Blackout in the Country 2019

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

If you were cruising down U.S. Route 70S just west of Woodbury, Tennessee, you might not notice Beans Diesel Performance. But once a year, there’s no mistaking the facility situated just north of the highway. In fact, for one Saturday each October it’s a hive of activity thanks to Beans’ mainstay event: Blackout in the Country. In 2019 that Saturday was October 12, and by 6:30 a.m. there was already a long line of trucks stacking up outside the gate—a gate which wasn’t scheduled to open until 8 a.m.

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The truth teller at Beans is an in-ground, DC 15,000 model chassis dyno from Dynocom Industries (and we’ll note that Dynocom Inc. even sponsored the dyno portion of the event). An eddy brake helps place the diesels strapped to it under enough load to build adequate boost. In total, more than 40 truck owners would patiently wait their turn to accelerate the rollers.

But why were so many truck enthusiasts champing at the bit to get inside? For starters, Blackout in the Country boasts a proven chassis dyno operating round the clock, a burnout pad that’s open to anyone, professionally sanctioned dirt drags, and a night time truck pull to take in. If that’s not enough, a sizeable vendor’s alley consumes a good portion of Beans’ property, the show ‘n shine is top-notch, the entire affair is pet and cooler-friendly, and this year the first 100 trucks through the gate received a free goodie bag.

From the moment we set foot on the grounds, our cameras were busy. Throughout the day, we witnessed a triple-turbo Dodge common-rail clear 1,400 hp on the rollers, several high-horsepower trucks get squirrely in the dirt, tires explode on the burnout pad, and the sled pulls go deep into the night. Between the dyno running nonstop and the seemingly endless line of truck owners willing to destroy their tires, there was always some form of entertainment on display. Trust us, if you want to experience a diesel event that’s jam-packed with action from sun-up to long after sundown, make sure you make it to Beans next fall.

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Beans’ facility has long been notorious for its concrete burnout pad. It’s a place where tires go to die, and at Blackout in the Country 2019 dozens of them did just that. The impromptu nature of the burnout shenanigans means they’re ceaselessly taking place throughout the day, which provides great filler entertainment between the dirt drag and truck pull events.

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Around for many years now, Beans Diesel Performance and Bean Machine owner, Ryan Bean, told us the Blackout in the Country event grows bigger and bigger each year. This time around, his rough estimate on spectator turnout was 2,500. With so much to do and see (by way of burnouts, the dyno, dirt drags, truck pulls, and vendor row) and trucks literally parked everywhere, we don’t doubt that attendance number in the least.

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The best part about the burnout pad is that it operates on a first-come, first-serve basis, and is open to anyone that wants to light ‘em up. A lot of folks that hit the burnout pad did so with the stock skinnies on board, or near-bald tires in place out back.

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After roughly seven hours of the burnout free-for-all, an official burnout competition was held. Once he’d set the rear tires on his VP44 Dodge ablaze—as well as the wheels, wheel well, and bed—Trey Jackson was the obvious winner. He left with a trophy and a goodie bag.

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There was a strong presence in the show ‘n shine, with several clean first-gens grabbing our attention. From work trucks to show trucks to even spotting an M35 deuce and a half, there was a little bit of everything on hand. Trucks were judged in five separate categories: Best of Show, Best 4×4, Best Stance, Best two-wheel drive, and Best Gasser.

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It’s hard not to pass by a Chevy C10 anymore without looking for a Duramax under the hood. Sure enough, there was a 6.6L V-8 sitting in the engine bay of Wredgie Williams’ classic Bow Tie. The LBZ Duramax that was destined for his ’72 C10 was pulled from an ’06 donor truck.

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Winning Best of Show was Kacie Williams’ ruby red ’18 F-450. Her late-model Ford rides on a 6-inch suspension lift from Stryker Off Road Design, and 37-inch rubber mounted to 26-inch American Force wheels.

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Not even Volkswagens were deterred from roasting tires. After this hood-stacked Jetta had a hard time turning the front tires over, a friendly fourth-gen owner helped hold the little TDI in place courtesy of a recovery strap.

