The NHRDA stormed into Arizona on April 14th, 2023 for their season opener of the HOT SHOTS SECRET Diesel Drag Racing and Sled Pulling Series at Wild Horse Pass Motorsport Park in Chandler Arizona.
Friday night was competitor move in with a BBQ and meet and greet. The gates opened up at 4pm but by 9pm there were over 100 semi trucks on the property getting ready for the Pickett Custom Trucks Show n Shine competition and you could feel the excitement in the air as the drag racing & sled pulling pits started to fill up.
Saturday gates opened up at 7am and it was a mad house with spectators lining up all the way out to the highway till almost noon. The drag racing got underway at 10am but we did have delays because the track was having issues with the timing system but once that got fixed racing continued into the afternoon with 3 rounds of qualifying and then into eliminations.
Vendor row had over 20 booths and the food court was packed all day long with diesel fanatics and their families that loved all the action at the track. As a bonus the NHRDA had 4 jet cars that blasted down the track at over 250mph.
Saturday night after drag racing concluded we moved over to the sled pulling track and watched several classes thunder down the 300 feet of fun and all of the event was live on Diesel TV.
NHRDA wants to thank all the sponsors and vendors that made this event such a success.
Hot Rod Semi Truck Winner
Mario Monette and his truck the BEAST had the longest drive of any competitor at the Desert Diesel Nationals, making the trip all the way from Edmonton Alberta. Monette currently holds the MPH World Record in the Hot Rod Semi Class at 120.35mph and he was looking to take the ET record away from Smokin Guns Gord Cooper that is 11.40et. During qualifying Mario had some electrical gremlins but his crew quickly got them figured out and during eliminations he kept getting faster and faster as he easily took out his competitors. In the finals he 13.01et at 111.08mph and became the 2023 Desert Diesel Nationals champion. Monette vows by the end of the season he will have both sides of Hot Rod Semi class World Record!
SPORTSMAN CLASS WINNER
Robin Ridgway has traveled across the country more than once while chasing after that 1st elusive win in the Sportsman class. We first saw Robin on the track back in 2010 at the Indiana Diesel Shootout, since then she has made several appearances to semi finals and even finals at various tracks over the past decade. President Randy Cole felt this was her year and event put #2023winnercircle on one of her posts that stated she was traveling all the way from her home town of Lafayette Indiana to Chandler Arizona for Desert Diesel Nationals. Robin was super consistent all day long with great reaction times and running really close to her dial time. In the Finals she had .095 reaction and pushed here competitor to break out and she took her very 1st win in the NHRDA - HOTSHOTS Secret drag racing series.
Congratulations on winning the Sportsman Class , sponsored by Copper Head Diesel at the 2023 Desert Diesel Nationals.
SUPER DIESEL WINNER
Spencer Schulte of Darkside Diesel LLC left his home town of Wilder Idaho and started the 985 mile drive to Chandler Arizona, that gave him plenty of time to get his game plan together for the Super Diesel Class. 1st off have good reaction times and second run as close to that 7.70 index without breaking out. Spencer fought his way thru eliminations and found him self coming up against the 4 time national champ Scott Mckinstry in the finals at the Desert Diesel Nationals. Schulte did not break under the pressure and cut .069 to Mckinstry .285 reaction and ran it out the back door on 7.88 et to take his very 1st win in the HOTSHOTS SECRECT 2023 Drag racing series.
Look out for Spencer as he said we will be at most of the NHRDA 2023 events and has his sights on a National Championship in the ARP - Super Diesel Class.
6.70 INDEX WINNER
Alex Plummer probably had the best day at the track of all the competitors at the Desert Diesel Nationals. Alex not only battled thru 4 rounds of eliminations to win the Smeding Diesel 6.70 Index class but he also proposed to his girlfriend Krista live on Diesel TV and yes she did say Yes. In the final round Plummer ran 6.74 on the 6.70 index to take the win.
When asked now that you are leading the National points chase of 6.70 index what other events will he be attending and he said stay tuned to Diesel TV and find out.
SUPER STREET (5.90) WINNER
Brandon Wood showed up with his super cool 1995 mustang at the DDN and yes it does have a diesel in it. Tier One Transmission sponsored the Super Street (5.90 index) class that Woods also works at during the week but on the weekends his job role turns into drag racing one of the coolest cars on the NHRDA circuit.
Brandon said they are still working out bugs and will have it dialed in by the time the World Finals comes in September in Texas. So watch out for Wood and his 95 Mustang in the HOT SHOTS SECRET drag racing series.
PRO STREET WINNER
The KC Turbo pro street truck was piloted by Foster Evans at the DDN, but in qualifying they spun the tires and did get not get full pass under power. After having talk with track officials they wanted to make track prep and conditions were correct to hold the power to they were trying to lay down.
After looking over data from previous runs it was time for the last qualifying pass and they went 5.65et at 122.05mph and in the finals laid down another good pass 5.79et at 125.68mph to take the win in the 2023 Desert Diesel Nationals.
BIG RIG BRACKET WINNER
Chops-Rick Hernandez from San Antonia, Texas came to Desert Diesel Nationals with his beautiful 2001 Peterbilt semi truck and entered into the 10-4 Magazine Big Rig Bracket Class. Hernandez had really good reaction times all day long and was running low 14 second passes in the 1/4 mile and took home the win in big rig bracket class. Then later in the day he entered the Sled pulling competition and had an amazing 397 foot pull.
Hernandez wants to let Big Rig drivers know that anyone can enter the big rig bracket class and if you need any help just ask him or Randy Cole president of the NHRDA and they will explain how to race in this class.
Looking forward to seeing Chops-Rick Hernandez at our next upcoming event the NOR CAL DIESEL NATIONALS on May 19-20 in Redding California.
SHOW N SHINE COMBO WINNER
Pickett Custom Trucks Combo class had over 40 entries in the Show n Shine contest at the Desert Diesel Nationals in Chandler Arizona and again voting was done by the spectators and Cole Barbieri from Ukiah, California in his stunning 2023 Peterbilt took home the win and the mammoth trophy back home to his family in California.
SHOW N SHINE BOBTAIL WINNER
Tony Franco from Oxnard California brought his beautiful 2015 Peterbilt to the Pickett Custom Trucks, Bobtail class show n shine at the 2023 Desert Diesel Nationals. Voting was by the spectators at the event and Franco won by a narrow margin. Congratulations to Tony Franco.
LIMITED PRO STOCK WINNER
Matthew Orsetti and his truck Purple Haze made the drive from Hollister California to Chandler Arizona in hopes of becoming the 2023 Desert Diesel National champion. Orsetti drew the number one position and pulled 1st in the NHRDA limited pro stock diesel class. Purple haze put down a 330.3 foot pull and that was enough to take the win as the closest competition truck Thunderstruck pulled 321.09. Next up Oresetti will be headed to the NHRDA Nor Cal Diesel Nationals on May 19-20 in Redding California and he hopes to extend his lead in the nationals points race in the limited pro stock class.