Pepsi Nightfire Nationals - A thirty-nine year tradition
BOISE, ID – It all started as a simple notion. Bring the best Funny Cars in the country to western Idaho for an event that showcases the magical sights `n sounds of dramatic header flames and nitro-methane under the lights. By no surprise, the combination of putting together the two elements of night and fire gained instant fascination. This was the beginning of the famed Nightfire title.
Some may have borrowed upon this original Nightfire namesake, but none have duplicated the originality or uniqueness. If Webster’s were to add it to their dictionary, you’d certainly see it described by phrases like: Idaho’s premiere motorsport’s event; the “signature event” of Firebird Raceway in western Idaho featuring three days and nights of nitro under the lights.
Nearly thirty-nine years ago, the featured nitro sharpshooters would’ve included the likes of “the King”, “the Ace”, “the Action Man”, “the Green Elephant”, and a guy by the name of Twig Zeigler, the talented shoe who won that coveted first Nightfire 500 title. In later years, the race would attract everyone from “the Snake” to the “the Mongoose”, even “Brute Force”, yes, the original nickname of drag racing dynamo John Force, a multiple Nightfire victor. “Jungle Jim” raced at the Nightfire, so did the “Teacher’s Pet”, and the legendary “Blue Max” driven by both Tharp and Beadle. And through the decades quite a wide range of categories have stepped onto center-stage, including everything from Fuel Altereds to Top Fuel Dragsters; Pro Mods to Alcohol Funny Cars, Jets to injected nitro Funny Cars, and many others.
Proud to be aligned with the NHRA Hot Rod Heritage Series since it first formed three years ago, this year’s Pepsi Nightfire Nationals truly has all the makings of one fabulous weekend of spectacular thrills and guaranteed excitement. No question, it will feature the biggest field of professional stars of the entire season at Firebird, but perhaps even the largest in track history. For thirty-nine consecutive years, the magical fuel known as Nitro has been a staple of the Nightfire in the foothills northwest of Idaho’s capital city of Boise. Nightfire, Nitro and the New Crew continue to embrace the essence behind one of this nation’s long-standing independent major events.
From the World Series in Cordova to the March Meet in Bakersfield, both steeped in history and tenure, the Nightfire is also very proud and honored to carry on fuel racing throughout all these years.
When August 13th-15th arrives, Firebird will be staging a pair of 16-car qualified fields for both AA/Funny Car and AA/Fuel Dragster. In addition, an open 8-car field of Outlaw Pro Modified blown and nitrous doorslammers will be competing for a Nightfire crown, too.
Qualifying for this year’s race will be a double-throwdown affair. Qualifying will take place at 7 pm on both Friday and Saturday nights (plus an optional session at 1 pm on Saturday afternoon). First round of eliminations will kick off at 1 pm on Sunday afternoon. Professional eliminations will continue Sunday afternoon and evening at 4 pm, 6:30 pm, and 9 pm)
No different than the first handful of years, this year’s Nightfire will showcase a whole wide-range of colorful names or better yet—nicknames. We just love the originality and creative flair of the majority of teams coming this year. To us, the naming of a fuel car is synonymous with any of your favorite NFL franchises. You know what were talkin’ about – right? The Bears, Jets, Chiefs, Rams, Seahawks, Steelers, Forty-Niners, Raiders, and many others - this really gives all of us as fans a chance to sink our teeth into these catch phrases or team monikers. Some might be better than others, but you truly get an opportunity to develop a love – dislike relationship with each and every team.
In the Heritage Series, the names have really come out of the woodwork. How can you not love many of the teams pre-registered into the Nightfire weekend. Knicknames like: “Nitro Thunder”, “WW2”, “Teacher’s Pet”, “Man-O-War”, “Plueger & Gyger”, “Vegas Heat”, “the Joker”, “Nitro Boss”, “Pedaler”, “L.A. Hooker”, “War Horse”, “Northwest Hitter”, “Birky Bunch”, “Nitro Cowboy”, “Troy Lee Designs”, “Candies & Hughes”, “Code Red”, “High Speed”, “Bartone Bros.”, “Pizza Haven”, “Mr. Explosive”, “White & Neal”, and the list goes on and on. All of these add to the drama and intrigue above and beyond the race itself.
In case you couldn’t tell by now, the Firebird management and staff are totally jacked about this year’s Pepsi Nightfire.
Don’t procrastinate—order your tickets today by calling 208 938-8986. Another option would be to stop into any participating NAPA Auto Parts store or Les Schwab tires to pick up advance discount tickets.
It’s almost time to rumble in the Treasure Valley foothills. Get your tickets today and be a part of history August 13th thru 15th.