3-Time Super Diesel Champion Verlon "The Hammer" Southwick
The Super Diesel category is one of the most competitive classes in the NHRDA Drag Racing Series and there is one name that for the past three seasons has stood at the very top of the heap. Verlon "The Hammer" Southwick. But he didn't do it alone. Not by any stretch. As Verlon said himself when we caught up with him after the NHRDA World Finals, "It takes an army of sponsors to win three years in a row."
Our own Scott Heaton from Diesel TV caught up with the champion in the World Finals winners circle:
Southwick hails from Shoshone Idaho, a cozy town in South Eastern Idaho, and both he and his 2006 GMC 2500hd have traveled all over the United States and Canada competing in the 11.90 index class, commonly known as Super Diesel.
The 2-time defending National Champion had a slow start at the beginning of the 2016 season as he lost in the 1st round at the Desert Diesel Nationals in Phoenix. We asked him afterwards and he said not to worry, that he had to make some minor adjustments and that he would be back in the points chase by the Denver event.
True to his word Southwick came to Denver and won, defeating Joseph Sterkel in the final round. Southwick then scored wins at his next four events to move solidly into the points lead. The wins included the Pacific Coast Diesel Nationals, Canadian Diesel Shootout, the Big Sky Truckfest in nearby Montana, and finally winning back to back World Championships at the Texas Motorplex.
The World Finals was not without some worry as Verlon had some mechanical "gremlins" that caused him to end his multi-class efforts at the event by dropping out of two other classes to focus all his efforts and truck performance solely on the Super Diesel titles. When all the dust settled "The Hammer" Southwick had captured his 3rd straight Super Diesel National Championship.
Southwick's "Sponsors Army" is quite a list, and there is not a racer in NHRDA diesel drag racing that wouldn't love support like this. At the very top of that list Southwick made it very clear the sponsor he values most - "First and foremost my Family!"
The rest of Southwick's army include Edge Products, Dmax Store, Custom Auto, Dynomite Diesel Performance, ATPTrucks, Adrenaline Performance, Yukon Gear and Axle, Flexalite, ARP, Fusion Bumpers, Profab Performance, Danville Performance, CP-Carrillo, Baird Racing, FASS, BD Diesel, Clevite, Mahle, ISSPRO Gauges , Cross Diesel Performance, and last but certainly not least, No Zone Diesel.
Verlon is already busy getting ready for the 2017 NHRDA Diesel Drag Racing season, and plans to run three classes next year. Congrats to the 3-time NHRDA champion!