All eyes in the nostalgia world will shift their focus toward the capital city of Idaho when Firebird Raceway rolls out the red carpet for the 42nd edition of the Pepsi Nightfire Nationals. Set for Aug. 8-11, a strong turnout of racers is anticipated for the premier motorsports happening in the Treasure Valley foothills northwest of Boise, Idaho. Operated by the New family, the featured NHRA Hot Rod Heritage Racing Series points event will host a pair of open eliminators in Nostalgia Funny Car and Nostalgia Top Fuel.
The Nightfire event is steeped in history dating back to the first year in 1972. Twig Zeigler and Dale Armstrong scored Nightfire victories in the event’s inaugural year. Throughout the years, champions have included Don Prudhomme, Ed McCulloch, John Force, Gary Densham, Tom McEwen, and quite a variety of other top drivers and teams.
Leading the charge in the AA/Funny Car class will be the No. 1 team in Heritage points, Kris Krabill at the wheel of the Bucky Austin & Dennis O’Brien Northwest Hitter Trans Am. Krabill has won the last two major Firebird events and is attempting to pull off the three-peat. In AA/Fuel Dragster, one of the favorites will be Jim Murphy with his WW2 Top Fueler, which will be gunning for the top spot in the points standings. Murphy recently scored the title at the NHRA Motorsports Museum Holley National Hot Rod Reunion presented by AAA Insurance in Bowling Green, Ky. Reigning Nightfire champion Adam Sorokin will also contend in the Champion Speed Shop dragster campaigned by Bob McLennan. In Outlaw Pro Modified, defending Nightfire champion Dan Myers will drive the Don Carter supercharged '69 Camaro. Myers will lead a big field of blown and nitrous doorslammer competitors.
In addition, the Nightfire weekend will play host to the longest-running major bracket tournament in America (dating back to 1976), better known as the Bracketeer Series. Racers from 12 states and three Canadian provinces will compete for a purse topping $80,000 in guaranteed payout. The event will also include a four-day overall points series within the National Dragster Challenge. Daily champions in Bracketeer will pocket $5,000 to win Thursday, Friday, and Sunday, along with a $7,500 payday Saturday night.
More than three dozen professional racers will compete under the lights nightly, including qualifying at 7 p.m. Friday and 2 and 7 p.m. Saturday, followed by eliminations at 2 p.m. Sunday afternoon that will continue until nightfall. Tickets are available at the gates; for more information, log on to FirebirdOnline.com.