If it’s July in Idaho, that means it’s time for Bully Dog’s Dog Days of Summer at its headquarters in Aberdeen, Idaho. As one of the “don’t-miss” diesel events in the region, it is usually well-attended. And this year was no exception.
Bully Dog has grown to be one of the leading aftermarket companies in the diesel industry and has turned this event into one of the biggest dyno gatherings of the year. This year’s event brought back a crowd favorite: dirt drag racing. Nothing beats high-horsepower diesel trucks slinging mud and gravel down a 500-foot track. With big cash payouts and prize packages for competitors, the event always brings out some of the top contenders in our performance market.
In the Stock Turbo Class, there were quite a few strong running trucks, with a handful producing more than 500 hp on the tough, uncorrected Bully Dog dyno. Third-place honors went to Dylan Kelly and his 2008 Ford 6.4L that made 540 hp/1,040 lb/ft of torque. Second place went to a very clean, lifted 2008 Chevrolet Duramax owned by Jaun Ledesma. He barely edged out the Ford with 544 hp and 932 lb/ft of torque. Top honors for the stock class went to Custom Auto in yet another 2008 Chevrolet Duramax. This sinister-looking, blacked-out LMM laid down a very impressive 547 hp and 1,068 lb/ft of torque, making him the Stock Turbo winner for the day.
The Performance Single Turbo guys are becoming few and far between around these parts due to the higher elevations and desire to run quicker spooling and responsive street twins that have become so readily available at numerous local performance shops. So, it was no surprise to see just four entries in this class. Jake Stander, of nearby Blackfoot, Idaho, took home the top spot in his modified 2003 LB7 Duramax that ran some aftermarket injectors and a 66mm turbocharger. Stander put down 544 hp and 983 lb/ft of torque. Second place went to Brandon Harris and his tuned 2008 Chevrolet Duramax, which put down 493 rear-wheel horsepower and 921 lb/ft of torque. Third place was a solid fuel-only run of 437 hp in a 2001 24-V Dodge owned by Daniel Moore.
The Compound Class, which has quickly become the most competitive class around the Western Mountain region, usually has everything from run-of-the-mill, daily-driven street trucks to all-out competition vehicles. Nitrous bottles aren’t allowed in this class, but huge turbos stuffed under the hood are quite common.
Third place went to Pat Lisky of Big Twin Diesel of Meridian, ID in a 2005 Cummins powered race ready truck with a very impressive 993hp reading. This big crew-cab short-bed has run multiple 10-second quarter-mile passes at the track in nearby Boise, so you can rest assured those near 1000hp numbers are most likely a bit on the low side of the truck’s full potential.
Second-place compound dyno honors went to Custom Auto, with its matte-black, triple-turbocharged Duramax that just beat out Liskey’s Dodge with 998 hp. Putting down an earth-shaking 1,367hp fuel-only number, the top-spot prize went to Dmitri Millard and his regular cab 2001 LB7 Duramax that sported a very clean set of PPE-built turbos. This truck has become known as one of the highest-horsepower Duramaxes in the country—and for good reason. With hundreds of hours of blood, sweat and tears, Millard has gone over every inch of this chassis and powerplant to squeeze every possible ounce of potential. And he has dozens of mid-9-second passes to prove it.
A new horsepower king for 2012 would need to be crowned for the Dog Days bash. What better way to establish that clear-cut winner than by allowing every man to “run what ya brung” with a Nitrous-assisted Class dedicated to anyone tough enough to really push the envelope!
Third place in this class went to Alex Klassen (who was not eligible for a prize because he is an employee of Bully Dog). His lifted 6.4L Power Stroke put down a whopping 919 hp and 1,635 lb/ft of torque. Some basic modifications to his twin-turbo Ford, as well as Bully Dog tuning and a nitrous kit, were more than enough to propel him to the highest-horsepower Ford for the day by almost 400 hp.
