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  • A Weekend on the Edge: Rocky Mountain Raceway Salt Lake City, Utah

A Weekend on the Edge: Rocky Mountain Raceway Salt Lake City, Utah

Two days of fun and burning rubber

Gary Wescott
May 31, 2005
As the twin-turbo 1100-horsepower engine pushed its 2500 pound-feet of torque through the modified Lenco transmission, tires spun and caught, and the Wolverine streaked past the Christmas tree. Dense black smoke billowed in the air, mixed with the smell of burning rubber. The roar sent shock waves across the shimmering asphalt in the 100-degree F. heat at the Rocky Mountain Raceway outside Salt Lake City, Utah. Once a year, Edge Products, a designer and manufacturer of diesel-fuel-management computer upgrades/chips, invites owners of diesel-powered trucks and SUVs to test their power and driving skills on the track.

What we were witnessing was the inaugural test run of a "Pro Stock" diesel drag truck designed and built by Edge Products to graphically demonstrate the company's dedication to engineering and performance, and to give people a taste of the enormous potential possible by applying modern technology to a farm-bred diesel engine. No ordinary pickup, the Wolverine's tube-frame chassis was fabricated by famous NHRA car builder Jerry Bickel. While the motor's based on a 5.9-liter Cummins six-cylinder diesel from a 2004 Dodge truck, only the block is factory-issue. "When something breaks, we can't run over to Pep Boys and get replacement parts," explains Paul Lehman, Edge CEO.
Photo 2/5   |   Ford F350 Passenger Side View
Although the engine setup is proprietary, driver Keith Lockliear lays out its underlying theory in lay terms: "We stuff a bunch of fuel to the engine, figure out how to feed it even more fuel, then play with the turbo and boost 'til we get what we call 'mega-mental' amounts of air and boost to burn all that fuel." Tongue-in-cheek, Lehman adds, "And it gets 20 mpg in the process."
Lockliear is the Wolverine's sole driver. In fact, the seat's carbon-fiber shell was form-fitted to his body. "If this weren't a diesel-powered truck, I'd have to say that driving it is a gas," Lockliear deadpans. As this exotic drag truck gets dialed in, it will appear at selected events, making occasional exhibition passes.
Photo 3/5   |   Ford F350 Rear View
During the evening, the Wolverine wowed the crowd with a few test-and-tune passes. The truck's characteristic diesel rattle at idle quickly gave way to the jet-engine sounds of its exotic twin-turbo system spooling up. Producing a classified amount of boost, the engine ejected the intake hose off the top turbo housing before midtrack on its first run. Even so, the truck coasted to a best e.t. of 11.03 seconds at 91 mph. Further inspections revealed that the massive amounts of power actually caused the turbo housing to rotate on its mounts. (A best 60-foot time of 1.3 seconds hints at this vehicle's true potential.)
Thirteen months in the making, this top-secret project was conceptualized in early 2003. "Most people said the sheer weight and mass of a diesel engine--about 1100 pounds--would keep the truck from getting anywhere near Pro Stock-type times. We accepted this challenge," says Lehman.

Incidentally, the Wolverine is named after the only native North American mammal that eats snakes, an inside joke aimed at the Banks Sidewinder. Rumor has it that the Wolverine may make an assault on the Bonneville Salt Flats sometime in the future.
Photo 4/5   |   2002 Duramax 2500 Driver Side Rear View
As the race night continued, trucks from as far away as Texas lined up to the start line. There were complete amateurs driving totally stock trucks, and some professional setups running nitrous and L.P. injection systems. An interesting example of the latter class was Chad Simper's 2002 blue Duramax 2500. Modifications included a Van Aken computer module, aFe Stage II intake, four-inch MagnaFlow exhaust, Sun Coast reworked Allison transmission with a billet torque converter and HD clutch packs, HD valve bodies, a Nitrous Express nitrous system, and a Powershot 2000 propane-injection system. Chad said he didn't activate those for this event, but he still took the best times of the day with a 14.100 and 14.505 in the Open Class. He said his ultimate goal is high 11s. When we left at midnight, they were still burning rubber.
Photo 5/5   |   163 0501 Edge08 Z
Back at the Edge facility the next day, dozens of diesel trucks had arrived for the fun of complementary testing on Edge's two dynos. A Show-N-Shine with some nice prizes and a great barbecue made it a family affair. We all left with the impression that Edge was leading the industry in the development of diesel-fuel-management computer upgrades and that the company certainly knew how to treat its customers.
For information on next year's Weekend on the Edge, call Edge Products or check the Web site.
About the Wolverine
Project goal: Build the world's quickest diesel-powered vehicle
Estimated horsepower: 1100+
Estimated torque: 2500+ pound-feet
Target e.t.: 6.5 sec
Best 0-to-60 (launch) time: 1.3 sec

Vehicle: Full-size drag truck with Jerry Bickel Race Cars' custom-built tube frame
Engine:Edge/Diesel Dynamics highly modified 2004 Dodge Cummins 5.9-liter diesel
Aspiration: Turbocharged (boost level classified)
Maximum EGT: 1450 degrees
Transmission: Yes (it's secret)
Rearend: Yes (also secret)
Safety equipment: Stroud harness and parachute, Halon on-board fire suppressant
Steering: Jerry Bickel
Suspension: Bickel/Koni coil-over shocks
Brakes: Strange steel vented discs
Tires: Goodyear 26x4.5/15 (front), Goodyear Pro Mod 34.5x17.0/16 (rear)
Wheels: Weld 15x3.5-in Aluma-Star (front) Weld 16x16-in Aluma-Star Double Bead-Loc (rear)
Body: Fiberglass full-size Dodge Ram shortbed
Paint design: Greg Ozubko
Painter: Jerry Bickel Race Cars
Paint: House of Kolor
Edge Wolverine Race Team:
Keith Lockliear, driver
Lawrence Bolton, head engineer
Mike Cary
Lewis "Dale Jr." Hilliard
Joe Donnelly
Cord Reynolds
Cade Reynolds

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