Exclusive Content
Original Shows, Motorsports and Live Events
Due to the EU’s Global Data Protection Regulation, our website is currently unavailable to visitors from most European countries. We apologize for this inconvenience and encourage you to visit www.motortrend.com for the latest on new cars, car reviews and news, concept cars and auto show coverage, awards and much more.MOTORTREND.COM
  • |
  • |
  • Eighth Annual Rudy’s Season Opener

Eighth Annual Rudy’s Season Opener

The More Things Change, the More They Stay the Same…

Chris Tobin
May 16, 2019
On April 26-27, 2019, the Rudy's Performance Parts Spring Truck Jam was hosted at Piedmont Dragway in Julian, North Carolina, for the eighth year in a row. The season-opening event has grown and grown over the years, and, despite having a terrible weather forecast for Friday, it drew more than 10,000 diesel-performance enthusiasts to the track this year.
Spectators were able to stroll through the vendor midway where many of the top manufacturers and shops in the diesel scene were on hand to show off their latest and greatest products. They also watched as nearly 80 trucks drove across the rollers of the Diesel Doctor mobile chassis dyno, where a few broke through the 1,000hp barrier, including top dog Nick Webb, whose rig delivered almost 1,100 horses with the assistance of ghetto-fogged nitrous oxide. There was even a concert Friday night, featuring the band Brothers Pearl playing a set of covers and original songs.
Photo 2/45   |   001 Rudys Season Opener Drone
001 Rudys Season Opener Drone
  |   From high above, you can see the scope of the Rudy's Performance Parts Spring Truck Jam held at Piedmont Dragway in Julian, North Carolina. Diesel competitors come from far and wide to put their trucks to the test and hope to start the season on a high note, while an estimated 10,000 spectators take in all the action.
But, of course, most of the spectators were there to see diesels blast down the dragstrip and drag the pulling sled. Despite Friday's weather forecast, there were still plenty of people on hand to see several trucks break into the 4-second e.t. zone during the first round of qualifying for racers in the Outlaw Diesel Super Series. Unfortunately, the predicted bad weather came through with high winds, lightning, and thunder accompanying a downpour that brought racing action on the eighth-mile to an end. Luckily, the rain stopped early enough in the afternoon for the sled-pull track to be whipped into shape.
Saturday's weather highlight was a nearly cloudless sky and comfortable temperature. ODSS officials condensed the two-day schedule and got racing underway. Throughout the day, Larson Miller and the Firepunk Diesel team set a new e.t. record in the SunCoast Diesel Transmissions Pro Mod Class and then proceeded to lower the bar further with a second pass of 4.276 seconds at 177.37 mph. Jared Jones and the Scheid Diesel Service crew also set a new speed record in the Flo-Pro Performance Exhaust Pro Dragster Class by buzzing through the eighth-mile traps at 185.26 mph.
Photo 3/45   |   002 Rudys Season Opener Shadday Launch
002 Rudys Season Opener Shadday Launch
  |   002 Rudys Season Opener Shadday Launch
On the sled-pull track, the Lucas Oil Pro Pulling League delivered a great surface to drag the sled over. Chad Perkins and Kent Crowder won Friday and Saturday night in the FASS Limited Pro Stock and ARP Super Stock Classes, respectively. In Pro Stock, Greg Strandlie and Norman Newswanger split the wins and losses for the night, with each driver finishing First, as well as last in the highly competitive class.
As it has in years past, Rudy's Season Opener set the stage for a great season to come, with exciting side-by-side racing, extremely fast passes, action, and excitement for the competitors and fans. On the pull track, fans were treated to great competition, with all six of the diesel truck victories over the weekend decided by less than 2 feet. The more things change, the more they stay the same, and we are looking forward to seeing great racing and pulling action throughout the 2019 season—so follow along for what is shaping up to be a wonderful ride!
Photo 4/45   |   003 Rudys Season Opener Firepunk Launch
003 Rudys Season Opener Firepunk Launch
  |   003 Rudys Season Opener Firepunk Launch

Show 'N' Shine Results

Best Dodge/Ram Cody Setere
Best GM Jonathan Barber
Best Ford Tommy Connar
Best Pro Build Christian Ritter

