THE ROYALTY FAMILY’S DODGE DAKOTA DRAG MACHINE
Drag racing is a family friendly sport which tends to draw families to both the grandstands and staging lanes. One such racing family is the Royalty family where Merit is the team owner and crew chief, his son Steve is the driver and Steve’s son Tyler is the tech and starting line man. All three generations of the Royalty family work together with a few additional team members to make the “Climate Change” Warren County Diesel Service Dodge Dakota Pro Mod drag truck fly down the race track.
The GTS Fiberglass 2000 Dodge Dakota body rides on a custom Gary Taylor Race Cars tubular chassis that was built specifically for the Royalty race team after they decided to move on from their previous Pro Mod drag truck “Flirtin’ With Disaster”. A billet aluminum block 6.7L Cummins engine built by Kent Crowder at Scheid Diesel Motorsports provides the oomph to propel the truck down the track. Internally the engine features a Scheid modified Cummins crankshaft that swings Arias pistons on R&R/Scheid Diesel connecting rods. The valves in the 12-valve Cummins cylinder head are controlled by a Scheid camshaft with Cook and Sons valve train components.
FUEL AND AIR
A very unique triple turbo setup is employed in the truck with a massive 99 mm custom Keating Machine turbo housed inside the cab with a pair of 82 mm F1 BorgWarner turbos perched atop the roll cage out back above the rear axle drawing in fresh air through a pair of Scheid Diesel guillotine style air stops that would be deployed to prevent a runaway situation. Fuel is fed to the engine through a Scheid Diesel 1,100 cc injection pump feeding a set of Scheid Diesel injectors. Rather than using an intercooler the Royalty family relies on water and nitrous oxide injection to keep the inlet charge temperature in check. The combination makes an estimated 2,500 HP with 3,000 lbs-ft of torque delivering a best 1/8 mile ET of 4.790 seconds at 154.90 MPH during the 2019 ODSS season.
A Lenco 4-speed transmission that Steve shifted himself was in the truck when we shot it for this article, but the team has swapped it out for a 3-speed unit with automated shifting to be more consistent throughout the 2020 ODSS season. The 4-disk Molinari Racing Products clutch is secured inside a Pro Bell bell housing. The transmission is wrapped in a Taylor Made protective cover with a Taylor Made custom engine diaper below the Cummins as well. The engine, transmission, clutch and turbo setup were all migrated over from “Flirtin’ With Disaster” to the new “Climate Change” truck.
The team at Gary Taylor Race Cars mounted the GTS Fiberglass body on their chromoly Pro Mod chassis that rides on Strange coil-over strut assemblies up front with Strange coil-over shocks and a four-link setup locating the rear axle assembly. The Ricky Jones Ford 9-inch axle assembly features 3.40 Moser Engineering gears, spool and 40-spline axle shafts that send the power to the American Racing Pro Series double beadlock wheels and massive Mickey Thompson ET Drag 35.0/15.0-16 slicks. Up front 5-spoke Speed Series Competition Wheels are wrapped in Goodyear Eagle 28.0X4.5-15 front drag tires. Braking is handled by Wilwood single piston calipers and slotted rotors up front with four piston calipers and drilled rotors in the rear, of course there is also a Stroud parachute mounted to the rear of the chassis to provide additional braking force as Steve crosses the finish line.
Jerry Robinson at Cuz’s Custom Body & Paint laid down the metallic pearl black base with striking metallic pearl red graphics, airbrush work and hand pin-striping to make the Dakota body look great at any speed. The one-piece hood, grille, bumper and fenders lift off together to make it easy to tune and wrench on the Cummins engine concealed below the beautiful paint work. The doors are also easily removable with lift off hinges for easy access to the interior of the rig while servicing the truck be tween rounds. Wheel arches were added to the bed to accommodate the large wheel tubs covering the Mickey Thompson drag slicks.
Moving inside the truck you can clearly see the 99 mm turbo and its associated piping as well as the Lenco transmission in addition to the jungle gym of bars and supports that will keep Steve safe in the event of a high speed mishap. He relies on a 5-point G-Force Racing Gear harness to keep him securely and safely contained in his aluminum Kirkey Racing seat. A Computech DataMaxx system is employed to log the truck’s vitals while blasting down the track while giving Steve the information he needs on the screen directly in front of the steering wheel.
The Royalty family has worked together to continue to make the truck faster and faster nearly every time they hit the track. But, like every good racing family they are not satisfied with their current speed and know that there is more potential to be unleashed within their Cummins powered drag beast so they have continued to make refinements and upgrades throughout the truck. In addition to moving to an automated 3-speed Lenco transmission they have also reworked the wheelie bar system and anti-sway bars to keep the chassis better planted as they try to harness the full 2,500 HP capability of their Scheid Diesel Cummins engine. The off-season also found the team reworking some of the truck’s aerodynamics to redirect more air into the turbo inlets.
Merit, Steve and Tyler Royalty are a go fast family that loves diesel drag racing and have made their racing dreams come true. While you attend the next ODSS race drop by the “Climate Change” pits and check out the truck up close and chat with the racing family behind the rig to get tips on how you and your family can join them in victory lane in the future!