Particulate Matters: It’s the Ultimate
While I admit I had to look up the official on-sale date for the Diesel Power issue this column appears in—no, I don’t have such things memorized—as I write it, I have a feeling our subscribers and folks who purchase the magazine in stores will be checking it out sometime in mid-April. And, if my guesstimate is accurate, the third Ultimate Callout Challenge and Diesel Performance Expo, held at Lucas Oil Raceway in Brownsburg, Indiana, will be right around the calendar corner, taking place May 4 to 6.
As hard-core diesel events go, UCC (presented by Alligator Performance) has definitely made its way to the front of the line of major competitions, along with the ATS Diesel Performance Gauntlet Dyno Challenge, Outlaw Diesel Super Series shows, our own Diesel Power Challenge, and several other notable events. I know, I know, with DPC included in that group, you’re probably wondering why I hold UCC in such high regard. Well, to me, it deserves top billing. While the two challenges share three similar competitive segments (dyno, drag racing, sled pull), Ultimate Callout Challenge showcases the high-profile players (and their radical trucks) in today’s diesel scene competing for a lot of money. The cool thing is, many of those competitors are DPC alumni.
Our event highlights rigs many of you build yourselves or pay hard-earned money to have built, primarily to enjoy (and hopefully use) on a somewhat regular basis—not solely for all-out competition. For DPC 2018 presented by XDP, I’ve made an earnest attempt to keep drivetrain requirements the same as they have been (bring what you’ve got and hope it’s enough) since the first Diesel Power Challenge but also require entries to adhere to a “street-truck” theme with regard to vehicles’ overall presentation. Honestly, I’m kind of disappointed I didn’t see Randy Reyes (I know, he’s taking another crack at winning UCC), Chris Rosscup, and Mike Maas vying for DPC 2018 glory, as they own great examples of rigs that fit the DPC description. I also hope Art Martinez considers entering his shorty Ford F-250 “work truck” in 2019’s contest, because I think it also fits very well.
DPC rigs must have steel body panels and beds, a fair amount of interior components intact (save for aftermarket seats, center console, and such), glass windows (Lexan is OK for the rear only, to allow rollbar tubes to pass through), and generally look, well, like many of the trucks featured on trucktrend.com and in these pages, as opposed to the purpose-built (some specifically for UCC, but most are competitive ODSS and NHRDA race trucks) thoroughbreds competing for the big paychecks in Brownsburg.
Honestly, I want Diesel Power Challenge competitors to aspire to someday advance to the next level and compete in UCC, and it’s cool the event’s producers embrace this notion, welcoming DPC graduates such as Charlie Keeter and Kelsie Epp; DPC 2018 Presented by XDP entrants Matthew Doyle and Rich Nicolette; and 46 other drivers who think they’ve got what it takes to qualify in May for one of only five confirmed golden tickets to the big show in 2019.
That’s right, this “UCC Qualifier” will happen at the same time and in the same place all the madness of Ultimate Callout Challenge and DPI Expo 2018 is going down, and the monetary stakes for this deal are high in their own right. The overall First Place finisher receives $3,000, $1,500 goes to the Runner-Up, and drivers will receive $1,000 for First Place scores in each segment of the qualifying competition. I’ll be there to keep an eye on everything, with hopes that someone who comes from our program earns a spot in UCC 2019.
Closing with a final note about DPC 2018, I hope everyone reading this submitted their ballots to determine who will be invited to compete. The names of candidates you select will be announced on Friday, May 4, 2018 at 9 a.m. Pacific, live from Ultimate Callout Challenge through the Diesel Power magazine Facebook page. Please make sure you tune in for the announcement. The people you vote in just might be right there at UCC digging the scene, or trying to win it all. I think that’s pretty darn exciting!