2019 Morgan Primm Memorial Fall Truck Brawl

Dyno, Dirt Drags, Truck Pulls, Burnouts—and Never a Dull Moment

Any time there’s an event being held with truck pulls, dirt drags, a proven chassis dyno, and a show ‘n shine all in one location, count us in. That was precisely the case at the Morgan Primm Memorial Fall Truck Brawl held in Petersburg, Illinois. The day-long diesel affair serves as a way to remember the late Morgan Primm, an influential Blue Oval innovator, and bring the region’s strongest-running trucks, no matter the brand. For 2019, nearly $12,000 in payouts were on the line, eight truck and tractor classes were slated to hook to the sled, and 20 big name sponsors kicked in prizes, money, and/or manpower (there were 68 volunteers, to be exact).

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Although the weather forecast looked like rain was a forgone conclusion, on the day of the event most of the precipitation held off long enough to get the dirt drags in the books, pull off the dyno competition, hold the show ‘n shine, and squeeze in three pulling classes before the sky opened up. Someone was definitely watching over this one… But despite the early finale, it was a solid day of action, with a few trucks laying down four-digit horsepower on the dyno, a host of clean trucks to vote for in the show ‘n shine, and 2019 U.C.C. Qualifier Matt Greger even stopping by to mix things up in the dirt drags.

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Matt Gregor made the trek over from Pittsfield, Illinois with his nasty, UCC Qualifier truck: a Duramax that belted out 1,465-rwhp while aboard the rollers in Indy. We’re not sure how many ponies he was using during the dirt drags, but it was enough to hold traction and take the win in the Open Class.

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When you’re at an event from beginning to end, sometimes you get there before the chassis dyno shows up. Paul Cato and Donavan Jones of Maverick Diesel lugged the mobile Mustang unit up from Royalton, Illinois, unloaded everything, and had it pieced together and operational in about a half hour.

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The dirt drag categories were kept simple: Stock class and Open class. Here, Reid Aberle
gets the jump on the other lane in the Open class behind the wheel of his strong-running,
front-end-swapped, LB7 Duramax.

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’41 Chevy school bus anyone? We watched this rat rod pull into the fairgrounds and immediately cornered the owner, Jason Bliesner, for the rundown. Located and hauled back from Kansas, it was fitted with full air ride, a compound turbo 12-valve Cummins, and backed by a Turbo 400 automatic. To say this old-school kid-hauler was popular at the event would be an understatement.

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The dyno, a joint ownership effort between Maverick Diesel and Tri County Diesel, is regularly used as part of Maverick Diesel’s day-to-day operations. Needless to say, being shared by two diesel shops this set of rollers is about as accurate as it gets. The number you make here usually correlates with the time slip you collect at the end of the track.

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For higher horsepower trucks, wheel spin is always a concern. To help quell the issue, dyno operator extraordinaire, Paul Cato, supplied a proprietary mix of VHT and a mystery substance in a squirt bottle. In this instance it worked to perfection, with the Nitto NT420S tread mounted to a nitrous-fed 6.4L Power Stroke staying glued to the rollers for the duration of its four-digit runs.

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After performing a load of updates during a refresh, Will Bosaw’s 6.0L Power Stroke laid down an impressive number on the dyno. His studded, stock turbo and injector ’04 F-250 made 486 hp and 898 lb-ft of torque—solid numbers for a tuner, intake, and exhaust truck.

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Despite all the other goings on at the event (dirt drags, pulls, show ‘n shine, kiddie pedal pull), the chassis dyno proved one of the hottest spots to be. After making a respectable 840-rwhp with his ’06 Dodge, John Wilson made a tuning change and laid down 890 hp and 1,641 lb-ft. His setup was highlighted by an S467 and what he called a “mild” pump, which likely means he’s running a 12mm CP3 or larger.

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After playing in the dirt drags, it was time for Ruben King to put his 6.4L Power Stroke to work on the dyno. Fuel only, his setup was good for 860 hp. With a good ghetto fogging, his F-250 put up 1,057 hp and 1,885 lb-ft.

