Bigger Is Always Better
For diesel enthusiasts like us who enjoy drag racing, sled pulling, dyno competition and checking out the latest products from major diesel performance manufacturers, you’d be hard pressed to find more diesels crammed into one spot than the Annual Scheid Diesel Extravaganza in Terre Haute, Indiana. As in past years, the 2013 event was hosted at the Wabash Valley Fairgrounds and the adjoining Crossroads Dragway. The three-day event started on Friday, August 23, and concluded on Sunday, August 25, with well more than 15,000 in attendance over the course of the three days of diesel madness!
Friday and Saturday featured dyno action on two chassis dynos on the fair grounds with participants choosing between the DP Tuner Dynocom trailer-mounted mobile chassis dyno and the Scheid Diesel Mustang chassis dyno they brought out from their shop. This year’s dyno competition was focused on real-world trucks so rules were implemented to ensure that all vehicles were street legal with street-legal tires and that there were no corporate-sponsored or competition-only vehicles. Nitrous oxide was also illegal for the dyno competition so all vehicles entered were required to run diesel fuel only.
Thirty-seven competitors entered the dyno competition Friday with Kevin Martin and his 2008 Ford F-350 taking the top spot on the DP Tuner Dynocom dyno by putting 627 horsepower to the rear wheels. Josh Rohling was the top dog on the Scheid Diesel Mustang dyno with his 2004 Dodge that put down 613 horsepower.
The dyno action really picked up on Saturday with a total of 106 competitors between the two dynos! On the Scheid Diesel dyno, Josh Rohling and his 2004 Dodge were triumphant again but put down a better number this time with 684 horsepower from the rear wheels to the rollers. Cody Bell put up the best dyno number of the weekend, taking home the prize on the DP Tuner dyno with his 2008 Ford F-250 making 811 horsepower for the win.
In addition to action on the dynos, spectators could also take in the vendor alley to see the latest and greatest performance diesel parts. One of the highlights we saw was the Wagler Competition Products Duramax cylinder heads that are cast by Brodix and available in several configurations from mild to wild for ’01-’10 Duramax engines. Look for a tech article on these heads in the future here in Diesel World.
Friday and Saturday also featured some great-looking diesel trucks and conversions in the Show-N-Shine competition. There were 43 entries on Friday and 59 entries on Saturday with winners in four categories splitting the entry for a 100-percent payback prize. The awards were handed out for Best Dodge, Ford, GM and Conversion for each day and we do not envy the judges from the Purdue Diesel Club for their hard work in deciding which of the many trucks would take home the honors. We saw original and well-restored classic trucks, modern trucks of all varieties, and some very wild diesel conversions as well as heavily modified trucks and buggies.
“As usual the largest crowd gathering was for the sled pulling action held on the front straight of the famed Terre Haute Action Track, one of the oldest dirt ovals in the country.”
For those wanting to expand their diesel knowledge, seminars were held on site both Friday and Saturday throughout the day. Representatives from Bosch Motorsports, Edge Products, Fleece Performance Engineering, Flo-Pro Exhaust, Superchips, TS Performance and Visto Fuel Conversions presented the seminars.
The main hall had exhibitors as well as a Scheid Diesel mini-store set up with some great show specials. They even had technicians on hand to handle installations on-site for those who wanted to have the new parts they purchased installed right away. And of course the line to buy T-shirts inside the main hall was huge, as usual.
The largest crowd gathering was for the sled pulling action held on the front straight of the famed Terre Haute Action Track, one of the oldest dirt ovals in the country. The main grandstand was crowded during the qualifying sessions Friday and Saturday for the 2.6 Class where 81 trucks fought for 28 spots in Friday night’s main event and 80 trucks battled for 28 2.6 Class spots on Saturday night.
The track was completely ripped up and prepped twice each day, first in the morning for the 2.6 Class qualifying pulls, then again for the main event in the afternoon. In total, 158 participated in the pull on Friday including three tractor classes as well as 2.6 Class trucks, 3.0 Class Pro Street trucks and Super Stock trucks with more than 105 hooks in the main event. Saturday had even more action on the pulling track with 171 total participants and more than 120 hooks in the main event where the three truck classes shared the stage with a Hot Rod Semi class and two tractor classes.
