Scott McKinstry 2016 NHRDA Sportsman Points Champion
Scott McKinstry began the 2016 NHRDA Diesel Drag Racing Season with two main goals - to win the championship in the Super Diesel class and defend the championship he won in Sportsman in 2015.
Based in Haltom City Texas, just north of Ft. Worth, Scott's season got underway at his home track at the season opening Texas Diesel Nationals at the Texas Motorplex in Ennis.
He then made the drive out to Phoenix Arizona for the Desert Diesel Nationals and won the Sportsman title. Scott swept the table in the Sportsman category, qualifying number one, and defeating Robin Ridgway in the final round for his first win of the new season.
Scott followed his first two races with several runner-up finishes and just missing another win at the race in Denver where he lost a very close race to Arik Frost, by just a few hundredths of a second.
At the Midwest Truckin' Nationals in St. Louis Scott won again, besting the top five competitors in the points chase in the process, as they had all come to Gateway Motorsports Park to try and slow down his march to the championship. In the final found he defeated Robin Ridgway for the 2nd time of the season with a 12.319 to Ridgway's 16.22, his quicker reaction time once again proving to be a deciding factor. McKinstry has consistently had some of the best reaction times in the class.
McKinstry then went up to Oregon for the Pacific Coast Diesel Nationals, but struggled at the event at Woodburn Dragstrip, then it was on to the Big Sky Truck Fest in Montana to defend his number one spot against tough competitors Verlon Southwick, Ridgway and Sarah Buhidar.
All the effort paid off at the World Finals where his now comfortable points lead was enough to win the Sportsman National Points Championship for the 2nd year in a row. Besides being one of the best starting line "leavers" in the class, Scott also won all but one of the final rounds he was in for the season.
After he claimed the title, Scott spent a few minutes with NHRDA & Diesel TV commentator Scott Heaton -
We had a few minutes to chat with Scott a week or so after the World Finals, and ask him about his 2016 season.
"We drove a lot of miles." he said. "I tell guys in the office it's not a vacation, it's a "race-cation" when we go. I work 50-70 hours a week to make sure I've got money to travel. Sportsman is the toughest class in the NHRDA; each race also has their tough hometown guys that run really well too."
When we asked Scott what race was his most memorable of the 2016 season he commented "Definitely St. Louis. It was my daughters first time to travel to an event with me. She got to be crew chief for dad the first time, and we won the event. That was a very special race."
McKinstry's sponsors include Nitrous Outlet, Drag Life Racegear, Wright Brothers Customs, Pro1 Autosports, G&J Diesel, Clark Brothers Paint & Body, Monkeyshine Speed Shop, Afco Drag shocks, ATS Diesel, Hansen Race Cars, Precision Wraps, and Diesel Dynamics. He specifically wanted to thank the guys at Texas based Nitrous Outlet for their support. "Dave Vasser, Brian Havins and Scott Wilshire have been very supportive. I couldn't have done it without them."
He has big plans for Super Diesel next year as he has teamed up with G&J Diesel, who are going to build him a new engine for the 2017 season. In fact his truck is on its way to G&J next week to get the new power plant installed.
Scott will be looking for a 3rd consecutive championship in Sportsman next year, and will be chasing the title in the Super Diesel Category as well.