March Madness-3rd Annual Desert Diesel Nationals

June 28th, 2010

March Madness

3rd Annual Desert Diesel Nationals

By Kevin Wilson

Photography: Chris Neprasch and Kevin Wilson

March Madness is typically associated with the pairing down of 64 NCAA basketball teams into championship rounds of competition. In Arizona, March Madness means baseball spring training with a whole host of major league teams coming to the Valley of the Sun to play Cactus League games against each other. For the past three years, March is the season opener for the NHRDA’s Desert Diesel Nationals at Speedworld, just north of Phoenix.

However, this year…something was dramatically different about the Desert Diesel Nationals. Sure it was March and the race was being held, again, at Speedworld’s quarter-mile. But this year, the place was packed with both competitors and spectators. In years past, you could have shot a gun in the manufacturer midway and probably wouldn’t have hit anyone. For 2010, NHRDA gave away nearly 20,000 discount tickets to the event, which brought in a record 5,000-plus spectators. In fact, the line to get into the facility, at one point, stretched nearly a mile up the road.

The 2010 Desert Diesel Nationals, sponsored by local diesel business Strictly Diesel of Scottsdale, and ITP Diesel, of Phoenix, is also noted for the debut of the Banks Sidewinder rail dragster, which made consistent 7-second passes with speeds near 180 mph. In fact, the dragster, driven by Wes Anderson, who also pilots Banks’ diesel Pro Stock pickup, sent a new NHRDA Top Diesel national record with a 7.67 clocking at 177.03. However, the Cummins-powered Scheid Diesel rail still holds the speed record at 187.52 mph.

A Canadian who came all the way from Ford McMurray, Alberta, Canada, set another record at the Desert Diesel Nationals, this time in the Super Street category with a 2003 F-350 Power Stroke Ford with a 10.60 clocking at 131.46 mph, according to NHRDA, making it the fastest Ford to date. Speaking of long-distance hauls, the event attracted participants and vendors from California, Arizona, Colorado, New Mexico, Utah, Texas and Idaho. The Desert Diesel Nationals is part of the NHRDA 2010 MBRP Performance Exhaust Diesel Drag Race Series, which has six divisions and 24 points races across the country.

Besides a full manufacturer’s midway and vendor row, the event featured a Show and Shine competition, burnout contest and an on-site dyno for a hardcore dyno competition. Topping the charts on the dyno was a 1,153-hp run from Joe Higuera of Redding, California, with a ’02 Dodge in the Unlimited Class.

For more information on next year’s Desert Diesel Nationals, or to learn about an NDRDA event near you, stop by its website at

Event Name NHRDA 2nd Annual Desert Diesel Nationals Date 3/6/10
Track Name Speedworld Dragstrip Location Wittmann Arizona Division 2
Spectator Count 4,644
Total Truck Count 133
Diesel Drag Race Winners Info
Class Vehicle Name City State ET MPH
Top Diesel 1st 2008 Spitzer Dragster Wes Anderson Azuza CA 7.67 177.03
Top Diesel 2nd
Top Diesel 3rd
Pro Stock 1st
Pro Stock 2nd
Pro Stock 3rd
Pro Street 1st 2002 GMC Pickup Rob Coddens Eagle ID 9.84 137.20
Pro Street 2nd 2003 Dodge Ram Mark Rau Avondale AZ 11.38 119.81
Pro Street 3rd 2001 Chevy 2500 Trent Nell Riverton UT 10.35 133.49
Super Street 1st 2003 Ford F-350 Shawn Ellerton Fort Mcmurray AB 10.60 131.46
Super Street 2nd 2002 Dodge Ram Joe Higuera Redding CA 11.79 99.14
Super Street 3rd 2003 GMC Pickup Jeremiah Montgomery Pampa TX 11.90 116.91
Sportsman ET 1st 2006 Chevy Pickup Ruben Angeles Oceanside CA 14.17 93.32 13.90
Sportsman ET 2nd 1999 Ford F-250 Nathaniel Johnson El Centro CA 16.09 77.41 16.13
Sportsman ET 3rd 2003 Ford F-250 Brian Cottle Glendale AZ 16.04 81.71 15.97
Show n Shine
Winner Monster Limo Chuck N/A
Runner Up 2001 Ford F-250 Kim Mareska Phoenix AZ
Third Place 2004 Dodge Ram Wayne Resch Renton WA
Burnout Contest
Winner 1985 Peterbilt Steve Disher Brighton CO
Runner Up 2005 Dodge Ram Zack Jensen Bakersfield CA
Third Place 1971 Kenworth Jimmy Disher Brighton CO
Dyno Competition
Winner 2002 Dodge Ram Joe Higuera Redding CA Hp 1153
Unlimited Class
Dyno Competition
Winner 2002 Dodge Ram Mike Lippner ShingleTown CA Hp 584
Super Modified
Dyno Competition
Winner 2004 Chevy 2500 Newly Tolf Durango CO Hp 791
Dyno Competition
Winner 2006 GMC 2500 David Dasson N/A Hp 439
National Sponsors Event Sponsors
MBRP Performance Exhaust ITP Diesel
FASS Fuel Systems Strictly Diesel
BD Performance Diesel Turbo Auto Diesel
AFE Power Iron Bull Bumpers
Dynomite Diesel Toxic Diesel
Grand Rock Exhaust Underground Diesel
South Bend Clutch Elite Diesel
Edge Products Air Aid Filters
Snow Performance Lubrication Specialties
Optima Battery Double X Fuel Filtration
Randys Offroad Connection Air Flow America
Doctor Performance UTI School

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