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  • Important News About Diesel Power Challenge 2016 #DPC2016

Important News About Diesel Power Challenge 2016 #DPC2016

KJ Jones
Oct 12, 2015
Photographers: KJ Jones
Changing the Challenge?
Didn't take you long in your new role as editor to screw [expletive] up, did it?
Lavon Miller can't come back to defend his title? What is that nonsense? You can't be crowned champion without beating the champ. It's the very essence of competition, and now it's a "win twice and you're done" philosophy?
And now, only non-deleted trucks? So, no more 12-valve [Cummins-powered] trucks, if I read your "newer/later model trucks" statement correctly? I'm sure you guys think DPC is some great event like the Super Bowl, but we've been laughing at it for years. It's a gimmick. But, to limit the trucks (define "newer/later model trucks" please...what is the model-year limit?) to only newer stuff that is smog compliant is to shoot yourself in the foot.
I mean, the mag has long been a joke, but you totally killed it, my friend. Time to save my $7 a month. Glad I let my subscription end a couple of years ago.
Eric B.
via email
Photo 2/6   |   Diesel Power Challenge 2016 Tractor Pull
You're taking the benchmark of performance and trying to turn it into some mild trucks that every diesel bro has? Hot Rod magazine's Drag Week tests cars like few other competitions can, and it has a huge following and attendance. You're essentially turning diesel's version of Drag Week into the equivalent of Motor Trend testing a new Hennessey truck.
That's like the Baja 1000 having to be emissions compliant, or Top Fuel dragsters needing mufflers. This is a sport, and you're challenging one another to be the best, which creates innovation. Find the weakest point of something and reengineer it to make it stronger. Lavon Miller has set the benchmark and is now causing people to gear up and try to dethrone him. That's making people try new things and progressing the sport into the future.
You, sir, need to grow a set and realize why the true gearheads in this sport try to get faster and stronger. This is going to cause at least half of the die-hard diesel enthusiasts to not even give one care about this so-called competition. Get real.
Richard Perris
via trucktrend.com
I don't know if you have Facebook, but mine is exploding with negative feedback for Emissions Power Challenge 2016. What are the rules? I have a lot of customers who want to enter their trucks in DPC 2016 but don't know what the rules are. If you can get me a good idea of what it will look like for a competitor, we can start advising correctly for those interested in entering. Thank you.
Lavon Miller
via email
Why can't the emissions components be part of the upgrades? You can have a DPF with enough flow for 1,000 hp. It's just going to have to be a lot bigger and designed differently. You can run EGR, too, but it's just going to take a lot more engineering. I'm all for this. We will get smarter competitors with this. Slapping big turbos and injectors on a truck is lazy. This is how it should be done. I would take it a step further and monitor NOx emissions. The competitor with the highest ratio of power to NOx ratio wins.
Kyle McGraw
via trucktrend.com
Why don't you just give out snow cones and ribbons to everyone who enters so they can all be "winners?" And to not invite Lavon Miller back is a bigger slap in the face to the diesel performance crowd. Load gun...aim at your foot...and pull the trigger....repeatedly.
4x4 Dualie
via trucktrend.com
If you mandate functional emissions components that are not bypassed in any way, with CARB approved tuning, it will be a competition of who has the coolest fender flares, and who sports a flat-billed hat and white sunglasses best.
Real enthusiasts care nothing for the crap you would be promoting by making it emissions compliant. Going halfway would result in anyone making more than about 650 hp running hollowed out exhaust because the emissions components simply will not flow enough to make more power without burning down. The end result would kill interest in the competition. When it all started, it was about who can push their stuff the furthest. There was no limit on who could apply or what could be modified, so long as they had current tags and could pass a safety inspection. Anything less is a discredit to the originators of the event.
If you care so much about the tree huggers, include maximum smoke output as one of the criteria the trucks are judged by.
Wayne Yates
via trucktrend.com
Photo 3/6   |   Diesel Power Challenge 2016 Loader
I'm gonna express a rather controversial opinion here. My buddy and I are both competitors in the local bush pulls. Well, actually I've been sidelined lately with a rather unhealthy torque converter, but that's not important.
We've both been bashed a lot for our opinion that smoke is just wasted fuel. His Chevy is moderately tuned, never blows black, and is a consistent middle-of-the-pack performer. My Dodge barely smokes at all, but it definitely needs some fine tuning to actually be competitive.