Dyno Results

Top Dodge/Ram Nick Webb '05 Dodge 2500 1,093 hp/1,909 lb-ft (nitrous)
Top GM Brandon Adcock '06 Chevy 2500 827 hp/1,584 lb-ft
Top Ford Kenneth Higgins '06 Ford F-350 732hp/1,133 lb-ft
Photo 5/45   |   004 Rudys Season Opener Fogger
004 Rudys Season Opener Fogger
  |   004 Rudys Season Opener Fogger

ODSS Results

JAMO Performance Exhaust ET Bracket NAME HOMETOWN BRAND E.T. MPH
Winner Kamron Burchette Colfax, NC '18 GMC 8.599 69.52 Dial 8.40
Runner-Up Adam Doan Dandridge, TN '72 Ford 8.482 94.37 Dial 7.69
ATS Diesel Performance/Diesel Power 7.70 Index NAME HOMETOWN BRAND E.T. MPH
Winner Isaac Blaess De Graff, OH '97 Dodge 7.723 81.46
Runner-Up Nick Morris Goshen, OH '05 GMC 7.714 90.74
Maryland Diesel Performance 6.70 Index NAME HOMETOWN BRAND E.T. MPH
Winner Josh Grahamm Pasadena, TX '09 Dodge 6.824 98.13
Runner-Up Zach Tucan Berkley, MA '02 Chevy 6.833 102.57
Firepunk Diesel Outlaw 5.90 NAME HOMETOWN BRAND E.T. MPH
Winner Paul Cato Royalton, IL '98 Dodge 6.217 94.02
Runner-Up McCoy Black Gold Hill, NC Ford 6.550 119.41
Hot Shot's Secret Pro Street NAME HOMETOWN BRAND E.T. MPH
Winner Emilio Blanco Miami, FL '05 Dodge 5.349 137.82
Runner-Up Johnny Gilbert Middlebury, IN '01 Dodge FOUL
SunCoast Diesel Transmissions Pro Mod NAME HOMETOWN BRAND E.T. MPH
Winner Ben Shadday Osgood, IN '06 Dodge 1500 4.850 141.39
Runner-Up Larson Miller West Jefferson, OH '00 Chevrolet FOUL
Flo-Pro Performance Exhaust Pro Dragster NAME HOMETOWN BRAND E.T. MPH
Winner Jared Jones Terre Haute, IN Spitzer Dragster 4.169 183.78
Runner-Up N/A
Photo 6/45   |   005 Rudys Season Opener Rain
005 Rudys Season Opener Rain
  |   The rain came and put a damper on the drag-racing action. Fortunately, many of us were able to seek shelter from the downpour under the cover of the 330' Cafe.

Lucas Oil Pro Pulling League Top Five Results Friday Night

FASS Limited Pro Diesel Trucks VEHICLE NAME HOMETOWN BRAND DISTANCE
First Perkins Diesel Chad Perkins Marshfield, MO Chevy 305.12
Second On The Hunt Tyler Albert Kingsley, PA Dodge 303.82
Third Razors Edge Jeremy Straley London, OH Dodge 303.38
Fourth Cummin Atcha Ben Braunecker Jasper, IN Dodge 303.32
Fifth Six Shooter Adam White Waddy, KY Dodge 302.22
Pro Stock Diesel Trucks VEHICLE NAME HOMETOWN BRAND DISTANCE
First Outta Hand Greg Strandlie Stoughton, WI Chevy 314.57
Second Scheid Diesel Brad Ingram Faring, IL Dodge 312.02
Third Cross Wire Keith Witt Warrenton, MO Dodge 308.1
Fourth Mayhem Ivan Harvell Steward, IL Ford 307.62
Fifth Jumping Jack Flash Nathan Vegh Shelbyville, KY Ford 301.21
ARP Super Stock Diesel Trucks VEHICLE NAME HOMETOWN BRAND DISTANCE
First Scheid Diesel Kent Crowder Attica, IN Dodge 336.58
Second Trump Erik Stacey Winchester, OH Dodge 335.57
Third Against The Grain Cody Hastings Ashville, OH Dodge 333.57
Fourth Caretaker Chase Eller Lafayette, TN Dodge 321.04
Fifth Pulling For The Cure Don Bowling Fostoira, OH Ford 303.19
Photo 7/45   |   006 Rudys Season Opener Rain
006 Rudys Season Opener Rain
  |   Obviously, the track was not raceable in these extreme weather conditions—even with the ODSS track crew on hand.

