Records Shattered at the 2017 NHRDA Oklahoma Diesel Nationals
Six years after the first Pro Street truck soared into the 8-second zone, the diesel industry has hit a new milestone. On May 20, Lavon Miller’s ’06 Dodge Ram broke into 7-second territory, running a 7.99 at nearly 175 mph. Instantly, social media was ablaze with the news and anyone even remotely associated with the diesel community saw at least one video of the ground-breaking pass come across their news feed. History was definitely in the making at the 2017 NHRDA Oklahoma Diesel Nationals.
But that wasn’t the whole story. Side-by-side 8-second passes were par for the course in both the Pro Street and Super Street fields, with a nail-biting final round in Pro Street. In Super Street, a new world record would be set by Phillip Franklin in the form of an 8.85-second pass at just under 159 mph. Beyond that, a diesel vs. gas shootout was held, in which a diesel took home the trophy and dozens of dialed-in trucks duked it out in the always-interesting Sportsman class. Read on for a full recap of this record-breaking weekend.
Breaking the 8-Second Barrier
While many Pro Street competitors have gradually been delving deeper and deeper into the 8’s over the last several years, we weren’t surprised that Lavon Miller and the Firepunk Diesel team were the first ones to dip into the 7’s. Lavon blasted onto the Pro Street scene (a class with a 4,500-pound weight minimum) in 2016 with his ’06 Dodge Ram and immediately began collecting 8-second time slips. In just over a year’s time, he and his team’s relentless drive to be the best landed them in the record books. The record-setting, 7.99-second pass in qualifying was made possible thanks to a strong back-half effort. With a 1.32-second 60-foot and a 5.21-second eighth-mile, the truck was on pace to click off a low 8, but the truck picked up an impressive 33 mph between the 660 and the 1320, which effectively knocked two vital tenths off of Lavon’s projected elapsed time.
See the record-setting pass for yourself:
Meet Dustin Jackson (middle), owner of the triple-turbo’d, Cummins-powered ’94 F-150 Lightning that’s been shaking up the Pro Street field for the last nine months. Thanks to a quicker reaction time, Dustin would beat out Lavon Miller’s 8.12-second pass in the finals with an 8.14 and collect his third trophy this season.
To date, he remains undefeated at any NHRDA event he’s attended thus far in 2017. Now with a few 8.1’s under his belt, it’s been rumored that Dustin will be gunning for a 7-second pass very soon (and he may have already broken into the 7’s by the time you read this…). Between Dustin’s Lightning and Lavon Miller’s Ram, these two are setting the Pro Street world on fire in 2017 and they will be the trucks to watch as the racing season comes down to the wire.
Watch the awesome heads-up race:
Luck Had Nothing to Do With It
Showing that his 8.98 at the Texas Diesel Nationals was no fluke, Phillip Franklin proved his 6,000-pound, Super Street Dodge could run 8’s, consistently, at the Oklahoma Diesel Nationals. After running an 8.85 at 158.89 mph during qualifying, Phillip backed it up with a second 8.85-second pass in the semi-finals, which earned him the new world record for the Super Street class.
First Trip Into the 8’s
Breaking into the 8’s for the first time was Chris Buhidar’s Super Street ’00 F-350, nicknamed “The Mick.” The triple-turbo, Cummins-powered Ford has been in the hunt for the 8’s since last season’s string of bottom-9-second passes. In the semi-finals, Chris would edge out Phillip Franklin in the quickest side-by-side Super Street race in NHRDA history, with both trucks making 8-second passes.
Super Street’s Top Spot
Thanks to an 8.96-second pass at 158 mph in the final round of Super Street, Wade Minter laid claim to his first victory of the NHRDA season. In case you were wondering, yes, this is the same truck that took Third Place in the 2017 Ultimate Callout Challenge. Back in its natural environment, Wade’s triple-turbo Duramax (coined “Ill Tempered”) picked up right where it left off as one of the quickest and most consistent Super Street trucks in the country.
Diesel Beats Gas
While Chris Perales’ win streak in the NHRDA’s 10.90 Index class would come to an end at the hands of William Ellington in Tulsa, Chris would take First Place in another category: the diesel vs. gas shootout. In the final round of the eighth-mile, 7.0 Index diesel vs. gas class he would be on the better half of a double breakout scenario against Bryan Walker’s nasty fox body Mustang.
A-Game in the Sportsman Class
The Firepunk Diesel name is quickly becoming synonymous with winning, no matter the class or the competition within it. This Firepunk-backed, 12-second ’07 Dodge piloted by Larson Miller would battle its way through a very competitive field to take home the win in the Sportsman (E.T. Bracket) category.
Competing in just her second NHRDA race, Bailey McKinstry (daughter of former NHRDA Sportsman champion, Scott McKinstry) cruised to the Sportsman class finals in her ’17 Chevy Silverado. Although she would break out in the final round, it looks like a bright racing future is in store for Bailey. And yes, that’s a 15.08-second dial-in written in the rear window. For those unfamiliar with the current crop of diesel trucks rolling out of Detroit, bone-stock Duramax-powered Chevy’s and GMC’s are running high 14’s and low 15’s in the quarter-mile!
On the Right Track
Taylor Manning’s Super Street Dodge made a couple passes in the mid-9’s before being eliminated during qualifying. And while lady luck wasn’t quite on his side in Tulsa, the info he collected via his new RacePak data logger will be used to steer him in the right direction going forward. We look forward to seeing this old Dodge join the 8-second ranks of Super Street very soon.
Let ‘Er Eat
After Friday night’s truck pulls were rained out, the action in the dirt took place on Saturday, following the drag races. In the Limited Pro Stock class, Jenna Lempka would put her “Lights Out” ’05 Dodge Ram out front with a 320.09-foot effort. Current points leader, Amalee Mueller would wind up two feet behind Jenna in her “Save the Racks” Dodge.
Jesse Knight piloted his Mud Grappler-equipped second-gen Cummins into the fifth spot in Limited Pro Stock with a 314.07-foot pull. It was a tight field for sure, with just six feet separating First Place through Fifth Place.
(Photos courtesy of the National Hot Rod Diesel Association)
For full results, visit NHRDA.com