Particulate Matters: Diesel’s Challenges
A Year Filled With Challenges
Well, our April 2017 issue—the magazine we fondly refer to as the Diesel Power Challenge Voting Issue—is published and finally arriving in subscribers’ mailboxes and on sale at your favorite Diesel Power seller. While you need a physical magazine (or several) to cast votes for the trucks and owners you want to participate in our annual competition, the breakdown of hopefuls can be reviewed on trucktrend.com at any time.
I’ll tell you all one thing: I’m super excited about DPC 2017, since I am already familiar with some of the candidates (whom I’ve met at various events and whose rigs I’ve seen compete in dyno shootout or Outlaw Diesel Super Series drag race action), and I can assure you those trucks and drivers are all pretty stout. Honestly, I don’t envy you, our readers, who are charged with the task of picking nine players you feel deserve to officially be invited to the annual test.
Remember, the deadline for submitting your ballots (the official form is on page 123 of the Voting Issue) is Friday, April 7, 2017. To hopefully alleviate some of the anxious pestering I’m sure I’ll receive from some of you hopeful DPC candidates (you guys were relentless with questions about when voting begins), final tabulating takes about three weeks. So, with that being said, we won’t know who “The Nine” are until around the beginning of May 2017. I can’t wait until it’s time for me to make those phone calls!
Our Challenge takes place June 4 to June 8, 2017, at Denver, Colorado, area venues that include Red Rocks Amphitheater, ATS Diesel Performance, Bandimere Speedway, and Adams County Fairgrounds. And, trust me when I tell you, all of us at Diesel Power are beyond ready to get there for the big showdown!
As many of you already know, DPC isn’t the only major “challenge” event on the horizon in 2017. The year’s other major diesel-only competition that has Challenge as part of its name is the Northwest Dyno Circuit and Alligator Performance–backed Ultimate Callout Challenge, which is held a few months ahead of our event (April 21 to 23) at Lucas Oil Raceway in Indianapolis, Indiana. Like our event, the UCC puts vehicles and drivers to the test, going wheel-to-wheel in the hobby’s three major competitive categories: performance on the dyno (combined horsepower and torque), drag racing, and sled pulling. Our Diesel Power Challenge adds two 10,000-pound trailer-towing segments (around a CDL-style course of cones and an eighth-mile dragstrip e.t. run) and a fuel-consumption evaluation to the fun.
Two things that differentiate the Challenges are the fact that UCC is a public, for-profit event that is a full-on, high-performance-diesel festival of sorts, and the competition—of trucks built and/or supported by many of the leading diesel-performance shops in the U.S.—is for high stakes (a very large payout goes to the winner). The Ultimate Callout Challenge also hosts the inaugural Performance Diesel Industry Expo, a huge (more than 90 as of this writing) assembly of performance parts and accessory manufacturers that will be on hand for enthusiasts to learn about and shop for the latest hardware for their rigs.
Diesel Power Challenge, on the other hand, is a private contest (with only First, Second, and Third Place trophies on the line) that highlights the lesser-known, more street-oriented diesel vehicles we tend to feature each month in the magazine. While DPC is definitely very competitive, I like to think a fair amount of the event is also “for fun” and promotes really cool camaraderie among like-minded enthusiasts.
In 2016, Diesel Power Challenge and UCC were unfortunately and incorrectly put at odds with each other (in “us-versus-them” fashion) by folks who I guess either didn’t understand how the events, while somewhat similar, really do have significant differences, or just simply wanted to create drama by communicating inaccurate information via the Internet and social media. The crux of the situation is this: As hard-core diesel fans, we’re all in this deal together, and that includes my industry colleagues at Diesel World and Diesel Tech—other popular magazines that cover the hobby.
At UCC 2017, I’ll join editors Adam Blattenberg (DW) and Trevor Mason (DT) as one of the judges of the two-day Show ’n’ Shine. While I’m sure there will be a little competitiveness between us (of course, we’ll be trying to score hot trucks to feature in our magazines), I’m confident we’ll work well together as judges and select vehicles we unanimously agree stand out above all others and truly deserve top recognition. So, if you’re headed to Indy for UCC/DPIE 2017 or you’re selected as a competitor (or participating as a crew member) for Diesel Power Challenge 2017, I’ll see you there!