The NADM Diesel Country Nationals Had It All
Those who were in Terre Haute, Indiana, for the NADM Diesel Country Nationals got more than they bargained for on May 6 and 7, 2011. Sure, Ron Knoch, one of the head guys at NADM, promised a fun weekend full of drag racing, sled pulling and all-around diesel partying, but even he didn’t know the full extent of the wildness that was to descend upon the show at the Crossroads Dragway and adjoining Wabash Valley Fairgrounds.
Things were going great for a while. Friday evening saw a huge gathering of diesel draggers ready to try out the 1.8-mile track. A total of 41 trucks paired off in front of 1,500 fans that were inside and outside against the fence and watching the action. What the locals call “a little weather” was scheduled to appear anytime, but those assembled only had speed on their minds.
Local racers and top guys from the surrounding states put on a great show. They included Matt Handwork, running the “Boneshaker,” and Wade Moody, with his killer ex-NHRA S-10. Both were out to run for the first time. The racing was great and was over by about 10 o’clock. Not a drop of rain fell. Everybody was hoping it would hold out just a little longer.
Sunday broke a little wet, but nothing too bad, and it made for potentially good conditions on the pulling track. The vendor row area, which also had some of the nicer show-and-shine contestants, opened. There were plenty of parts on hand to entice all. In addition, the crew from Bean’s Diesel had the dyno setup for anyone who wanted to put his or her diesel up against the needle. The sled pulling got started right at 1:30—and there was still no appreciable rainfall.
A packed grandstand watched as the various classes competed against each other. The big winner of the weekend was Terry Coppess, from Elwood, Indiana, in his 1998 Dodge; he took both the 2.6 and 3.0 Street Diesel classes. Will Dalenburg, of Indianola, Illinois, went 357.05 in his 2005 Chevy to take the Work Stock class, while Ben Miller bested the Modified class with a 320.13.
All that was left was the music concert, held later that afternoon. Approximately 1,600 fans attended. The concert setting was a 20-x-50-foot stage with half-million dollar sound system behind it. The music was great, and folks were having a great time. But while Lit Endz and James Wesley (the opening bands) played, the sky turned black.
Trent Tomlinson was the supposed headliner, but Ma Nature made a big entrance with high winds, marble-sized hail—and finally, a tornado, which supposedly touched down within a ¼ mile of the stage. It was a scary moment for those trying to get their families to a safe place. In fact, the sheriff’s department rushed everyone into the concrete-walled restrooms for safety. Although the winds, rain and hail tore up the place, nobody was hurt.
NADM has a full schedule planned for this year. They may not be able to promise a tornado at every one of them, but if you want to get more information on finding an NADM event near you, check out their website: www.dieselmotorsports.us.
1st Place Adam Price
2nd Place Kevin Shull
1st Place Lynn Ross
2nd Place Joel Johnson
1st Place Matt Handwork
2nd Place Micah Sullivan
1st Place Will Dalenburg Indianola, IL 2005 Chevy 357.05
2nd Place Tom Hill Oblong, IL 2007 GMC 322.11
2.6 Street Diesel
1st Place Terry Coppess Elwood, IN 1998 Dodge 320.11
2nd Place Joe Hill Oblong, IN 2004 Chevy 306.11
3.0 Street Diesel
1st Place Terry Coppess Elwood, IN 1998 Dodge 313.03
2nd Place Joel Reece Connerville, IN 1994 Dodge 303.01
Ben Miller Ford Overtime Modified 320.13