Photography: Kevin Wilson and Eric Thieszen
Diesel Competition at its Best in Indy
Indianapolis, Indiana, is known around the world as the racing capital of the world. It is home to two of the biggest events in America: the Indianapolis 500, which just celebrated the 100th running, and the U.S. Nationals, NHRA’s cornerstone event that dates back to the early days of drag racing. And, in more recent years, Indy has also gotten a reputation among diesel enthusiasts for hosting an annual must-attend event, the FASS Diesel Nationals.
Where better to host such an event than at Lucas Oil Raceway, formerly Indianapolis Race Way Park, which has been the home of the U.S. Nationals for decades. The raceway has hosted several large diesel events over the years.
The NHRDA continued that tradition this year by hosting a full field of diesel drag racers on the famed quarter-mile, along with bringing in the Lucas Oil Pro Pulling League to put on one hell of a sled pull, complete with hot rod 18-wheeler pullers.
The event featured all the regular stuff you can see and do at most major diesel gatherings: a chassis dyno, show-and-shine competition, burnout contest and one of the largest vendor areas you’ll find. An estimated crowd of nearly 4,000 was treated to a full day of racing activities that moved back and forth between the drag strip and sled pulling track.
According to NHRDA, a total of 147 competitors showed up at Indy this year, thereby keeping the diesel tradition alive. NHRDA also brought back another Indy tradition by giving several area Make-A-Wish Foundation kids the red carpet treatment and plenty of swag.
As you would expect at such a famous raceway, the track crew at Lucas Oil Raceway did a fantastic job with track preparation, which set the stage for near-record passes. They included a run by 18-year-old Emily Herod, who made her debut in the NX Nitrous Express diesel rail dragster with a 7.82-second pass at 176.03 mph to win the Top Diesel Class. Darren Morrison and his Pro Stock Truck Chevy S-10 got the win in Pro Stock with a nearly identical 7.83-second pass at 175 mph on an attempt to set a new world record (currently held by Banks Engineering’s Duramax-powered Pro Stock S-10).
If you want to find out more about next year’s Indy Nats, visit NHRDA’s website: www.nhrda.com.