The Diesel Truck Series’ First Event At Atlanta Speedway
Atlanta Motor Speedway, usually the home of NASCAR stock car racing, might also be the latest hotbed of diesel action. Although black smoke is not likely the first thought that springs to mind when you think about the legendary track, its back lot became home to the first event for the Diesel Truck Series that Diesel Technology Source (DTS) hosted in November of last year. With the future of the growing industry fixed firmly in the mind of David Browning, owner of DTS in Monroe, Georgia, arrangements were made with the track owners of Atlanta Speedway to host his debut event.
The family-friendly event opened around 8 a.m. and began running trucks on the dyno rollers and lining up for the Show-N-Shine competition. Browning set out to make the NASCAR venue a diesel enthusiast’s playground with sled pulling later in the day. Besides the dyno competition open to all diesels, DTS hosted several sled pulling classes from Work Stock to Open. There were even some gasser trucks pulling to give the fans a good variety.
Mike Batterson led the DP Tuner crew with their Dynocom chassis dyno. The first truck of the day set the bar high and started things off right when Patrick Riner and his ’06 compound turbocharged Ram spun the rollers to post what would be the second highest pull of the day at 791 horses and 1,366 lb/ft of torque.
As the black pillars of smoke billowed around the dyno, crowds continued to gather to watch as 25 trucks climbed atop the mobile chassis dyno rig throughout the day. Later on, John Caldwell’s 2010 F-350 would claim the third rank of the dyno with 663 horsepower and 1,227 lb/ft of torque. But it wouldn’t be until the very last run of the day, just as the sun was beginning to dip toward the horizon, that the top horsepower truck would make its run. Ready to try his luck with his well-honed rig, Jay Wilson rolled his bright red ’04 Duramax up to the dyno and it delivered an impressive 950 horsepower with 1,338 lb/ft of torque.
But that wasn’t Wilson’s only success at the Diesel Truck Series opener. The event’s Show-N-Shine was a line of dozens of glamorous trucks ranging from rugged matte finishes to bright pink exteriors. But only one could win and Jay Wilson’s truck that backs its looks with nearly 1,000 horsepower came out on top. Joey Frazier and his gray ’03 F-250 grabbed the runner-up spot with Brandon Gibby’s bright yellow and lifted ’06 F-250 claiming third.
Starting around 2 p.m. in the afternoon and running well into the evening was the dirt-flinging, engine-roaring, smoke-blowing sled pulling. Collier Equipment’s “Heartbreaker 2” sled was ready to dig hard into the Georgia clay track. To start the action was the Work Stock class with a field of 13 trucks ready to pound the dirt. The competition was tight between the trucks as they barreled down the dirt runway with over half of them managing a full pull more than 300 feet. But by the end of the first session, there was a clear winner. On the Work Stock’s last run, April Browning and her Duramax blasted down the track for a whopping 345-foot pull (the longest of the event) and took the win. Justin Goode with a 338-foot pull followed by Hank Carkton and a 332-foot pull rounded out the Work Stock podium.
After some two- and four-wheel drive gassers ran a few passes, the 2.6 class was up to bat. Having a field of 10 heavy hitters, the crowd was ready for a show—and the pack of drivers did not disappoint. With impressive speed and power, the rigs kept eyes glued to them the whole length of the track. Justin Goode managed another podium finish, coming in third with a 324-foot pull against a heavier sled this time. Barely edging past Goode was Eric Whitfield who pulled just two feet further at 326 feet. But the margin of victory was even smaller for Morgan Primm who’s Power Stroke won the class with a pull of 327 feet—just one foot further than second, with the podium separated by only three feet!
As the sun began to hang low, the 2.5 class of 12 trucks was ready to take to the dirt and show what they had. When the tires dug down, the dirt flew high and the crowd couldn’t get enough. As the search for a winner carried on, a familiar Duramax stepped into the spotlight once again. With the taste of victory lingering from just hours earlier, April Browning took down another set of rowdy boys to claim her second victory of the day despite the heavier weighted sled with a 318-foot pull. William Garrall managed second with a close 314-foot pull followed by an equally gapped Bryan Hamby pulling a 310.
With the sun disappearing from view, there was just one more small group of high-powered diesel trucks left to go, the Open class. Having only four trucks, the competition would be tight as they all vied for the top spot. All of the podium finishers managed to pull far past the 300-foot mark yet again. Excitement was building as the final trucks of the night were about to barrel down the track for their last chance at victory. Ben Curry pulled a 327-foot run to find third, barely trailing the second place finisher, Morgan Primm and his 331-foot pull. Reversing rolls with Primm from their last battle, Eric Whitfield and his Cummins pulled out a 339-foot run to win the Open class. With the last stunning pulls finishing under the lights, the event came to a close.
David Browning and his DTS crew have the future of the flourishing diesel industry in the forefront of their minds and getting the Diesel Truck Series up and running was their first major step in that direction. As the inaugural event of a soon-to-be series of events came to a close, the fans and competitors left more than satisfied. DW
Diesel Technology Source
DP Tuner Mobile Dyno
Collier Equipment Pulling Sled