DPC 2017/Day 4: Drag Race
Speed and Sportsmanship Rule the Drag Strip
We’ll start by saying that we truly hope all of you, our loyal Diesel Power readers, have been watching our live Facebook and trucktrend.com broadcasts of Diesel Power Challenge 2017 Presented by XDP, as the competition has been awesome. With the event just beyond the halfway point on Day 4, drivers and teams are now showing a little less “swagger,” if you will, and fully recognizing just how tough DPC really is.
Despite this apparent uneasiness, a hard-core “send-it” attitude was very evident at Bandimere Speedway in Morrison, Colorado, where competitors squared off on the drag strip; the two-lane, 1,320-foot speed zone, and lay it all on the line in their quest to remove 2016 champion Charlie Keeter from the Diesel Power Challenge throne.
With rigs that have somewhat similar chassis setups (prepared for drag racing), most eyes were trained on Charlie’s ’04 Ford F-250 (which qualified Second with an 11.067 e.t. at 126.92 mph), and the ’95 Dodge Ram 2500 of McCoy Black (which blasted to an amazing top-qualifying e.t. of 10.685 at 140.49 mph), with high anticipation of the two competitors squaring off in the final round of the drag-racing segment, in a classic 6.0L Ford Power Stroke/5.9L Cummins rumble.
Unfortunately that conflict apparently wasn’t meant to be, as the record-setting run caused irreparable damage to the 12-valve powerplant under the hood of McCoy’s rig, making him a scratch for the remainder of the drag-racing segment and all of Diesel Power Challenge’s Day 5 action.
Shaun Doran’s big ’12 Ford F-250 was also sent to the sidelines after experiencing engine problems, which made for an even field of 8 qualifiers for “Quick 8” eliminations (and with McCoy out of the competition, Charlie moved into the top-qualifier position). In the eliminator, it was “all Charlie,” as he defeated Rich Strube, Kevin Jacob and then Tim Jahn in the Final round. An interesting note about Tim; Diesel Power Challenge 2017 Presented by XDP marked the first time that Tim has ever raced his ’08 Ford F-250 on a drag strip. During the impressive “rookie” run to the Final, Tim overcame a poor qualifying run by beating Levi Krech by a holeshot in the First round (.424 to .643 reaction time, while Levi had better performance: 11.706 to Tim’s 11.747), and giving Charlie a very tough time in the Final until a mechanical glitch forced Tim to bow out of the fight and preserve his equipment.
One of the cool things to witness was the sportsmanship that all competitors displayed during the drag-racing segment of the Challenge. With assistance from other participants (including Charlie, who was among several competitors who helped push), Patrick Whitcomb’s team worked feverishly to make his wounded (up-pipe bellows) rig functional enough to cross the starting line under its own power, and participate in two rounds.
Day 5 marks the end of Diesel Power Challenge 2017 Presented by XDP. Attrition has taken us down to seven drivers and crew members, but we’re certain they are all prepared for the sled pull, which should be a final stanza packed with a lot of excitement that is being broadcast live (thanks to Fleece Performance Engineering) on the Diesel Power Magazine Facebook page and here on trucktrend.com.