Lucas Oil Pro Pulling League Top Five Results Saturday Night

FASS Limited Pro Diesel Trucks VEHICLE NAME HOMETOWN BRAND DISTANCE
First Perkins Diesel Chad Perkins Marshfield, MO Chevy 321.84
Second Causin Trouble John Humpe IV Bloomingdale, OH Chevy 319.75
Third Six Shooter Adam White Waddy, KY Dodge 319.10
Fourth O'Bryant Diesel AJ Trott Bethleham, KY Dodge 318.98
Fifth Black Magic Reloaded Joshua Gardiner Plainfield, CT Dodge 313.90
Pro Stock Diesel Trucks VEHICLE NAME HOMETOWN BRAND DISTANCE
First Chapter Eleven Norman Newswanger Gardners, PA Ford 281.43
Second Cross Wire Keith Witt Warrenton, MO Dodge 280.49
Third Mayhem Ivan Harvell Steward, IL Ford 279.37
Fourth Scheid Diesel Brad Ingram Faring, IL Dodge 278.03
Fifth Jumping Jack Flash Nathan Vegh Shelbyville, KY Ford 268.23
ARP Super Stock Diesel Trucks VEHICLE NAME HOMETOWN BRAND DISTANCE
First Scheid Diesel Kent Crowder Attica, IN Dodge 333.52
Second Rock Hard Ram Van Haisley Fairmont, IN Dodge 331.72
Third Against The Grain Cody Hastings Ashville, OH Dodge 331.48
Fourth Caretaker Don Bowling Lafayette, TN Dodge 330.55
Fifth Pulling For The Cure Don Bowling Fostoira, OH Ford 323.49
Photo 8/45   |   007 Rudys Season Opener Band
007 Rudys Season Opener Band
  |   After the rain stopped, the Brothers Pearl band performed behind the main grandstands.
Photo 9/45   |   008 Rudys Season Opener Friday Prostock Winner
008 Rudys Season Opener Friday Prostock Winner
  |   008 Rudys Season Opener Friday Prostock Winner
Photo 10/45   |   009 Rudys Season Opener Friday Prostock Coaching
009 Rudys Season Opener Friday Prostock Coaching
  |   Nathan Vegh receives sideline coaching from his dad Ferenc as he brings up the rpm on his 7.3L Ford Power Stroke-powered Pro Stock truck. The coaching worked, with Nathan pulling to Fifth Place on both nights.
Photo 11/45   |   010 Rudys Season Opener Friday Superstock Haisley
010 Rudys Season Opener Friday Superstock Haisley
  |   Van Haisley and the Rock Hard Ram looked to be in contention for the win until a catastrophic engine failure ended his pull early. Haisley and his team managed to make repairs and put the truck back on the track Saturday night, finishing in Second Place less than 2 feet out of the lead.
Photo 12/45   |   011 Rudys Season Opener Friday Broke Sled
011 Rudys Season Opener Friday Broke Sled
  |   In addition to the rain affecting drag racing, a malfunction on the sled led to a delay on the near lane of the sled-pull track while PPL officials made the necessary repairs and got the action back underway.
Photo 13/45   |   012 Rudys Season Opener Dyno Crowd
012 Rudys Season Opener Dyno Crowd
  |   012 Rudys Season Opener Dyno Crowd
Photo 14/45   |   013 Rudys Season Opener Dyno Ford
013 Rudys Season Opener Dyno Ford
  |   013 Rudys Season Opener Dyno Ford
Photo 15/45   |   014 Rudys Season Opener Vendor Crowd
014 Rudys Season Opener Vendor Crowd
  |   The vendor midway was packed with enthusiasts looking at the latest and greatest diesel-performance products.
Photo 16/45   |   015 Rudys Season Opener Vendor Crowd
Photo 17/45   |   016 Rudys Season Opener Drag Crowd
016 Rudys Season Opener Drag Crowd
  |   The bulk of the crowd spent their time gathered around the dragstrip.
Photo 18/45   |   017 Rudys Season Opener Drag Staging
017 Rudys Season Opener Drag Staging
  |   The E.T. Bracket Class was huge, with more than 60 cars and trucks entered to race.
Photo 19/45   |   018 Rudys Season Opener Royalty
018 Rudys Season Opener Royalty
  |   018 Rudys Season Opener Royalty
Photo 20/45   |   019 Rudys Season Opener Rudy
019 Rudys Season Opener Rudy
  |   Aaron Rudolf blasted down the track in a shakedown run for the Rudy's UCC competition four-wheel-drive truck. The new rig ran a smooth 5.31-second pass at 135.52 mph.
Photo 21/45   |   020 Rudys Season Opener Show Gm
