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Chase Fleece: 2012 Diesel Power Challenge Competitor

2006 Dodge Ram 2500, 6.7L Cummins

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Twenty-six-year-old avid Cummins enthusiast Chase Fleece comes to us from North Salem, Indiana. But don’t let his age fool you; he brings a host of competition experience and technical knowledge to the table. In the diesel performance game for nearly a decade now, he’s been chassis dynoing, sled pulling, and drag racing regularly the past five years. We’d look for this west-of-Indy native to dig deep during both the sled pull and dragstrip events, as well as put up solid numbers on the dyno. Perhaps most important, Chase is no stranger to the Diesel Power Challenge, having crew chief’d Brian Parker’s Second Place effort in 2010.

Power Recipe
On paper, Chase’s ’06 Ram looks like the highest-horsepower Cummins-powered truck for 2012. The engine is based on a 6.7L long-block that features Carrillo rods, 14mm main studs, a Hamilton Cams 188/220 camshaft, ported head with upgraded valvesprings and push tubes, and ARP 625 head studs. A set of 150-percent-over injectors from Exergy Engineering, ATS dual CP3s (using FPE striker pumps), and a 150-gph AirDog system adds lots of fuel to the fire. Airflow comes by way of a single, S400-based turbo from Engineered Diesel, which measures 71/83 and uses a .90 A/R turbine housing. EFILive ECM and TCM tuning dials in both the engine and the 48RE Om3ga automatic transmission from Sun Coast.

Setup and Strategy
A true competitor, Chase engineered his setup to not only excel in but survive every event. For the dyno, a single stage of nitrous will be used low in the rpm band to boost his torque number, and two different fuel additives will keep the fuel in the tank as energy dense as possible. At the dragstrip, a 50mm, external wastegate should prevent the S471 turbo from overspeeding. With a CNG tank in the bed and a tonneau cover, you can bet he’ll also be a candidate for best mpg during the ride and drive. And for the sled pull (an event he considers to be his specialty), he installed a three-link front suspension, air springs in the rear, and a custom rear driveshaft that incorporates 1550 series Spicer U-joints. For the trailer obstacle course, he’s simply relying on driver skill and his years of hauling competition vehicles to the track. Making an educated tire choice, Chase went with a set of Nitto Terra Grapplers for all-around performance—a tire that has graced a few First Place trucks in the past. When we asked him about his strategy going into the Diesel Power Challenge, he had the perfect answer: “My strategy is to be consistent in all events and keep the truck together.”=

Prepared For the Worst
Should any carnage occur, Chase is prepared for that, too. He showed up in Denver with a spare turbo, transfer case, full-billet transmission, axles, injectors, CP3, and ECM—so we’re pretty sure it’ll take a catastrophic failure to force him to throw in the towel. With an engine that could easily push his truck beyond 1,000 rwhp, arguably the strongest Dodge transmission ever built, and extensive competition and wrenching experience on his side, look for Chase to finish at or near the top of the heap this year.

Name: Chase Fleece, North Salem, Indiana
Vehicle: 2006 Dodge Ram 2500
Driver Experience: Dyno, drag racing, towing, sled pulling, wrenching
Engine: 6.7L Cummins common-rail with billet-steel Carrillo connecting rods, 14mm main studs, Hamilton Cams 188/220 cam, ported head, valvesprings, push tubes, ARP head studs
Turbo(s): Engineered Diesel S471 (71/83/.90) and 50mm external wastegate, second-generation Steed Speed exhaust manifold
Intercooler: Banks
Electronics: EFILive
Injection System: AirDog 150-gph lift pump, ATS dual CP3s, 150-percent-over Exergy Engineering injectors
Injectables: Snow Performance water-methanol, Nitrous Express single-stage system, CNG system (filled by Clean Energy)
Intake/exhaust system: Banks side intake with Fleece Performance ManTake, 5-inch MBRP exhaust
Transmission: 48RE-based Sun Coast Om3ga four-speed
Suspension: Lowered 2 inches, three-linked, Bilstein shocks, rear air springs
Tires: 285/50R22 Nitto Terra Grappler
Wheels: 22-inch XD Monster
Differential: 3.73 with Eaton ELocker

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