Second place went to the aforementioned Custom Auto competition triple-turbo dually Duramax. He made nearly 1,000 hp on fuel only, but after turning on the nitrous bottle and allowing the single solenoid to spray a mist into its intake tract, the truck put down a very impressive 1,237 hp and 1,734 lb/ft lbs of torque.
However, once again—as has been the case in years past—Dmitri Millard sprayed his way to the top in his race truck dubbed “Overkill” with a near-dyno-crushing 1,625 rear-wheel horsepower. The crowd roared as the torque numbers nearly maxed out the dyno’s reading at 2,186 lb/ft of monster torque. How Millard continues to build vehicles and transmissions that withstand this kind of impressive abuse we’ll never understand. But one thing is for sure: That kind of power should be plenty to propel this drag truck to an all-new level of quarter-mile times and speeds.
At the makeshift dirt track at the local Pocatello fairgrounds, competitors arrived at registration during a downpour that the weatherman did a poor job of predicting. While the rain and a dirt track that was turned to mud may have scared off some of the entries, the true racing junkies stepped up to the table and paid their dues to enter a drag race competition that was definitely going to make the owner of every local carwash the true winners of the event.
After scraping off the top layer of mud, Bully Bog personnel were actually able to create near-perfect dirt drag conditions with hard-packed dirt that the four-wheel-drive trucks could really get a hold in.
If you enjoy watching the big, nitrous-assisted trucks flex their muscles on the dyno or fling mud on a 500-foot dirt track, we can assure you this is an event you won’t want to miss next year.
Bruce Clapp 2006 Dodge 432 hp/863 torque
Zach McNeel 2012 Dodge 394 hp/755 torque
Jaime Rodriguez 2008 Chevrolet 392 hp/768 torque
Ciji Stocklein 2011 Dodge 378 hp/638 torque
Justin Tyler 2004 Ford 496 hp/852 torque
Chris Stecklein 2011 Dodge 410 hp/851 torque
Custom Auto 2008 Chevrolet 547 hp/1068 torque
Dylan Kelly 2008 Ford 540 hp/1040 torque
Colby Funk 2009 Chevrolet 472 hp/846 torque
Jaun Ledesma 2008 Chevrolet 544 hp/932 torque
Dakota Oleson 2001 Dodge 282 hp/430 torque
Carbett Renghe 2005 Dodge 283 hp
High Desert Diesel 1994 Dodge 210 hp/461 torque
Daniel Moore 1994 Dodge 437 hp/887 torque
Jake Stander 2003 Chevrolet 544 hp/983 torque
Brandon Harris 2008 Chevrolet 493 hp/921 torque
Brehn Chipps 2001 Dodge 466 hp/996 torque
Bully Dog Race Truck 2007 Dodge 954 hp/1,502 torque
Pat Liskey 2005 Dodge 993 hp/1,562 torque
John Busnardo 2005 Dodge 785 hp
Dave Bolwar 2003 Dodge 816 hp/1,321 torque
Derck Shild 2007 Dodge 562 hp/947 torque
Scott Archibald 1999 Dodge 740 hp /1,090 torque
Travis Byington 2004 Chevrolet 799 hp/1,032torque
Dmitri Millard 2001 Chevrolet 1367 hp/1,777 torque
Custom Auto 2002 GMC 998 hp/1,461 torque
Verlon Southwick 2006 GMC 821 hp/1,296 torque
William Klassen 1998 Dodge 709 hp
Jarid Vollmer 2005 Dodge 944 hp
Dmitri Millard 2001 Chevrolet 1,625 hp/2,186 torque
Custom Auto 2002 GMC 1,237 hp /1,744 torque
Bully Dog race truck 2007 Dodge 1,348 hp/1,843 torque
Alex Klassen 2008 Ford 919 hp/1,635 torque
William Klassen 1998 Dodge 792 hp
By J.S. Hansen
Photography: J. S. Hansen