There were a handful of drivers who placed in the top five each night, but the class winners were different. Shane Kellogg had a good weekend in the “Gotta Have It” truck placing second both nights in the ultra-competitive Super Stock Diesel class with Matt Clemons taking the win Friday night and veteran Van Haisley taking the top spot Saturday night. In the 3.0 Pro Street class Wesley Kusilek fought off a field of Dodges in his “Cummins Killer” GMC to take the win Friday night and a third place finish Saturday night when the “White Lightning” Dodge of Chris Muhs took the win. To round things out in the 2.6 Class, Craig McElfresh piloted the “Caged Hooker” to the win Friday night where the top five were covered by less than 4 feet in distance. Saturday night Rob Wright drove his “All Attitude” Dodge to the 2.6 Class win.
Diesel enthusiasts who like to go fast were not disappointed either with action all three days at the adjoining Crossroads Dragway. Friday night was a test and tune session to allow drivers to dial in the setups to the 1/8-mile drag strip. Saturday’s drag racing action featured Semi, ET Bracket, 7.70 Index and 6.70 Index classes running for the win, with the Pro Street, Pro Mod and Pro Dragster classes qualifying for eliminations on Sunday.
On Sunday, the temporary Scheid Diesel parts department was open for limited hours in the main hall for anyone wanting to get in on those show specials who didn’t take advantage on Friday or Saturday. Other than that, the focus of the day was on the Crossroads Dragway with drivers allotted a few test and tune passes in the morning with first-round elimination passes beginning in the early afternoon for all six classes.
The largest class was the ET Bracket class with entries ranging from a small VW TDI all the way up to a Semi with a huge variety of trucks in between. Trey Sikes drove his VW Jetta TDI wagon with great consistency making it all the way to the final round on Saturday and the semi-final round on Sunday, each time losing to Tony Price who went on to win the ET Bracket class each day. In fact, Price also won the ET Bracket class on Saturday last year making him three for four in the last two years at the Extravaganza!
Johnny Gilbert was another repeat winner, taking multiple wins for the weekend. Gilbert and his Stainless Diesel triple-turbo Dodge raced in both the 7.70 Index and 6.70 Index classes on both days and won three of the four events. Breaking out in the final round of the 7.70 class final round prevented him from completing the weekend sweep in both classes. He has had great results at past Scheid events as well, coming into this year’s event with a two race win streak in the 7.70 Index class.
The Pro Street truck final came down to a pair of Dodge trucks with Phillip Palmer and his 2WD ’94 Dodge versus Darren Morrison and his 4WD ’97 Dodge. This time, Palmer and his well-tuned and refined 2WD had the upper hand, taking the win with one of the best passes of the weekend running the 1/8th mile in 5.9688 seconds at 120.62 mph. We witnessed a classic Chevy versus Ford battle in the Pro Mod final with John Fyffe and his Duramax-powered ’63 Chevy Nova tripping the win light over Tyler Bradley and his Cummins-powered ’95 Ford Mustang. Jeff Dean and his Duramax-powered dragster took the win in the Pro Dragster class with a great 5.1437-second pass at more than 135 mph, defeating the Scheid dragster driven by Jared Jones who uncharacteristically red lit jumping the start.
As in years past, the Scheid Diesel Extravaganza lived up to the hype and delivered on the promise of a great diesel experience with something for diesel enthusiasts of all types. Event winners took home their share of more than $83,500 in prize money, making this one of the highest-paying diesel events in the country, according to Scheid, who added that the total purse was up more than 10 percent over last year’s Extravaganza.
Mark your calendar for August 22-24, 2014 as Scheid Diesel has confirmed that they will return to the Wabash Valley Fairgrounds and Crossroads Dragway for the 2014 Scheid Diesel Extravaganza. Point your web browser to www.scheiddiesel. com for the latest information and event details.
The Extravaganza ALWAYS offers something for all diesel enthusiasts with show trucks, manufacturer displays, seminars, special event bargains, dyno competition, sled pulls and drag racing all in one location for three days of diesel bliss. If #2 flows through your veins and gets you excited, the Extravaganza is definitely a must-attend event. DW
The After Party
What happens when you put more than 15,000 diesel enthusiasts and their trucks inside a small Indiana town? Plenty! The Scheid Diesel Extravaganza has become legendary among diesel enthusiast for not only what goes on inside the fairgrounds, but also the after party scene. Each year, thousands of diesel enthusiasts, their trucks and their friends take over one or more area parking lots to host what would be considered a Diesel Woodstock after party. Luckily, local law enforcement keeps things to a dull roar, but it’s one of the things that makes SDX legendary and on the bucket list of most diesel enthusiasts.
3701 S. US Hwy 41
Terre Haute, IN 47802
Lucas Oil Pro Pulling League
4960 N. 13th Street
Terre Haute, IN 47805
Wabash Valley Fairgrounds
3901 S. US Hwy 41
Terre Haute, IN 47802