PURE AND SIMPLE
FIRE PUNK DIESEL KEEP SIT CLASSIC WITH THEIR 8TH ANNUAL DIRT DRAG EVENT
Firepunk Diesel keeps it classic with their 8th annual dirt drags
Racing on the dirt has been in our blood since the days of horse-drawn chariots. It's pure and simple fun, and Firepunk Diesel has got this classic form of racing with a modern diesel twist down to a science. On September 4, 2017 (the end of the three-day Labor Day weekend), the Miller family and their Firepunk Diesel crew, along with plenty of volunteer help, put on their 8th annual Dirt Drag event at the Union County Fairgrounds in Plain City, Ohio. With six loaded classes of racers, a concrete pad for burnouts, a snowmobile attempting a speed record, plenty of good eats and even a foot race, 2017 was meant to be something special.
Soon after the fairgrounds opened up and the track was thoroughly prepped by the KH Excavating crew, KOI Drag Racing and Firepunk got the open test-and-tune passes flying. These test sessions give everyone a chance to feel the rush of racing and the Ohio motorsport fans were able to see vehicles from front-wheel-drive sedans, lifted 4x4 trucks and customized rat rods all the way to dirt bikes riding wheelies the whole way down the track! But of course the coal-rolling diesels had the spotlight, many of which are driven by locals who’ve frequented this event for the better part of a decade. Between the racing excitement, G-tacos and Miller’s Olde Fashioned Ice Cream provided the growing crowd plenty of grub and refreshment.
By early afternoon, the family friendly event was ready to get the racers to the lines. Originally they planned to run five classes, but with racer input the Firepunk team opted to add an Index class to the mix as well. With Firepunk’s typical run-who-you-draw race orders, the action
began. Pass after pass pounded the dirt as the racers clamored towards the finals and the eager fans piled into the stands and truck beds along the track. With the sun still hovering a bit over the horizon, some of the class finals began to line up.
The first class to decide its champion was the 2Wd/manual class, which came down to Caleb Wallace in an old Civic against John Moore in his blue extended cab Dodge Dakota. By halfway down the track, Moore had pulled a length on the Honda and continued on by for the class win. Soon after, the Open class wrapped up, ending with Mike Near and his rat rod of an old orange pickup taking a bye run for the class overall.
In between runs and cool downs, the Firepunk crew didn’t let a lull set in. With vendors donating great prizes like a Snap-on bicycle, the raffle had the crowd’s attention. Early in the day a group signed up for another dirt drag race…but this time on foot. In between some of the truck classes were oodles of young quad racers as well. And of course an event that became a solid tradition last year is the burnout competition held on a small slab of concrete nearby the drag strip. With tire smoke, diesel smoke, and plumes of dirt in the air, what more could you ask for to close out the Labor Day weekend?
Just as the sun started creeping in beneath the horizon, the last four classes were lined up for back-to-back class finals. First up was the Modified Diesel class with James Mckee and Adam Orewiler in their 3rd gen Cummins-powered Dodge Rams
battling it out. Their race ended up as one of the closest of the event’s, being decided by just onetenth of a second. Mckee muscled his way to the top of the podium with his silver Ram to take the Modified class win. Gathered from the average speeds of the group, the Index class was set in the high fives for the dirt drag track. Ryan Hostetler and Tony Johnson cut great lights and kept just inside the ET cap to make their way into the final. Johnson took the win for the class, beating his rival by just over a tenth of a second.
The Stock and Street Diesel classes were all that remained to reveal who would be champion. Up first was Sam Gable’s standard cab Ford Power Stroke versus Tim Robinson’s crew cab Chevy Duramax to fight for the Stock class overall. Gable motored by with two-tenths of a second and 4 mph on Robinson for the win. In the Street class, Adam Orewiler fought his way into another class final and was hoping to take his black Dodge Ram to the top this time as he lined up against Kevin Frey in his maroon 3rd gen Ram. Racing for redemption, Orewiler took the win and came away as the Street Diesel champ.
After a solid day filled with tearing down the dirt and the occasional rubber roast on the concrete, the 2017 Dirt Drags came to a successful close. Year after year the Firepunk crew and many willing volunteers work hard to deliver a modern classic with the grassroots dirt drags and family friendly environment. As if the promise of diesel smoke and dirt flying high wasn’t enough to excite your performance diesel senses, all the crew’s hard work is done to support a charity. Between the nearly 1,000 spectators, the race entries and the raffle, the drags were able to raise $12,000 for the Hope Center. UDBG
The first of the finals came down to John Moore and Caleb Wallace, with Moore’s blue Dodge Dakota taking the class overall.
Between G-tacos’ food and Miller’s Ice Cream’s dessert, the lines never died down and the crowds never went hungry.
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The custom trophies were on display for five of the six classes (there was not an Index class trophy since it was added on race day) as an added incentive to win. Some were fabricated from extra sets of mounts machined for Lavon Miller’s Ucc-winning...
This modified dirt-ready snowmobile put on a show with some high-speed exhibition passes in between test-and-tune runs, coming close to his goal of beating a world record.
Even during the morning test-and-tune session the action was intense right away with trucks putting the power to the dirt and flying down the track.
Adam Orewiler took his black Dodge Ram into both the Modified Diesel and Street Diesel class finals, coming away with the Street Diesel win in this final race.
As the Index classes often end up, this final was a close call between Tony Johnson and Ryan Hostetler, where Johnson came out on top of the Duramax battle by less than a tenth of a second.
Sam Gable nosed his Power Stroke ahead of Tim Robinsons Chevy to take the class victory for the Stock Diesel group.