The competition at this year's Diesel Power Challenge was fiercer than ever. In addition to the 14 bad-to-the-bone trucks, there was also a myriad of strategies on how to win. Some trucks went light-Cole Dow's '93 Dodge weighed only 5,880 pounds-which proved to be a distinct advantage on the dragstrip. Other trucks, such as Dustin Woodhouse's 8,460-pound '08 Ford, were looking to take the trailer tow and sled pull. Matt Handwork decided to run his '03 Duramax on drag radials for the entire event and was planning on giving up points in the sled pull to win in the drag race and trailer tow. We saw Ford trucks come on strong like never before, as Mike Corsilli's 6.4L and Brian Jelich's 7.3L both had a chance to finish in the top three going into the last event. So hang on tight, and we'll take you on the wild ride full of smoke and fire that was Diesel Power Challenge 2010.
Event Number One: The Dyno
The Heavy Hitters
The dyno portion of our event is scored on torque, rather than horsepower, to keep the engines with huge, unstreetable turbo setups from dominating the event. Still, the numbers we saw in both torque and horsepower this year were outstanding. The event got started off with a bang, with Cole Dow's '93 Dodge laying down 1,648 lb-ft of torque and 872 hp and promptly catching the chassis dyno's exhaust tube on fire after a nitrous backfire caused by a blown intake boot. Cole and his brother Cory were unfazed. "It's not like this is the first time the truck has caught on fire," Cory said with a completely straight face. After an anonymous rescuer stepped in with a fire extinguisher, it was time to move on to other rigs. Matt Handwork was another dyno standout, as he hit multiple stages of nitrous on his Duramax-powered Chevy with his mammoth turbo reading only 9 psi of boost. The turbo lit instantly with all the spray, and the camouflaged Chevy put down 1,663 lb-ft and 869 hp. Common-rail Dodges are always strong runners, and Brian Parker's '06 Cummins made 953 hp and 1,685 lb-ft the numbers to beat. Remember how we said earlier that we rate the competition on torque to keep the high-rpm engines out? Well, it turns out that if you can make an insane 1,212 hp like Dmitri Millard, a First Place torque number of 1,792 lb-ft also gets created. In case you're wondering, this now makes Dmitri's truck the world's most powerful Duramax.
The 5.9L Cummins in Cole Dow's '93 Dodge W250 engine compartment virtually disappeared in
Surprises and Disappointments
Other trucks that surprised us included Mike Corsilli's 6.4L Power Stroke with a 1,570-lb-ft reading, and Brian Jelich's 1,436-lb-ft 7.3L-powered '00 F-250. The dyno competition wasn't all sunshine and daisies, however-a lot of the competitors had issues. Dave Sanders' nitrous didn't work, and he was limited to 1,341 lb-ft. Dustin Woodhouse was having trouble lighting the big single turbo on his 6.4L, and 1,150 lb-ft was all he could muster. Mark Randall was having fueling issues and would be plagued by them for most of the competition. On the dyno, his bad, blue 12-valve could only hit 985 lb-ft. Perhaps worst of all, returning champion Robert Evans had fueling problems that were limiting his rail pressure. After scoring a disappointing Twelfth Place on the dyno with 1,202 lb-ft, he decided to withdraw from the competition, despite driving more than 2,000 miles from Nevada to compete in our event. "This is still my daily driver; I can't afford to break it," he explained.
So, when all the diesel fumes, smoke, and fire cleared from the dyno room at TS Performance, Dmitri Millard stood atop the leader board, although with two Dodges, two Chevys, and one Ford all represented in the top five, it was still anyone's game.
A crowd developed around Dmitri Millard's '01 Duramax after he made 878 hp at the wheels o
As it turns out, Cole's dyno run was pretty exciting, and we're not talking about the 1,64
Sean Gammel's '06 Dodge 3500 Mega Cab had a monster Aurora 8000 turbo that had everyone wo
Bryan Garey's 6.4L-powered F-250 made 817 hp, which made his truck the highest-horsepower
Robert Evans' Diesel Power Challenge both began and ended on the dyno. Despite the efforts
Matt Handwork rattled the turbo to life on his '03 Silverado with a bunch of nitrous and w