Emerald Coast Dragway Hosts the Second Annual Hardway Sunshine Showdown
Fun in the Sun
The Outlaw Diesel Super Series' Hardway Sunshine Showdown takes place every September at the Emerald Coast Dragway in Holt, Florida. The intense Florida sun and high humidity make daytime temperatures less than ideal for drag racing, as triple-digit track temperatures have been recorded. So, in an effort to subjecting drivers, vehicles, track officials and fans to extreme heat, the start of each day's festivities were pushed back to the evening, when racing conditions are more ideal.
The Hardway Sunshine Showdown is the second-to-last stop in the 2019 OD SS race schedule. With the season quickly coming to an end, the Showdown is a crucial race for many competitors. The points earned here could make a difference between winning or losing a class championship.
Jared Jones, the lone Flo-Pro Performance Exhaust Pro Dragster competitor, ran the Scheid Diesel Motorsports dragster down the track on his final pass in 4.13 seconds at 178.16 mph. The win helped him secure the points needed for the championship.
The SunCoast Diesel Transmissions Pro Mod class has been the one to watch throughout the season. Heated fender-to-fender battles in vehicles that seem to get faster every time they stage. At the 2018 Sunshine Showdown, we saw Ben Shadday make a record-breaking pass of 4.68 seconds at 150 mph (breaking his own record of 4.712 seconds at 155 mph) in his '06 Dodge Ram. If that wasn't enough excitement, Larson Miller broke the record three more times in the same weekend, setting a final high mark of 4.47 seconds at 167 mph.
One year later, those record runs seem slow. Larson's final pass was 4.35 seconds at 172 mph against Ben to take the Pro Mod win. As for the points race, Rawlings Barnes had the lead coming into the event, but Larson's win will make it a tight battle going into the last round at Rudy's Fall Truck Jam.
All of the ODSS classes had great turnouts and the racing was top notch. Johnny Gilbert has been going strong in the Hot Shot's Secret Pro Street class all season. But he red lighted in the final, allowing Derek Rose to take the win. Mindy Jackson has been turning heads in her rookie season, making consistent fast passes in Firepunk Diesel Outlaw 5.90 Index. She is in the hunt for a championship, but a win wasn't meant to be this time around with the Final round contested between Paul Cato and Rick Fox. Paul took the automatic win after Rick left early (red light).
The Maryland Performance Diesel 6.70 Index class saw Landon Miller take the win, while in the ever-competitive ATS Diesel Performance/Diesel Power Magazine 7.70 Index eliminator, Ryan Riddle scored another victory in his quest for back-to-back class titles. Jamo Performance Exhaust E.T. Bracket always has a large field of competitors with a broad range of vehicles. Nick Morris and Ken Phillps worked their way through the field into the Final round, where Nick took the win.
Hardway Performance put together a great ODSS event at Emerald Coast Dragway. The facility is very nice, well organized, and spacious. And the crew from Total Venue Concepts kept the track in prime condition, even with temperature well above 125 degrees.
|Jamo Performance Exhaust E.T. Bracket||NAME||HOMETOWN||BRAND||E.T.||MPH|
|Winner||Nick Morris||Goshen, OH||'07 Chevrolet||9.395||89.66||Breakout 9.33|
|Runner-Up||Ken Phillips||West Molton, OH||'06 Dodge||7.7||77.54|
|Diesel Power/ATS Diesel Performance 7.70 Index||NAME||HOMETOWN||BRAND||E.T.||MPH|
|Winner||Ryan Riddle||Belfontaire, OH||'07 Dodge||7.744||85.83|
|Runner-Up||Devin Ratliff||Cashion, OK||'05 Dodge||7.765||87.07|
|Maryland Performance Diesel 6.70 Index||NAME||HOMETOWN||BRAND||E.T.||MPH|
|Winner||Landon Miller||Plain City, OH||'07 Dodge||6.794||98.4|
|Runner-Up||Zach Pierce||Waxhaw, NC||'03 Ford||6.846||102.22|
|Firepunk Diesel Outlaw 5.90 Index||NAME||HOMETOWN||BRAND||E.T.||MPH|
|Winner||Paul Cato||Royalton, IL||'01 Dodge||5.925||110.15|
|Runner-Up||Rick Fox||Columbus, OH||'02 Dodge||5.877||117.7||Red|
|Hot Shot's Secret Pro Street||NAME||HOMETOWN||BRAND||E.T.||MPH|
|Winner||Derek Rose||Casco, MI||'06 Dodge||5.343||135.26|
|Runner-Up||Johnny Gilbert||Middlebury, IN||'01 Dodge||5.275||145.91||-.003 Red|
|SunCoast Diesel Transmissions Pro Mod||NAME||HOMETOWN||BRAND||E.T.||MPH|
|Winner||Larson Miller||West Jefferson, OH||'00 Chevrolet||4.385||172.31|
|Runner-Up||Ben Shadday||Osgood, IN||'06 Dodge||13.118||29.6|
|Flo-Pro Performance Exhaust Pro Dragster||NAME||HOMETOWN||BRAND||E.T.||MPH|
|Winner||Jared Jones||Terra Haute, IN||'16 Spitzer||4.139||178.16|
An important part of racing in the Florida's heat is maintaining proper vehicle temperatures. Racers use canopies, tire covers, fans, and other creative ways to make sure tires, engines, and vehicles are kept cool for the best performance possible.
Gregg Jolly from ODSS presented each of the race winners with a trophy.