020 Rudys Season Opener Show Gm
  |   020 Rudys Season Opener Show Gm
Photo 22/45   |   021 Rudys Season Opener Show Group
021 Rudys Season Opener Show Group
  |   The group of Rudy's Show 'n' Shine winners got together for a picture. Cody Setere earned the Best Cummins award, Tommy Connar and his Ford took home Best Power Stroke accolades, Jonathan Barber won the Best Duramax prize, and Cristian Ritter took top honors for the Best Pro Build.\
Photo 23/45   |   022 Rudys Season Opener Etfinal
022 Rudys Season Opener Etfinal
  |   022 Rudys Season Opener Etfinal
Photo 24/45   |   023 Rudys Season Opener 770final
023 Rudys Season Opener 770final
  |   023 Rudys Season Opener 770final
Photo 25/45   |   024 Rudys Season Opener 670final
024 Rudys Season Opener 670final
  |   024 Rudys Season Opener 670final
Photo 26/45   |   025 Rudys Season Opener 590final
025 Rudys Season Opener 590final
  |   Paul Cato took the Firepunk Diesel Outlaw 5.90 Index Class win in his '98 Dodge Ram 2500 over McCoy Black, who was driving Taylor Overcash's custom Ford.
The ODSS Hot Shot's Secret Pro Street final round delivered a scary moment when Johnny Gilbert spun three tires immediately after leaving the starting line and crossed over into Emilio Blanco's lane. Fortunately, Emilio was out of the way and Johnny exhibited excellent three-wheel driving skills to keep his Dodge Ram off the wall.
Photo 39/45   |   038 Rudys Season Opener Promodfinal
038 Rudys Season Opener Promodfinal
  |   Despite setting a new ODSS Pro Mod record two times earlier in the day, Larson Miller experienced staging issues in the final round, handing the SunCoast Diesel Transmissions Pro Mod Class win to Ben Shadday at the starting line.
Photo 40/45   |   039 Rudys Season Opener Prodragfinal
039 Rudys Season Opener Prodragfinal
  |   While Jared Jones (piloting the Scheid Diesel Service dragster) was the only competitor in the Flo-Pro Performance Exhaust Pro Dragster Class, the lack of competition didn't stop the him from putting on a great show and laying down some low 4-second passes (tickling the 3s) while setting a new speed record of 185.26 mph.
Photo 41/45   |   040 Rudys Season Opener Wrecker
040 Rudys Season Opener Wrecker
  |   Austin Doidge had a rough day on Saturday. An engine failure literally window'd his truck's Cummins block, and then, adding insult to injury, oil caught fire and had to be put out by the fire crew at the top end of the track. We're sure Austin will be back, but it certainly hurts to see a great truck like his on the hook of a wrecker.
Photo 42/45   |   041 Rudys Season Opener Pull Crowd
041 Rudys Season Opener Pull Crowd
  |   Saturday night packed the sled-pull track's grandstands, with additional spectators filling out every parcel of open space on both sides.
Photo 43/45   |   042 Rudys Season Opener Pull Limitedpro Winner
042 Rudys Season Opener Pull Limitedpro Winner
  |   Chad Perkins pulled out a double win in the FASS Limited Pro Stock Diesel Truck Class, besting 20 other drivers on Friday night and 16 on Saturday.
Photo 44/45   |   043 Rudys Season Opener Saturday Prostock Winner
043 Rudys Season Opener Saturday Prostock Winner
  |   Norman Newswanger probably wanted to file Chapter Eleven after finishing last due to a disqualification on Friday night, but he turned his fortune around on Saturday evening and took home the Pro Stock Diesel Truck Class win.
Photo 45/45   |   044 Rudys Season Opener Superstock Winner
044 Rudys Season Opener Superstock Winner
  |   The ARP Super Stock Diesel Truck Class produced a repeat winner as well, with Kent Crowder using the Scheid Diesel Service Dodge Ram to pull his way to the top of the leader board both nights.

Sources

POPULAR TRUCKS

MOST POPULAR

CLOSE X
BUYER'S GUIDE
SEE THE ALL NEW
NEWS, REVIEWS & SPECS