Nightfire Nationals at Boise, Idaho

Smaller Fields Make for Closer Racing

Tony Bartone won what may be his last Nightfire Nationals in a dragster.

In today’s economic climate to have a company that has been open, running and successful for ten to fifteen years is a wonderful accomplishment. So a business that has been able to weather the ups and downs of the economic climate for forty-five years and still be successful is almost unheard.

After doing something for nearly a half century one gains a great deal of knowledge, but can become susceptible to complacency. It happens it is human nature.

However, this really hasn’t been the case of the Nightfires; it seems as though the track management team has figured out the right combination of tradition and changing things up to keep it seem new and fresh.

This year as an example, there was a command decision made to take all the professional fields down to eight cars each. Some may have seen this as a possible sign of weakness in the classes of cars, but it had the opposite effect like pruning a tree or a bush so it comes back stronger and healthier.

With having eight-car fields it made the fields stronger, and healthier, which was good for the racers, more importantly it was better for the fans. Throughout qualifying and eliminations, the fans saw spectacular racing, close side-by-side racing. This is why the fans come to see a nostalgia drag racing event: good racing.


Friday evening, Aug. 12, when the first professional qualifying session rolled around the staging lanes were full of cars and the stands full of excited fans waiting to see what the nitro teams could do with the conditions that were presented to them.