Diesel Power Challenge 2020: CANCELED
It is with deep regret that we announce the cancellation of our flagship event.
I realize that many of you—Diesel Power Challenge 2020 potential competitors, alumni (including 2019 Champion Richard Coker), sponsors and fans--have anxiously been waiting for information regarding the status of this year's competition.
At this time, and sadly, I hereby announce that DPC 2020 is officially canceled, due to the unprecedented events surrounding COVID-19 and MotorTrend Group's strong desire for the continued safety and wellbeing of everyone involved with Diesel Power Challenge.
First and foremost, I sincerely thank all of you for your patience while we explored options for holding the competition, and please believe me when I tell you that nobody is more disappointed about this decision than I am. We tried, but, ultimately, the pandemic has compromised our operating budget and availability of personnel to a point where it just isn't possible for DPC to meet the high standard of quality that has evolved in recent years.
I also thank everyone on MotorTrend Group's Events and Ad Sales staffs, as well as our partners at ATS Diesel Performance, Bandimere Speedway, Sulley and Sons Pulling Sled, A&J Equipment Rentals, Marriott Denver West, PPE, the City of Denver Film Office, and Amsoil, who all went above and beyond for Diesel Power, in an effort to try and make DPC 2020 happen.
Of course, "what happens next (for Diesel Power Challenge)?" and/or, "will DPC be held in 2021?" are the million-dollar questions. The only response that have at this time is that we are in an indefinite holding pattern, waiting to see how everything plays out (hopefully stabilizes or comes to resolution) with the COVID-19 situation.
I elected to close voting for the Diesel Power Challenge Class of 2020, effective Friday, May 15, 2020, at 12:00 PM Pacific. As a tentative plan, and please understand this is subject to change at any time based on circumstances, if—and only if--Diesel Power Challenge resumes with the same format, policies, rules, etc., that have been in place since the program's inception in 2006, the suspended votes will be tabulated, and we will notify the 10 owners that were voted in as the Class of 2020 (Top-3 vote getters for Dodge, Ford and GM, plus an Official Alternate representing Ford). Those owners will then receive invitations to compete in DPC against 2019 Champion Richard Coker, who would still be eligible to defend his title.
If an invitation is accepted, an owner will only be permitted to compete with the same truck that was presented for DPC 2020 voting and selected by Diesel Power readers (no "switcheroos"). Formal announcement of the Class will only happen once all of the invitations are accepted.
I feel that this is the best strategy—for now. Once again, for the DPC entrants, voters, sponsors, and our current champion, I ask for your continued patience. "Pandemic" wasn't in our Operations plan (you can bet it is now). Everything will be figured out in due time, and I will continue to share any information that I am able to, as soon as possible after receive those details.
I'll close by saying, I honestly believe that in the very big picture, when everything is said and done, events come and events go. Period. For now, the most important thing for everyone is that we remain healthy and safe, as all of our wellbeing is my biggest concern.
I look forward to our society eventually getting back to normal, and for us to once again be able celebrate the hobby and diesel performance through Diesel Power Challenge, an event that truly brings out the best in all of us.
Editor-in-Chief, Diesel Power
Editor-in-Chief, Diesel Power
What Is Diesel Power Challenge?
For readers who are not familiar with Diesel Power Challenge, the event is widely recognized as the industry's premier competition for performance-modified, street-driven trucks and their diesel-enthusiast owners. Participants compete in six competitive segments that include: dyno testing (for combined power and torque at ATS Diesel Performance in Arvada, Colorado), evaluating a vehicle's drivability and fuel consumption (this segment is performed on a chassis dynamometer also at ATS, using a simulated emissions-test-style "drive" program), maneuvering an 11,500-pound skidsteer/trailer combination through a challenging cone course, towing that same trailer over an eighth-mile distance to achieve the quickest elapsed time, heads-up quarter-mile drag racing, and sled pulling, all at Bandimere Speedway in Morrison, Colorado.
Here's a quick updated rundown of the latest very important information about Diesel Power Challenge 2020.
