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DPC 2017/Day 5: Sled Pull and Awards

Diesel Power Challenge 2017: Day 5

John Lehenbauer
Jun 9, 2017
Photographers: Anthony Soos, Brett T. Evans, John Lehenbauer, Ben Cooper
The close of Diesel Power Challenge 2017 Presented by XDP’s Day 4found competitors burning the midnight oil, thrashing to repair damage and have their trucks ready for Day 5, the final day of DPC2017 competition.
Unfortunately, Shaun Doran and McCoy Black were unable to remedy the mechanical issues their rigs were suffering from and could not participate in the competition-closing sled pull.
The attrition left seven participants remaining in the event, and drivers opened the last day by crossing the scales to have their trucks’ official weight recorded, and then heading to Bandimere Speedway in Morrison, Colorado, for the pull. Each competitor showed up with his game face on, and a mission to try and tilt the odds of winning DPC in their favor.
In front of live cameras, Rich Strube got things under way with his big ’05 GMC Sierra 3500HD, pulled the sled down the course to 272.63 feet. The next driver, Kevin Jacob, was only able to make it 154.29 feet before his ’05 Dodge Ram 2500 would not proceed any further. Tim Jahn followed Kevin, and used his ’08 Ford F-250 to set a new high bar of 309.00 feet. With a new distance to beat, Levi Krech came out swinging but was only able to coax his ’06 Dodge Ram 2500 to 195.07 feet before it lost all forward momentum.
The reigning DPC champion, Charlie “Six-Liter” Keeter, had no intention of rolling over for the competition. Charlie’s ’04 Ford F-250 rolled out with guns blazing (or, more appropriately, nitrous-oxide nozzles spraying). With his hand mashing the button, Charlie’s rig screamed down the track to the 350.32-foot mark and the lead, while shooting flames out of the exhaust and blowing off an intercooler line in the process. The two remaining competitors, Mike Bunkelman and Patrick Whitcomb, attacked the course with every intent of winning and made great pulls, but neither was able to beat Charlie’s winning drag.
1Charlie Keeter'04 Ford F-250350.32 ft
2Tim Jahn'08 Ford F-250309.00 ft
3Patrick Whitcomb'08 Ford F-350279.80 ft
4Rich Strube'05 GMC Sierra 3500272.63 ft
5Mike Bunkelman'04 Dodge Ram 3500241.89 ft
6Levi Krech'06 Dodge Ram 2500195.07 ft
7Kevin Jacob'05 Dodge Ram 2500154.29 ft
With the final event in the record books and the all points accumulate by the drivers over the past five days tallied up, All competitors, crews, staff, and sponsors, gathered in a ballroom of the Denver Marriot West hotel for the Diesel Power Challenge 2017 Presented by XDP awards banquet, which was emceed by Diesel Power editor (and the main man behind DPC2017), KJ Jones. After graciously thanking all of the sponsors and everyone involved in making the event happen, KJ announced the winners’ names.
Driver’s Choice (competitors vote on a truck they would like to take home) was the first award of the evening and it went to Tim Jahn. Rich Strube won the Distance Award for his 1,813-mile trek from Hicksville, New York, and McCoy Black was next up to receive the Carnage Award for melting pistons in his truck’s 12-valve 5.9L Cummins powerplant. Mike Bunkelman’s ability to get around the Trailer-Tow Obstacle Course with no penalties in the fastest time earned him the Driver Skill Award.
Photo 2/16   |   Competitors wait in line to do the required weigh-in at the truck scales on the way to the sled pull at Bandimere Speedway.
After the specialty awards were presented and pictures were taken, KJ moved on to the presentation of the First, Second and Third Place trophies. Squeezing out Third by only tenths of a point was Tim Jahn. Patrick Whitcomb’s consistency earned him a very solid Second Place win. And, for the second year in a row, Charlie Keeter is the overall champion. He was presented with the First Place trophy, and a check for $2,000 from Amsoil. Tim, Patrick, and Charlie’s wins made it an all-Ford podium finish for Diesel Power Challenge 2017 Presented by XDP.
Winning Diesel Power Challenge is no easy task, and to do it twice is even harder. The bittersweet thing about Charlie’s victory is the fact that as a two-time champion, he can no longer compete in DPC. So, for 2018, there will be a field of 10 new competitors.
Photo 3/16   |   Rich Strube got the segment off to a good start with a pull of 272.63 feet.
Photo 4/16   |   With the pedal pinned to the floorboard, Levi Krech tries to get the sled all the way down the track.
Photo 5/16   |   Charlie “Six-Liter” Keeter blasts his ’04 Ford F-250 to the longest pull of the day; 350.32 feet.
Photo 6/16   |   Dpc2017 Day5 Pull Awards Dodge Ram Mike Bunkelman
Photo 7/16   |   Dpc2017 Day5 Pull Awards
Photo 8/16   |   The big ’08 Ford F-450 of Patrick Whitcomb drags the sled to a Third Place finish.
Photo 9/16   |   The Diesel Power Challenge 2017 Presented by XDP Awards Banquet was emceed by Diesel Power Editor KJ Jones.
Photo 10/16   |   Tim Jahn accepts the Drivers Choice Award from KJ.
Photo 11/16   |   Earning the Distance Award means Rich Strube spent many hours on the road to get to Denver, Colorado, from Hicksville, New York.
Photo 12/16   |   Possibly the most costly award of the evening, the Carnage Award, is happily accepted by McCoy Black.
Photo 13/16   |   The Driver Skill Award was well earned by Mike Bunkelman on the Trailer-Tow Obstacle Course. Mike covered the entire circuit in 1:38, without ANY penalties.
Photo 14/16   |   Tim Jahn returned to the stage to receive the DPC 2017 Third Place trophy.
Photo 15/16   |   Patrick Whitcomb’s powerful big blue Ford helped earn him a Second Place finish.
Photo 16/16   |   For the second year in a row, Charlie Keeter receives the Diesel Power Challenge First Place trophy.