Boise, Idaho - 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 Idaho’s 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 Bynum’s 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.

AA/Fuel Altered 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.

In addition, 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.

Text courtesy of Firebird Raceway and

Proof Reading, Bob Brown











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.










Ruskowski was 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.




Wittenberg 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 Motorsports fueler.







After a great 60' time the track would not hold the Shelar tune-up.












7:39 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 1000' hit.





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 two tries.





Paired next were Phil Ruskowski and Adam Sorokin.







Ruskowski waited a long time after the green to leave while Sorokin was long gone.






Ruskowski’s 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











Hilton improved his Q1 time with a 6.07 - 240.77.





Top Fuel Qualifying - Sessions 1 & 2 - 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




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