I'm all for an emissions-legal DPC. It's too easy to just pump in more fuel, more boost, and more nitrous. I want to see people doing more with less. Forget the 200-percent-over injectors and monstrous turbochargers. I want to see efficient builds over expensive ones. I know, some people enjoy the all-out performance builds, and they can be fun to watch, but I would wager that almost everyone who follows DPC dreams of competing one day.
I know I do, but the way the playing field has gotten, I would be totally out of my league. You need a street-legal DPC, if for no other reason than to keep the dreams of little guys like me alive.
53BlockFool
via trucktrend.com
Photo 4/6   |   Diesel Power Challenge 2016 Loader
For those who may have missed KJ's "Clean Slate" editorial (November '15 issue)—and based on the emails we received from Diesel Power Challenge champion Lavon Miller and (former subscriber) Eric B., as well as the comments about the editorial that were posted on trucktrend.com and throughout various Facebook forums—here is a section of his commentary that appears to have struck a very tender nerve:
"I guess the biggest (and possibly most controversial) change to the Diesel Power Challenge—if it's implemented—will be switching our focus to vehicles that are more of the proverbial 'real world.' Examples of this include: newer/later-model trucks with diesels that make power while still retaining all of their original emissions equipment and aren't 'deleted,' 'ECU- bypassed,' or loaded with non-CARB-compliant accessories that, while promoting greater performance, do so in a manner that is now frowned upon by many [Ed. note: It's being frowned on most importantly by the EPA, which has even accused manufacturers Audi and Volkswagen of manipulating their clean-diesel-vehicles' ECU programs to produce false emissions readings.]
Don't get me wrong, past competitors have certainly been capable of doing everything that's expected of them at DPC, including being somewhat "clean" by not spewing plumes of black exhaust into the atmosphere. However, given today's socioecological climate and even some of our own event-sponsors' concerns about the Challenge showcasing non-smog-compliant vehicles (without DPFs, EGRs, and such) driving on public roads, we're now in a position where some type of adjustment must be made.
What will the change be? Honestly, I don't know just yet. And, with equal sincerity, I'd appreciate hearing your constructive thoughts...in favor of or even against (I guess I'll brace myself for that onslaught) amendments to DPC's long-standing overall structure. While I'm certainly a staunch advocate of leaving well enough alone, I recognize there are instances when change really is good. My inaugural Diesel Power Challenge experience showed me there is some tweaking that can be done (to the format, rules, administrative ops, and such). And, while I'm confident some updating will help make our great event even better, my commitment is to make sure those changes are good for everyone involved with DPC."
People...readers, Lavon, Richard, and especially folks like Eric B.—who has me somewhat confused about whether he's really with us or not with us (glad he doesn't have a subscription anymore, but he's apparently still reading...and concerned enough about our content and DPC 2016 to drop us a line with his thoughts about "Clean Slate")—I need you all to fall back, take a few deep breaths, and chill out. I even recommend going back and rereading the editorial, as your comments make it clear that you're interpreting everything I said about possible changes to Diesel Power Challenge—especially with regard to the types of vehicles that compete—as new rules that are final.
"Changing" the vehicle format altogether and going strictly with fully clean, emissions-compliant trucks is not where we're taking the Challenge. I'll say it again, I'm an advocate of leaving well enough alone, which, at ground level means, I cosign the "if it ain't broke, don't fix it" attitude. Diesel Power Challenge certainly isn't broken. But, there are some things that really do need adjusting.
With the "clean" cry coming at our hobby from all sides (especially governmental), I really want to try and somehow work eco-awareness, or, "smog-compliance," if you will, into the DPC format and present the challenge for owners of and shops that work on later-model (year ranges haven't been decided or thought out yet) diesel rides to come up with ways ("innovate," Richard) to maximize the performance of those vehicles. Let's see what happens when the "relative" ease of adding as many as two or three turbochargers, nitrous oxide, and gobs of fuel, and removing any and all restrictive engine components, is not permitted. How can performance be maximized? Is it impossible? I don't think so, and I think it will be cool to see those vehicles be pushed to whatever their limits are.
Keep in mind, the Diesel Power Challenge is much more than just a dyno event. Many of you who remarked and voiced concerns via social media appear to be steadfast with your thoughts that emissions-compliant diesels simply cannot make power at all, despite having whatever modifications. "If it's legal, why bother?" What I need you all to keep in mind is that including these rigs in the Challenge—and the more I think about it, probably by way of a separate, independent "DPC Clean" class or category—actually presents a way for parts manufacturers, tuners, and even owners/drivers to bring new "innovative (Richard)" thoughts and hopefully products to the performance-diesel scene. Call it a necessary evil, if you will.
