Particulate Matters: The Super Freak
I’m writing this month’s column not long after my return from the annual Let It Roll Shootout (fourth year) and The Gauntlet (third year), a same-day tandem of dyno events held at ATS Diesel Performance in Arvada, Colorado. I attend this gathering mainly because, as competitions go, I think The Gauntlet—a buy-in/winner-take-all shootout for best power-and-torque total (corrected for altitude) made by trucks that are owned and/or built by many of the diesel scene’s heavy-hitting shops and tuners—is definitely one of the national measuring sticks for high-powered trucks. It also represents the unofficial start of the “diesel season.”
There are two things I can always count on seeing when I arrive at ATS for The Gauntlet: a great, energetic crowd and a lineup of at least 10 trucks that put on a phenomenal display of diesel performance. Seriously, while there are many other high-level dyno contests held throughout the year, including the heavyweight battle that takes place as part of the Ultimate Callout Challenge, I dig kicking things off in the thin air of Colorado’s Rocky Mountains, where posting big numbers in The Gauntlet leaves little doubt a truck has what it takes to be an all-out monster.
As history and conventional thinking go, a dualie isn’t the first rig that enters the mind when it comes to trucks that post “big numbers” on the dyno. Single-rear-wheel Ram, Chevrolet/GMC, and Super Duty Ford pickups (pretty much in that order) are typically the ones that shine on the rollers. While the knee-jerk reason may be the simple mathematics of power-to-weight ratio (an engine's power output divided by the vehicle’s weight or mass), it just seems the dual-rear-wheel vehicles are the last thing you think about when 3,000-plus combined horsepower and pound-feet are being discussed.
Enter Randy Reyes and his ’06 Dodge Ram 3500, a triple-turbocharged (with a spooler shot of nitrous oxide), 5.9L Cummins-powered, crew-cab dualie that defies all sensible logic. We featured this rig in our Sept ’15 issue and emphasized how it spends most days hauling parts and such for Randy’s transmission business then blasts through the quarter-mile in 9 seconds at 150 mph when Randy goes racing. With the exception of the interior being somewhat gutted when I saw it at The Gauntlet, the truck represents what I feel is the higher end of street/strip performance. It has an engine that easily makes power and torque in the thousands, and, yes, it can be driven from Point A to Point B with a more-than-fair amount of reliability (Randy is pretty adamant about keeping it that way).
Of course, Randy’s ride isn’t the only truck that falls into this category I like to call “diesel freaks,” vehicles that, despite their simple appearance, demonstrate performance you would never think possible. Lavon Miller’s two-time Diesel Power Challenge–winning ’04½ Dodge Ram 3500 is one, as is the ’02 Chevrolet Silverado 2500HD owned by Chris Rosscup, a fully loaded pickup (plush leather seats, even) that puts more than 1,400 hp and more than 2,000 lb-ft of torque on the ground—killer performance for a street-driven, 6.6L Duramax-powered rig. Of course, the collective list of freaks out there is pretty long.
Randy’s truck is a dualie—the most unassuming pickup in the game—with a drivetrain combination that roared to 2,121.5 hp and 2,727.4 ridiculous lb-ft of torque on ATS’ dyno at The Gauntlet. The only appropriate handle I can think of for his big red monster is “super freak!”
All I can do is salute the jaw-dropping 4,848.9 combined score, my man. It was awesome to witness, and I guess we’re all ready to see if the 5,000 mark can be eclipsed when you put that beast on the rollers in lower elevation. A dualie…whoa!