2005 All-Nissan Nationals
Monday, March 21, 2005
Posted by: Torry
TV COVERAGE BROADCAST: June 29th, 2005 on Speed TV at 8:00pm EST
I don’t even know where to begin. This past weekend was the biggest success of a meet that NICO has ever been a part of.
Friday we began the day by heading down to Firebird International Raceway to set up. We arrived shortly after the NOPI trailer had pulled in.Following us in was a line of semi’s sparkling with chrome and custom paintjobs. Summit Racing, Lucas Oil, Streetglow, and Ford were just a few of the many teams to show up. As we walked around the pits and stared at cars that have more power than dealership parking lots, we knew that this was the beginning of a very exciting weekend.
After we were set up at the track, we headed to TGIFriday’s for some dinner where we also met up with many of our members. It was a great chance to meet some new faces, grab some food after a long day, and of course, knock back a few Coronas (ok, maybe a lot). After dinner we went indoor go-carting, F1 style. It helped to prepare the mood for the upcoming events of the weekend.
Saturday morning began bright an early at 6am. As Brian, Rob, and I packed the coolers with beer, Fred was taking a shower. Greg and Ryan meanwhile, had already left for the track in Greg’s convertible 240SX. As soon as Fred was out of the shower, the rest of us headed down to the track in Greg’s Q45.
When we got to the track, we began setting up quickly. Gates opened at 8am, and soon we would see just what kind of turnout we were going to have. Cars began rolling in early. At about 9am, Brian and I opened our first beers to celebrate the success of the meet so far. There were many exciting Nissans and Infinitis there already. Darrin Forte’s G35, a 240Z GT2 SCCA car, and an old-school Z car with a full Ferrari body kit were among some of the favorites. The Ferrari-Z car was beautifully done, and to the unsuspecting eye, would pass as a Ferrari any day. Early in the afternoon, the Pro-Qualifying rounds started. Seeing a V-6 Cavalier runa 6.5@212 mph in the 1/4 mile helped get the day going. If you’ve never seen a car run that fast, it is truly unbelievable. That car makes an 8 second car look like a Yugo with pizza cutter tires. To give you an idea of the amount of fuel these cars run, we saw one car that running 3 1600cc injectors per runner. Another had 2 1900cc injectors per runner. Imagine a pressure washer pushing fuel into the cylinders.
After seeing some extremely fast runs on the strip, we didn’t think the weekend could have gotten any better. But when we headed back to the NICO tent, we were pleased to find SPEED TV’s camera crew setting up to interview Greg and do a photo shoot with his 240SX. Immediately following Greg’s interview, they proceeded to interview Darrin and do a photo shoot of his G35. The show is tentatively scheduled to be aired sometime in June. When the interviews were finished, we headed back to watch more racing. Summit was able to back up their first run by running another 6 second run at over 200 mph. A couple other cars managed to break the 200 mph mark as well. There were also a couple FWD cars that ran 7’s, which needless to say, is nothing less than impressive. Rain starting to roll in later Saturday night. As with any drag racing event, especially an NDRA event, safety comes first and the track was finished for the night. Luckily it would be clear skies the next day.
Sunday came around bright and early, at 5:30am. We were out shortly after 6 and headed back to the track. We were almost not looking forward to Sunday because it would not be possible to have more fun that we did on Saturday, which would be a disappointment. However, much to our surprise, Sunday proved to be an even better day. Except for the fact that my face nearly caught on fire because of sunburn, Sunday was perhaps the best day of my life. Like Saturday, we were at the track before anyone. This time by 7am. Just as they had done the day before, cars began coming in at 8am, about the same time that Brian and I cracked open our first beers for the day. As they entered the NICO parking area, we handed out ballots for the awards we would give out later that day. It was nice to see some cars come back that had not planned on returning, as well as some new cars that were not there the day before. Once again, cars filled the NICO parking area. Pro-Qualifying began early on Sunday due to the fact that rain shut down the track the night before. Some of the slower cars qualified next (you know, the ones that were only in the 10’s and 11’s), Pro-Eliminations followed. In between the races, we made our way back to the NICO booth to do some photo shoots. NOPI was kind enough to let us “borrow” their models. We took lots of pictures. Some of the pictures you may even be able to see a car behind them. What more couldyou ask for? We had it covered! A large group of Nissans, cars with 1000’s of horsepower driving down the track behind us, and the most beautiful girls there wearing skimpy outfits!
When the photos were finally done, we had drawn a huge crowd because of the models. It was a perfect time for everyone to begin their voting and turning in their ballots for the NICO awards we presented. We had 5 awards to present. The first award, for Best Nissan, went to Howard Kornblue for his 240Z. On the opposite end of the time era, Darrin Forte took the award for the Best Infiniti in his G35. Best 240SX went to Greg Childs, and Farthest Drive went to Ainsley Hyman, who had driven from New York City. The final award we presented was the Paul Souder Spirit & Enthusiasm Award. For those of you who do not know, Paul Souder was one of our moderators, and one of the initial members of NICO.He unfortunately passed away on 2/14/05. He had helped shape NICO into what it is today. Paul was the kind of guy that would go out of his way to help anyone. He never had an excuse for not helping, he simply showed up and helped out, just for his pleasure. We can only dream of having a world with more people like Paul. We decided to start an annual tradition of acknowledging members who have the same passion and ambition as Paul did, and we were honored to present this award to Dan Vogelsburg.
The weekend was long, but that is a good thing. I slept the entire way back on the airplane and dreamt of the great times we all had this weekend. It was an event that I’m glad I didn’t miss. It was an event that will definitely live on, year after year. Thank all of you who made it out there. It is you guys that make NICO happen.
Your NICO Staff
We’d Like to give a special thanks to our sponsors who helped us make this show happen.Thanks to Sport Compact Only, Custom Enterprise, Arizona Z-Car, Revolution Autowerks, Bolt-in Bars, and Reaction Research.
Contact Info: Torry