We're now in a time when the hobby and performance industry really can't continue to sit back and ride the glory of "delete" technology for diesel engines. We all know and appreciate the virtues of removing factory-installed, government-mandated restrictors, but at the end of the day, we also know the practice is becoming more prehistoric as each year passes. Remember, there are diesel owners and Diesel Power readers who are competitive, like performance, and would like to be able to participate in something like DPC without going the high-dollar, multiple-thousand-horsepower route. Let's just see what these trucks can do as they are and/or with upgrades that don't make government officials cringe.
Thanks to those of you who sent us messages directly, and also to the many folks who wailed about it on social media. The Diesel Power Challenge sky is not falling. Read "Clean Slate" again and understand that we want all diesel-powered rides that you think have what it takes to win (and remember, drivers have to be equally on point) to be entered for a chance to be selected.
How the clean and legal vehicles will be worked in...if they will at all for 2016...will be determined, and of course you'll all be advised. One thing is certain, though. While those trucks would have similar segments of competition, they would probably be going head-to-head with other similarly formatted diesels in their group, not the deleted, mega-horsepower diesels DPC is known for.
Change does have to happen, but we're going to implement change that doesn't detract anything from our event, which as Richard notes, truly is the benchmark competition for diesel performance...I'll amend that with all types of diesel performance.
And, with regard to Lavon Miller's run at DPC championships being over, the "rule" limiting the number of times a competitor can win at two has been in place long before I became a member of the Diesel Power team. Again, while Lavon is a worthy and outstanding champion, the originators of the program decided that "two titles" would be the maximum. I understand this is disappointing—especially to Lavon, I'd imagine—but it's something that for now will not be changed.
I'd like to see a showdown of purely stock trucks run through the Diesel Power Challenge. I just want to see a comparison of Ford, GM, and Ram. These trucks wouldn't be competing with the participants readers select for the Challenge; they would just be pitted against each other to find out which manufacturer is "blowing the most smoke" in their TV commercials. You could have two Rams. One with the Cummins and one with the new EcoDiesel engine. I hope Ford wins.
Daryl Kelly
via email
Photo 5/6   |   Diesel Power Challenge 2016 Dodge Ram
I have been an avid reader for more than eight years. The first three years I bought the magazine off the newsstands, and I've been a subscriber for the last five. The two issues I look forward to all year are the Diesel Power Challenge issues (which are why I became a subscriber, so I wouldn't miss them).
Every time a new editor comes onboard, I make note of the changes they feel are necessary (for the magazine and DPC). I'm not one who likes too much change, but the changes to DPC haven't been that bad (adding the trailer obstacle course, making the mpg ride and drive an event, making the drag race an elimination-style race, and so on). The main rule, though, that has never been touched is that the event is "run what you brung." Nitrous, turbos, fuel, whatever competitors want to do to their trucks is accepted—all they have to do is complete all the events.
Changing the rules and only accepting "newer/later-model trucks...retaining all of their original emissions equipment" is a huge mistake. You will be ripping the core of the DPC to shreds with this new rule. You need to leave the DPC alone. If you want a competition with choked-down, emissions-equipped tucks, then make one. Don't change the core of DPC. The second change I do not agree with is you not letting the champion return. I, as a loyal reader and subscriber, love watching the champion come back to defend his crown. Having the champion return also gives the other competitors something to shoot for, which makes these trucks better and better every year.
I understand you feel like you need to make changes to show everyone you're the boss and it's your magazine, but if you make these changes to the Diesel Power Challenge, I will have no reason to read the two issues with DPC coverage in them, which also means there would be no reason for me to subscribe to this magazine anymore.
Please, DPC is not broken, so don't try to fix it. Find something else to mess with.
Phillip Faulkner
Weatherford, Texas
Photo 6/6   |   Diesel Power Challenge 2016 Diesel Truck
Bravo on your potential move to a real-world DPC 2016! I've had a diesel vehicle in one form or another for most of my driving lifetime (approximately 47 years) and love my diesels!
I've tuned more than a few vehicles over my lifetime and love big power. However, now I find that I have joined the "the-cleaner-the-better" society, as it's the responsible thing to do in this day and age. That, and the fact that I hate paying for fuel going out the exhaust pipes. I truly hope the diesel industry continues to strive for cleaner and more fuel-efficient vehicles in the future. If not by choice or regulations, then by savvy customer demand!
I hope this potential move sees the light of day in 2016. Like it or not, we all must do our part, big or small, in many different forms or our society is doomed to a place where none of us want to live. Thanks.
John G
via email

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