2017 NHRDA Texas Diesel Nationals
The 2017 Texas Diesel Nationals proved to be a record-breaking affair for the National Hot Rod Diesel Association (NHRDA). Not only did the event see the first 8-second pass from a full weight, Super Street truck at an NHRDA-sanctioned event, but a new benchmark was set for the fastest crew cab LMM Duramax (’08-’10 GM HD’s) in North America. Throw in mid-7-second passes from a ’41 Willy’s, a P-pumped 7.3L-powered Mustang and the closest 10.90 index racing we’ve seen to date and you start to see why the Texas Motorplex was the place to be the weekend of April 21. And who could forget the dozens of streets trucks that showed up to compete in the 11.90 Index and Sportsman categories.
Check out all the highlights from the NHRDA’s first stop in the Lone Star State below.
6,000-Pound, 8-Second Dodge
It’s one thing to watch a Pro Street diesel truck make an 8-second pass through the quarter-mile, but it’s a whole other animal to see a Super Street truck do it. Reason being, the Super Street class (a category exclusive to NHRDA) mandates a 6,000-pound minimum race weight for 4x4 trucks (vs. 4,500 in Pro Street) and prohibits the use of tube chassis and/or back-halved setups, as well as three-link or four-link suspensions. So when Phillip Franklin’s 6,000-pound, leaf sprung, 5.9L Cummins-powered, ’06 Dodge Ram tore through the 1320 in 8.98 seconds it was beyond impressive. Phillip’s 8.98 made him the first Super Street competitor to run an 8 at an NHRDA-sanctioned event, and his 155.7 mph trap speed confirmed his Dodge was applying roughly 1,600 hp to the track.
Won at the Tree
Even though it’s not a national points class, the 10.90 Index category is a great bridge gap for racers who aren’t fast enough to compete in Super Street but that are faster than the vehicles found in the popular 11.90 Index class. Chris Perales’ ’01 Dodge fit the mold perfectly at the Texas Diesel Nationals, and his consistency throughout the day would land him in the 10.90 finals. In the last, neck-and-neck race of the day, Chris would take home the win thanks to a better reaction time.
Truck Pulls, Too
Rocky Horn trekked down to Texas from Fort Lupton, Colorado, to do battle in the NHRDA’s Limited Pro Stock truck pull class. His old-school, Cummins-powered Ford is named “Southern Cumferdt,” and it turns heads wherever it goes. It’s worth noting that while most sanctioning bodies have adopted the new, smooth bore 3.0 turbo rule for the Limited Pro Stock class (NHRDA included), the NHRDA is still allowing competitors with map groove 2.6-inch inducer turbos to compete in this class through 2017.
The fastest vehicle in attendance was the G&J Diesel/MBRP ’41 Willys (best known as the “Batmobile”) driven by Jarid Vollmer. The chopped and fiber-glass bodied Willys sports Duramax power and makes use of a three-speed Bruno’s Automotive-built Lenco transmission to get down the track. At the Texas Diesel Nationals, Jarid would pilot the Batmobile to a new personal best (within the NHRDA) of 7.56 at 177 mph.
Matt Kubik’s Mustang was a fan favorite before it ever hit the drag strip, thanks to being powered by a mechanical version of the 7.3L Power Stroke (courtesy of Hypermax Engineering). The competition-ready V8 sports a compacted graphite iron (CGI) block, a single Garrett GT55 that sees just under 100 psi of boost and an 8-cylinder P-pump that consumes the lifter valley. Shifts are handled via a Bruno/Lenco transmission with a Neal Chance billet converter. Although Matt didn’t get to lay down a full-power pass at the NHRDA event, his car looks promising so far with a best eighth-mile effort of 5.24 seconds and an 8.60 in the quarter while coasting.
Show 'N Shine Winner
As for the show 'n shine winner, this ultra-clean first-gen Cummins owned by Aaron Acker would collect the most votes. Aaron’s ’93 Dodge showed up wearing fresh paint, a Skyjacker 4-inch lift and American Force wheels.
Mixing it up in test and tune was Dylan Cink and his old body style Ford F-250. His lightweight, 7.3L-powered, two-wheel-drive Blue Oval would go 12.29 at 112 mph on this pass, although it’s been slightly quicker in the past. It’s always nice to see strong-running, 20-year-old diesels still chugging along — and it’s even better when they can keep pace with today’s high-powered trucks.
10.38 at 130 MPH
Thanks to near-perfect track conditions and the right man behind the wheel, Willie Lewis was able to send his ’08 Chevy Silverado 2500 down the track in 10.6 seconds on fuel. He then squeezed a 10.38-second pass out of the four-door Bow Tie with the aid of nitrous — which is a new record for an ’08-’10 crew cab GM-powered by an LMM Duramax.
Bone Stock = Ultimate Consistency
What’s more consistent than a bone-stock truck? That may or may not have been the mindset for Gaylon Singleton when he entered his brand new Chevy Silverado in the Sportsman (E.T. Bracket) class. For the most part, it worked, as Gaylon would stick close to his 14.90-second dial-in all day. His one break out would come in the form of a 14.83-second pass at 90 mph in the final round (against Jacob Baman), which earned Gaylon the Runner-Up overall position. On a side note, Gaylon’s 90 mph trap speed is indicative that the new GM’s (with the L5P Duramax) send roughly 380 to 390 hp to the wheels in stock form. Not bad!
Veteran bracket racer Robin Ridgway traveled 1,000 miles to compete at the Texas Diesel Nationals. Her ’01 F-350 is another good example of consistency as she piloted it to a 16.02, a 15.994 and a 15.974 before the day was through. While Robin didn’t make it to the finals, she used the Texas event to kick off her NHRDA season points collection.
Amalee Mueler was on a roll in her ’04 Dodge regular cab. Thanks to a recent tuning change from Firepunk Diesel, her common-rail Cummins was as repeatable as it’s ever been at the Texas Diesel Nationals. Amalee and her Ram would make it to the quarter finals of the Sportsman class before getting beat and she would also take Second Place in the 10.90 Index category. Her 10.96 at 122 mph loss to the aforementioned Chris Perales’ 11.03 at 108 mph in the final made for one of the closest drag races of the day (Perales’ 0.112-second reaction time would give him the win vs. Amalee’s 0.235).
(Photos courtesy of the National Hot Rod Diesel Association)