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The go ‘til she blows mentality was common aboard the burnout pad. Some tread patterns withstood the abuse for several minutes before popping, while other vehicles overheated before the rubber let go.

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Seth Tallman’s ’10 Super Duty responded well on the dyno. The Super Cab 6.4L Power Stroke laid down an impressive 812 hp and 1,552 lb-ft, which ended up being the seventh highest set of numbers on the day.

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Making the cross-state trek from eastern Tennessee, Steadfast Diesel was on hand with a booth in vendor alley. The company tow-rig, a 6.7L Cummins-powered fourth-gen, sported a second-gen swap kit from Fleece Performance Engineering with an S400, a T4 Steed Speed exhaust manifold, a Banks Monster intake elbow, and a Bean Machine valve cover.

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Bringing a truck that was brand-new to him, Dylan Moon’s ’06 Dodge 2500 put up 987 hp and 1,596 lb-ft of torque on the Dynocom. Just missing the four-digit mark, his horsepower number earned him Second Place on the dyno.

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It wasn’t all high-horsepower fire-breathers on the dyno. Take Ben Whitmire’s ’05 Dodge dually for example. It’s not uncommon to find his Ram hooked to a backhoe or even the sled on occasion, but his 5.9L common-rail makes a respectable 707 hp and 1,257 lb-ft and puts it to good use on a daily basis.

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Beans’ Blackout in the Country proved an opportune time for Fleece Performance Engineering to set up shop and spread the word on its new PowerFlo in-tank lift pump system for ’98.5-’02 Dodge owners. It was especially timely given how many VP44 trucks were present on the grounds, be it doing burnouts, hitting the dyno, hooking to the sled, drag racing, or just sitting in the overflowing parking lots.

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Speaking of work trucks, there was no shortage of flat bed rigs getting in on the action, be it on the dyno, in the dirt, or smoking tires. This late-model, Duramax-powered GMC 3500 had no problem lighting up the rear duals for a lengthy, white smoke display on the burnout pad.

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Just as some of the dyno dwellers made their way to the burnout pad after being handed a dyno graph, some trucks spent the entire day in the dirt. Once the dirt drags were over, many signed up to take a stab at the truck pull payout. Even as the ambient air temperature dropped into the 40’s, most event-goers stuck around deep into the night to watch the dirt fly.

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After being the test hook for the Work Stock class, Allen Ferge came back around in his second-gen Dodge and wound up sixth place overall, yanking the iron some 339 feet and change. Earlier that afternoon, Allen won the two-wheel drive/manual class in the dirt drags.

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It was definitely a winning weekend for Dustin McCandless and his classic body Chevy (right). After picking up the Street class win in the dirt drags, he took home First Place in both the Work Stock and Open/Run What Ya Brung class during the sled pulls. Dustin’s Work Stock victory entailed his Duramax going 371.61 feet with an impressive ground speed of 29.4 mph.

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After doing a 2-minute burnout, things got a bit toasty under the hood of this 6.0L Super Duty. A few water bottles were donated by spectators to help quell the smoke near the firewall.

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The dirt drags were run by KOI Drag Racing of Owenton, Kentucky. It’s an outfit that hosts dirt drag events for diesel trucks, various gas vehicles, ATV’s, and side-by-sides all summer long in the greater Kentucky, Tennessee, Ohio, Indiana, and Michigan area.

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Jacob Rupp has been dialing his ’03 F-350 in for the dirt drags for a while now, and it’s starting to pay off. His standard cab, 7.3L Power Stroke was a forced to be reckoned with at Blackout in the Country, making passes in under 4 seconds. But what’s the secret behind Jacob’s 700-plus hp 7.3L? Big injectors, a big single turbo, good tuning, and a full nitrous bottle.

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JPaula Boring put in a strong hook behind the wheel of her ’03 LB7 in Work Stock. A distance of 348.45 feet guaranteed her Third Place behind the strong-running duo of Dustin and Pat McCandless.