Scheid Diesel Extravaganza Is the Place to Be!
"Are You Going to Scheid's?"
This is another Particulate Matters installment that's coming to you from the friendly skies, as I'm writing it while flying back to Southen California from Terre Haute, Indiana, where I just experienced my first Scheid Diesel Extravaganza, a phenomenon better known as "SDX."
For me to say this event preceded itself in a major way is a pretty big understatement. For almost a year, "Have you ever been to Scheid's?" or "Are you going to Scheid's?" are questions that, as the new editor of Diesel Power, I was asked by enthusiasts and folks in the diesel industry at almost every event, meeting, or general first encounter I had. Each time I was asked those questions, all I could think was, What in the world is this Scheid's thing all about? And, seriously, is it really THAT fantastic?!
Well, as this big bird carries me back from my icebreaking trip to the 2015 Scheid confab, which is held at the Wabash Valley Fairgrounds in Terre Haute, all I can think about the entire deal is how much of a complete and total diesel experience it is for anyone who's into trucks, cars, engines, and the oil-burning lifestyle as a whole.
While holding a judged show-'n'-shine, dyno shootouts, sled pulls, and drag races (for cash) at one event isn't anything new, the Extravaganza truly takes the concept to the next level. Yes, it's competitive. There's no doubt about that. However, the event goes far beyond the heat of battle and really seems like more of a Coachella-esque festival for diesel lovers from all over the world (I actually met a guy who made a trip from Australia just to attend SDX).
With everything that takes place throughout the SDX weekend—especially after hours, when the scene's legendary nightlife kicks into gear in the fairgrounds' camping area and at various locations along U.S. Highway 41—the event is really a massive, three-day, multi-ring circus of sorts, with the ringmaster being the man who started the whole thing back in 1997: Dan Scheid. (The original gathering was actually a Turbodiesel Rally held in Effingham, Illinois. However, due to the tremendous turnout, the rally evolved into the Scheid Diesel Extravaganza and relocated to Terre Haute in 2000).
Man, I had a ball "covering" (again, it was more like "experiencing") my first Diesel Extravaganza, and it certainly won't be my last! Diesel Power is definitely all in for being at this one, so count on seeing me or someone else representing the brand there for many years to come.
And, speaking of seeing people, it was a pleasure meeting so many die-hard readers who own some of the most bitchin' diesel rides I've ever seen! Thank you for saying hello and sharing details about the trucks and cars you brought to the event, works in progress, and cool project ideas you hope to someday execute. I'm pulling for you to get them done; make sure you let us know that you have finished what I'm sure will be quality rigs. And, I appreciate all of your feedback (likes and dislikes in some instances) about our content. Trust me, it's helpful.
Although it was a challenge, I did my best to cover everything Scheid Diesel Extravaganza has to offer. (OK, I didn't partake in any of the infamous extracurricular shenanigans—but not because I didn't want to. I was just absolutely too worn out at the end of each long day.)
The event definitely lives up to every bit of the hype that veterans give it, and I have to say thanks to Dan and his sidekicks, Debbie Crowder, Big Todd, and the entire crew at Scheid Diesel Service Co., for putting such an awesome event together each year. There's no question, it takes a lot to make SDX happen.
I also have to give props to dudes like our freelance contributor, Jason Sands; former Diesel Power Challenge competitor, Baenen Woosley; and Ryan Gelinas of ATS Diesel Performance, who have several years of attendance under their collective belt and offered insights about what to see and do that really helped make my first go-round with navigating this huge event a lot easier than it would've been without their knowledge.
If the Scheid Diesel Extravaganza isn't on your bucket list yet, put it there!