- August 12, 2018:
One of the oldest
major sporting events in the Pacific Northwest is the Pepsi Nightfire
Nationals. The signature event of Firebird Raceway takes place
in the foothills above Idahos capital city of Boise, a
47th year tradition in western Idaho. Both AA/Funny Car and AA/Fuel
Dragster took center stage in the Heritage Series chase all three
days. In addition, AA/Fuel Altereds and Pro Mods competed on
what was the hottest weather weekend of racing in track history.
Hard to believe,
but it was like a blast furnace the first three days with temps
of 105, 110 and 105. The event featured a 16-car field split
into an 8 in the Main Event and a second 8
in the Tater Baker. The main event featured the quickest
track in Firebird history sandwiched between a 5.73 by Dan Horan
Jr. and a bump of 5.86 by Bobby Cottrell.
In round one,
Matt Bynum just clipped Mark Sanders, 5.75 to a 5.77. Jeff Arend
nailed a holeshot 5.70 to 5.69 by John Weaver. Impressively,
Cottrell held off Horan Jr., in a 5.84 to 5.73 decision. Jason
Rupert then delivered a 5.64 to cover a 7.12 by Billy Morris.
In the semis, Rupert beat Arend 5.61-260.81 (top speed) over
a 5.74 and Bynum ran 6.18 against a tire blazing Cottrell, who
slowed to 9.50.
Rupert made it
three Firebird victories in a row dating back to May 2017. He
ran low e.t. in the final at 5.60 to defeat Bynums valiant
attempt at 5.73.
The Tater Baker
second 8-car field came down to a Shawn Bowen versus Tim Boychuk
final round. Bowen won convincingly at 5.82-222.69 when Boychuk
red lit with a -.037.
In AA/Fuel Dragster,
the semi-finals would see Dusty Green holeshot Pete Wittenberg
5.80 to a quicker 5.71. On the other side of the ladder, Mendy
Fry would stop Tyler Hilton 5.69 to a 5.88. In the final, Mendy
left little to doubt running low e.t. and top speed at 5.66-254.71
to easily stop Green who finished at 6.04-198.73.
featured 9 cars trying to make the 8-car cut. In the final four,
Troy Owen won his heat with the Tramp and new driver
David Giles, running 6.02 on the 6.00 index (Giles crossed center-line).
Then Dan Hix ran 6.08 to beat Todd Miller who developed an oil
leak on the line. In the final, Hix would prove tough to beat,
running 6.17-230.10 to stop a clutch destroying attempt of 8.46
shutoff attempt by Owen for his maiden Firebird victory.
The Xtreme Pro
Mod Association saw 9 cars competing for an 8-car show. In the
final, Ed Thornton Jr., posted a high altitude 5.88-258.86 (after
setting a track record earlier in the event of 5.86-259.16).
The twin-turbo Camaro bested Jay Diedrich who finished at 6.16-196.97.
the New family presented the 16th annual Jaker Allstar award,
a special honor on behalf of the owners of Firebird Raceway on
Saturday night. Pro Mod team owner Kirk Kuhns received a Firebird
Hall of Fame type bronze eagle statue to recognize his many years
of supporting the western Idaho facility.
of Firebird Raceway and AAFD.com
Proof Reading, Bob Brown
FUEL QUALIFYING SESSION 1
3:15 - The first
pair out for session was Dusty Green in the "Nitro Hemi"
car out of Colorado and Phil Ruskowski down from British Columbia,
Canada in his SBC powered fueler.
done early clocking an 8.253 at 123.55 while Green also clicked
it to a 6.308 at 183.89.
Pair two match up Bret Williamson
in Mike Fuller's "Forever Young" and Jim Murphy in
his WW2 Racing entry.
After promising starts,
both drivers experienced issues and shut off.
Out next was
team Champion Speed Shop car owned by Bob McLennan and piloted
by Adam Sorokin. In the other lane was Tyler Hilton in his Great
Expectations BBC fueler.
Sorokin left hard and
just drove away.
The red car went low for the
session by a bunch with a 5.879 at just 213.57. Hilton went into
the #2 spot with a 6.251 at 221.23.
Next pair out
featured the winner of the 2018 March Meet, Pete Wittenberg in
the Circuit Breaker and Brendan Murry in his "Running Wild
Racing" late model hemi car.
lost fire on the burnout leaving Murry to single.
Murry didn't go far and
coasted through with a 10.74.
The final car
out for session one was points leader Mendy Fry in the High Speed
After a great 60' time
the track would not hold the Shelar tune-up.
FUEL QUALIFYING SESSION 2
pm - Leading off Q2 was Brendan Murry.
Murry clicked it early
again to a 6.189 at 185.70, but it did improve him.
Next out was Mendy Fry
also on a single.
Fry left hard and had
strong early numbers.
Give Shelar one shot at a track
and you can bet his second shot will be on target. Fry went from
#8 to #1 with a 5.774 at just 213.91 which suggested it was a
The first pair featured
Dusty Green and Bret Williamson.
Green jumped up to #3 with a
5.97 at 243.11. Williamson's 6.09 at 216.27 put him #5 after
Paired next were Phil
Ruskowski and Adam Sorokin.
Ruskowski waited a long
time after the green to leave while Sorokin was long gone.
Ruskowskis late leave led
to an early shut off 7.57 - 146.83. Sorokin matched his Q1 time
carding another 5.87 at 213.67.
Last out for Q2 was Tyler
Hilton improved his Q1
time with a 6.07 - 240.77.
Top Fuel Qualifying - Sessions 1 &
- Page 1
Funny Car Qualifying Session 2 - Page 2
Top Fuel Qualifying Session 3 - Page 3
Funnyt Car Qualifying Session 3 - Page 4
Top Fuel Round 1 - Page 5
Funny Car Round 1 - Page 6
Top Fuel & Funny Car Round 2 - Page 7
Top Fuel & Funny Finals - Page 8