Diesel Power Challenge 2020 Fast Facts (UPDATE 5/15/2020)
WHEN: CANCELED for 2020. The return of Diesel Power Challenge is TBD.
VOTING: CLOSED, effective Friday May 15, 2020, 12:00 PM Pacific
IMPORTANT COMPETITOR INFORMATION: The Diesel Power Challenge Class of 2020 is officially suspended until further notice. DPC 2020 entrants' votes will be tabulated and a Class selected based on the results (Top-3 vote getters for Dodge, Ford and GM, plus an Official Alternate representing Ford), only if/when the program resumes, and provided the event maintains the same format, policies, rules, etc., that have been in place since its inception in 2006. At this time, DPC 2019 Champion Richard Coker is eligible to return and defend his title.
Diesel Power Challenge Origin and Early History
DPC was conceptualized in 2005, by then publisher Steve von Seggern and brought to reality the following year by Diesel Power Editor, David Kennedy, and several friends who worked at Primedia Publishing's off-road magazines. "As the editor of Diesel Power magazine, I really wanted to showcase what readers can do with their trucks," David says. "They could build them to run on the drag strip, sled pull, make super-big horsepower and torque numbers, and they could drive them on the street every day. Diesel Power was all about showing guys how they can build their trucks to do all these things, and do them better than anybody else."
The initial venture, Diesel Power Challenge—West, was held in Southern California, in May 2006. It was an invitational that featured three Fords, three Dodge Rams and three GMs, and the event was won by Nick D'Amico in a 2002 Chevrolet Silverado 2500HD—that he drove to the event and back home.
According to David, as the west-coast DPC started coming together, "we realized we could replicate the event on the east coast." So, in September of the same year, Diesel Power Challenge—East took place in Bowling Green, Kentucky. Micheal Tomac was the winner, and he also competed in a 2002 Silverado 2500HD.
In 2007, Diesel Power Challenge West and East were combined and held in Salt Lake City, Utah. At the unified event, Micheal defeated Nick and sixteen other competitors, becoming the first back-to-back champion.
In the years following Diesel Power Challenge 2007 and 2008 in Salt Lake City, Utah, the event went back to Bowling Green for second and third times in 2009 (a Braking segment was included as exhibition) and 2010. DPC moved to Denver, Colorado, in 2011, where it still takes place (it's also where the Cone Course--formerly called the Trailer Tow Obstacle Course--segment was introduced).
While Dodge Ram trucks are always the fan favorites for wining DPC, statistics show that despite this heavy support from the Cummins Nation, the trucks and their drivers do not have the most First Place finishes. Event historians may remember that DPC 2011 winner, Rocky Horn's, 1997 Ford F-350 had a 5.9L Cummins under its hood. Ford was credited for the win. Because, per Diesel Power Challenge rules, vehicles are categorized (as Ford, GM or Ram) by chassis and VIN, not their engine.
Diesel Power Challenge Past Champions
|2006 (West)||Nick D'Amico||2002 Chevrolet Silverado 2500HD|
|2006 (East)||Micheal Tomac||2002 Chevrolet Silverado 2500HD|
|2007||Micheal Tomac||2002 Chevrolet Silverado 2500HD|
|2008||Chris Werner||2001 Dodge Ram 2500|
|2009||Robert Evans||2004 Dodge Ram 2500|
|2010||Dmitri Millard||2001 Chevrolet Silverado 2500HD|
|2011||Rocky Horn||1997 Ford F-350|
|2012||Erik Clausen (Alternate)||2008 Ford F-250|
|2013||Wesley Beech||2008 Ford F-250|
|2014||Lavon Miller||2004.5 Dodge Ram 3500|
|2015||Lavon Miller||2004.5 Dodge Ram 3500|
|2016||Charlie Keeter||2004 Ford F-250|
|2017||Charlie Keeter||2004 Ford F-250|
|2018||Kody Pulliam||2004 Chevrolet Silverado 2500HD|
|2019||Richard Coker||2006 Chevrolet Silverado 2500HD|