HRJ’s Picks: 46th Pepsi NightFire Nationals 2017

Firebird Raceway, Boise, Idaho
August 10-13

By James Cox


1 Jason Rupert “Rolling Thunder”

Goes off at 2 to 1. The Sons of Nitro are staying on the west coast this year. IHRA is not running nitro cars in their programs this year. Jason and the Nitronaughts are going to assault Firebird like the days of old. They are going to answer the call to get the track record back that they owned for over 7 years. It isn’t going to be easy, but these SoCal boys cab rumble.

2 Ryan Hodgson “ Pacemaker”

Big Ryan is good on the tree and good on the top end. This car has it all. Nothing is spared. At the March Meet, the biggest thing was that it was running as hard as it did without shedding parts. I got a look at the bearings coming out of the car…perfect! Seems like every race, Ron finds something new to add to the crew, or car, to keep it running hard.

3 Mike McEntire “MacAttack”

They lit it up at the weed patch. They rolled hard…or, in cowboy terms, they were riding High Wide and Handsome…..they have a great car and are getting under the tune. So if past performances are any indication they are going to roam the west like a cannonball. The real question is can Mike ride the windshield and play the guitar like Lonesome Willy?

4 Bobby Cottrell “Northwest Hitter”

Big Bobby is new to the ranks of the flip top boys and we are not talking about Marlboros in a box. He picked it up and turned some numbers in testing. The car was almost destroyed at Bakersfield in the final round. Deal is, it is pretty much a new car; new body, and tired crew. Bucky and the boys worked into the thin hours to get it all back together. Bobby is said to have been turning some legendary numbers in testing. And for that guy, sitting on the fence, you clock horses with stop watches, not funny cars.

5 Steven Densham “Teachers Pet”

Big Steve and Dad are always “in the area of” being the top dog–if they are in fact not. The formula for this hot rod is simple: pour on the nitro and pour on the big-time motor. This car is like the big bad older brother to all the floppers. It might run a bit off now and then…..okay scratch that ….make that hardly ever. When big brother gets mad, all anyone will see is the back side of the chutes.

6 Chris Davis “Old School Nitro”

I love these guys. They are getting it done. Last year was their first year with this car. It does run run run…they went their fastest ever at the patch. They are doing it right. They are bringing it along slow and perfect…well okay, there was that thing….(I promised them I wouldn’t mention that….most likely I made it up anyway). We are going to see some numbers to this car. It is fun seeing the Davis Pro Shop guys win. It is fun just seeing them run…they have the spirit! (humming spirit in the sky).

7 Dan Horan “Digger Dan Patriot”
8 Cameron Ferre “Happy Hour”
8 Michael Peck “California Hustler”
9 Rich Townsend Nitrohalic
10 Bill Windham “Shakedown”
11 Scott Stanger Bad manners
12 Wally Giavia “G-Men”
13 Jon Rice “Nitro Spud”
14 Marc Meadors “Good Times”