TONY RIZZI’S DURAMAX POWERED 1937 CHEVROLET DRAG TRUCK
With around 30-years of diesel experience, Tony Rizzi has seen many changes in the diesel world, and he continues to be at the forefront of diesel performance. As the owner of Full Pull Diesel Performance, he’s built trucks for and competed in both sled pulling and drag racing through the years, but around 2015 he began to focus his diesel efforts on drag racing leading to the creation of his ’37 Chevrolet pickup that’s affectionately known as “The Outcast”.
In around two months’ time, Rizzi worked with his team as well as friends at Wagler Competition Products, S&S Diesel Motorsport, PPEI, and ATS Diesel to initially build what’s developed into a very stout diesel drag racer. He and his crew transformed a rolling chassis into the ’37 Chevy pickup currently tearing up the strip and placed a stout Duramax diesel engine between the frame rails. The truck has run a best 1/8-mile pass of 4.3 seconds at 169 mph at its 3,254-pound weight, but like most race cars, has evolved in a never-ending quest for more speed. It features a combination of steel and fiberglass bodywork that has been modified as needed by Rizzi, his Full Pull Diesel team, as well as the crew at Collins Collision in Edmond, OK. The truck was given a signature matte black finish to match its oil-burning personality.
Originally the LML Duramax engine used a pair of twin 6266 Precision Turbos along with a cooling system for the block and heads, but it has since migrated to use a single monster-sized 102 mm Precision Turbo, a dry block, and heads. The rotating assembly was built to precise tolerances with Rizzi and the Wagler group working together on the engine. The block’s capped with a set of billet aluminum race series CNC-machined Wagler cylinder heads and a cast aluminum Wagler Street intake manifold.
Fueling is handled by a Waterman Sprint mechanical low-pressure pump mounted in the valley of the block in the place where the factory CP3 typically resides. The mechanical pump draws fuel from the fuel cell and supplies it to three S&S Diesel Motorsport 10mm stroker CP3 high-pressure pumps mounted to the front of the block with a billet front cover. The high-pressure CP3s feed the fuel rails and then send the fuel off to a set of S&S 500% over LBZ fuel injectors. The fuel delivery is enhanced with a boatload of nitrous oxide fed into the engine in multiple stages from two large Nitrous Express bottles mounted in the cab. Everything’s controlled by a Bosch Motorsport stand-alone ECU. Rizzi estimates that the engine is making around 2,400 horsepower and 3,000 lb-ft of torque.
To get the power to the rear axle, Rizzi relies on a Rossler Transmission Turbo 400 based 3-speed automatic transmission that’s linked to the engine through an ATS Diesel flexplate and 5,500 rpm stall Neal Chance torque converter. The output from the transmission is channeled to the rear axle through a Mark Williams driveshaft where a Carmack 10-inch spool and gears send the power to the wheels through Bear’s Pro Axles shafts. A set of 33.0/17.0-16 Hoosier drag slicks do the best they can to put the power to the track when Rizzi mashes the loud pedal and unleashes the full force of the Duramax.
The truck’s interior is sparse and built for racing with a multi-point roll cage with driver containment as well as a single aluminum racing seat and Simpson race harnesses to secure him in the seat as he blasts down the track. Both the Bosch Motorsport ECU and DDU10 display are installed in the cab along with a Precision Performance Products shifter for gear selection. The final additions to the interior are the pair of Nitrous Express bottles in a billet aluminum mount, a fire extinguisher, and of course the driver inputs of a quick-release steering wheel and custom pedal assembly for go and whoa.
Strange Engineering coil-over shocks are used at all four corners to tame the chassis and give Rizzi a smooth ride as he blasts down the track for each 1/8-mile pass. With adjustable shocks and coil spring options, he and his crew can tune the chassis for any track conditions. He tends to race on various “no-prep” tracks and “street” races and the 4.3 second Duramax typically does well against the gassers as well as other diesel-powered rigs. One of the best wins came at the end of the 2019 season in Ennis, TX at the diesel no-prep race when he caught fire during eliminations on the way to a round win. He then made repairs and raced his way into the finals to take the win.
Like most racers, Rizzi always wants to go faster and despite the success of the truck, he feels that he’s reached the limits with the current configuration. So, he turned to Bob Tynan of Tynan Racecars to build the next Outcast, which of course will be lighter and more powerful, so the competition better watch out. He hoped to have it on the track for testing in the spring of 2020, but COVID-19 has derailed those plans. Hopefully, by the time you read this, we’re back to racing, and Rizzi and the new Outcast are blasting down the track. Don’t worry about the original Outcast as he plans to put a water-cooled block back into it, and make it a streetable truck once again to use for cruising and fun!