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  • Emerald Coast Dragway Hosts the Second Annual Hardway Sunshine Showdown

Emerald Coast Dragway Hosts the Second Annual Hardway Sunshine Showdown

Fun in the Sun

John Lehenbauer
Jan 13, 2020
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.
Photo 2/37   |   The Suncoast Diesel Transmissions Pro Mod class lines up for qualifying runs in the cool of the afternoon. Competitors in this class have been battling hard all season with the points championship coming down to the final two races of the season.
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.
Photo 3/37   |   There was a great lineup of companies in the vendor midway.
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.

Friday evening's qualifying gave the professional drivers a chance to dial-in their rigs. Tire-smoking burnouts are standard.

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.
Photo 8/37   |   008 Second Annual Hardway Sunshine Showdown
Photo 9/37   |   The track crew worked diligently to make sure the racing surface was in the best condition possible.
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.

ODSS Results

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
Runner-Up
Photo 10/37   |   Competitors converged on the gazebo by the staging lanes for the drivers meeting on Saturday, before the action got under way.
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.
Photo 14/37   |   Here is a quick glance at Ben Shadday's Suncoast Diesel Transmission Pro Mod '06 Dodge Ram.
Photo 15/37   |   015 Second Annual Hardway Sunshine Showdown
Photo 16/37   |   The Jamo Performance Exhaust E.T. Bracket class always has a broad range of diesel-powered entrants.
Photo 17/37   |   017 Second Annual Hardway Sunshine Showdown

Plenty of awesome trucks were on display in Saturday's Show and Shine.

Photo 22/37   |   As the sun set, the on-track action was just heating up. Maryland Diesel Performance 6.70 Index racers like Susan Soga and Dorian Reyna don't hold back during qualifying.
Photo 23/37   |   023 Second Annual Hardway Sunshine Showdown
Photo 24/37   |   024 Second Annual Hardway Sunshine Showdown
Photo 25/37   |   025 Second Annual Hardway Sunshine Showdown
Photo 26/37   |   026 Second Annual Hardway Sunshine Showdown
Photo 27/37   |   027 Second Annual Hardway Sunshine Showdown
Photo 28/37   |   028 Second Annual Hardway Sunshine Showdown
Photo 29/37   |   In ATS Diesel Performance/Diesel Power Magazine 7.70 Index it came down to Ryan Riddle (near lane) and Devin Ratliff in the Final round.
Photo 30/37   |   Johnny Gilbert was a little too quick on the 'tree and lit the red light, giving Derek Rose an automatic win in the Hot Shot's Secret Pro Street class.
Photo 31/37   |   Suncoast Diesel Transmissions Pro Mod came down to Ben Shadday and Larson Miller in the Final. Larson took the win with a blazing fast 4.38-second pass at 172 mph.
Photo 32/37   |   Landon Miller beat out Zach Miller for the win in the Maryland Diesel Performance 6.70 Index.
Gregg Jolly from ODSS presented each of the race winners with a trophy.

Sources

Outlaw Diesel Super Series
http://outlawdiesels.com

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