run of the year, the Willy’s stormed through the 1320 in 7.57 seconds at 184 mph.
Pro Street Winner
Hailing from nearby Seminole, Texas, Aaron Wiebe would take home the win in the Pro Street class. His lightweight, ’99 Chevy half-ton sports a nasty, compound turbo’d Duramax under the hood and runs low 10’s in the quarter-mile. In the final round of the day, Wiebe’s 10.12-second pass would beat out Lavon Miller’s 8-second-capable Dodge due to a shifting issue.
Super Street Champion
Based out of San Antonio, Texas, Chris Buhidar and his triple-turbo, Cummins-powered ’00 F-350 traveled tens of thousands of miles in order to compete in the NHRDA’s nation-wide points series in 2016. In the end, he would not only secure the 2016 Super Street championship, but he would top it off with a win here at the World Finals thanks to a 9.44-second pass at 150 mph in the final.
11-Second “Work Truck”
Larry Brown’s 2007 Dodge is impressive to say the least. At first glance, it appears to be just another work truck, but it’s far from it. The flat bed Ram churns out consistent high 11’s, hence its competitiveness in the 11.90 Index (Super Diesel) class. While Brown would be on the losing end of a double-breakout scenario in the final round (11.85 to an 11.86), he would go on to win the Sportsman class before the day was through. For the season, he wound up Third in points in the Super Diesel category.
Finishing the season with an exclamation point, Scott McKinstry would put up the number one qualifier position in the Sportsman class. His compound turbo’d LMM Duramax Silverado is as dialed in as any truck we’ve seen, and he locked up the 2016 Sportsman Championship at Ennis.
Hot Rod Kenworth
After making an impressive pass during qualifying, Gord Cooper’s ’68 Kenworth cruised through eliminations and wound up in the final round, pitted against Jim Disher. Saving the truck’s quickest pass for the finals, the big KW rocketed to an 11.48-second quarter-mile sprint at 116 mph for the win.
Big Rig Bracket & Hot Rod Semi Champion
Between attending seven (of 10) NHRDA events and racking up multiple wins in 2016, the Disher family (which campaigns several hopped up semis) definitely made their presence known in the big rig classes. Jim Disher’s ’71 Kenworth would win the Big Rig Bracket class at the World Finals, as well as take home the points title in both the Big Rig Bracket and Hot Rod Semi classes for the year. In the photo shown, Charnie Disher’s ’52 Kenworth can be seen doing what it does best: big, smoky burnouts.
Pro Stock Champion
On the sled pulling side of things, Jim Greenway trekked down from Nixa, Missouri, to wrap up the Pro Stock Class title. His cut-tired Dodge would yank the iron sled 335 feet, placing more than 18-feet on Second Place, which handily secured him the points lead. Jim would also compete in the mega-horsepower Super Stock class, where he finished within one inch of First Place.
Limited Pro Stock Champion
Vanessa Hyndman piloted her ’03 Dodge into the winner’s circle of the Limited Pro Stock class with a 342-foot effort. Thanks to being a regular competitor on the NHRDA circuit in 2016, she also laid claim to the overall points win. This marks the first time a woman has ever been crowned a Champion within the NHRDA.
(Unmarked photos courtesy of the National Hot Rod Diesel Association)