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When you’re living the standard cab life but you have no use for 40/20/40 split bench seats, you do what Jared Rice did with his ’19 F-250 XLT. You source a brand-new center console from Ford and install it in place of the factory jump seat.

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As Midwest Diesel and Auto, a shop that specializes in late model Power Strokes, was the host of the Morgan Primm Memorial Fall Truck Brawl, plenty of Blue Ovals turned out for the show ‘n shine. However, despite the sea of Fords, area resident Nathan Thornley’s bad-in-black ‘16 Chevrolet Silverado 3500 dually won Best in Show for the second year running.

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With close ties and a great working relationship with One Up Offroad, Midwest Diesel and Auto and OUO utilized the event as an opportunity to release a product that’s been in development for some time. One Up Offroad’s Steady Track Stabilizer system moves the high mount steering stabilizer off of the drag link and onto the pitman arm of ’17-newer Super Duty’s. The result is elimination of the bump steer the new Fords are notorious for, along with providing much improved steering performance.

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A host of 6.7L Power Stroke Fords were on hand sporting Midwest Diesel and Auto turbo systems. This ’11-‘16 F-350 benefits from Midwest’s Precision compound turbo kit, a combination that consists of a 76mm Precision charger serving as the atmospheric unit and a Midwest 64mm VGT in the valley.

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Ruben’s setup consists of a Midwest Diesel and Auto long-block, 100-percent over injectors, and a factory-based 59mm, 75mm compound turbo arrangement. Not afraid to do a little bit of everything, he often pulls in the Work Stock class and hits the drag strip from time to time, having run 11.90’s in the past.

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Noticing his truck was down on power during its last bout with the sled, Jeremy Haggerty had tuner Paul Cato (the dyno operator) take a look at things on his ’03 Dodge Ram 3500 Work Stock puller while it was aboard the dyno. Jeremy’s glad he did. When his dually backed onto the rollers it was making less than 700 hp, but when it pulled off it was putting down 809 hp and 1,468 lb-ft.

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After putting up a good fight during the dirt drags, we found this two-tone OBS Ford strapped to the dyno. With 238/100 hybrid injectors and one of DieselSite’s ball bearing 66mm Wicked turbo kits, the non-intercooled old-school ¾-ton cleared 450 hp on the rollers.

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As the General Sales Manager at Midwest Diesel and Auto, Jared goes the extra mile to set his trucks apart from the rest of the crowd, in both performance and appearance. On his brand-new, Silver Spruce Super Duty, Jared installed a Lariat Sport grille and reached out to DC Customs for several lighting upgrades—along with some inverted paint scheme color matching on the emblems to make them pop.

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The goal in the Stock Turbo field is to squeeze as much horsepower as mechanically possible out of a stock turbo—and despite the airflow limitation many trucks are at or beyond the 600-rwhp mark. It’s classes like this, where one CP3 is the rule, that the advancement in stroker pumps in recent years has been highly welcomed.

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In the Stock Turbo truck pull class, ballast was permitted (hanging weights were not) and the maximum weight for the class checked in at 8,500 pounds. Dual CP3’s were prohibited along with compressor wheel upgrades, but blocked rear suspension was allowed.

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Formerly owned by the late Morgan Primm, Patrick Marler’s ’17 Super Duty sports a host of Midwest Diesel and Auto’s finest components. The engine, a full-on Midwest long-block, sports 30-percent over injectors, an RCD Performance stroker CP4.2, Midwest’s single 66mm VGT, and a Comp 1.5 transmission. Though a tuning quirk surfaced on the dyno, the late-model F-250 still put down 680 hp and more than 1,500 lb-ft.

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Here, Mark Roberts gives his John Deere 4455, coined “Force-N-It,” a ride in the 9,500-pound Pro Farm class. Unfortunately, this would be the only group of tractors to hook to the sled before thunderstorms brought things to a halt.

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The dirt drag finals boiled down to Mitch Ruder and Ian Gebbia in the Stock class. Although Mitch had been spot-on behind the wheel of his ‘04 GMC throughout the day, the win light went to Ian and his 6.7L Power Stroke on this deciding pass.