The National Hot Rod Diesel Association opened its Division 4 drag racing season at Gainesville Raceway in Gainesville, Florida. Sixty-eight trucks came from Florida, Georgia, North and South Carolina, and even one each from Michigan and Ohio to take part in this opening event. The event was held in conjunction with the weekly open drags at the raceway. The gate opened at 3 p.m., and more than 3,000 spectators took to the stands to watch these black smokers race down the quarter-mile.
The plan was to have a dyno competition, but due to mechanical difficulties with the dyno, it was not held. Sun Coast Diesel Transmissions was the event’s major sponsor, and the company was on hand in the vendor midway with all its products for the spectators to check out. Also on hand was Airaid Filters, MBRP Performance Exhaust, Ford Power Stroke diesel engines, Southeast Power System, and Flo-Pro Performance Exhaust.
There were six classes for the trucks to run in. The first class was Top Diesel, but there were no participants in that class. The next class was Pro Stock, which was won by Adam Horath of Gainesville with a time of 11.06 seconds at an even 106 mph. Next was Pro Street, which was won by Gary Ray of Middleburg, Florida, in a Dodge Ram turning the quarter at 10.11 seconds at 133.86 mph. Next came Super Street, which was won by Mike Handwork all the way from New Plymouth, Ohio. Mike won the class with a 10.24 at 133.62 mph. Super Diesel was up next, and that class was won by David Hall of Markow, Michigan. David ran an 11.90 at 106.75 mph. The Sportsman Class ended the evening, with Joe Barfield from Pitts, Georgia, taking the win. Joe won the class with a 14.63 at 86.60 mph.
Watching these trucks head down the quarter-mile blowing out big plumes of black smoke and turning speeds of more than 100 mph definitely made for an interesting afternoon. If you have never attended an event of this type, you should check out the NHRDA website (www.nhrda.com
) to find out when an event will be coming to a track near you.