Dynoing & Drag Racing at one of California’s Largest Events

There’s a reason we keep coming back to the Golden State, as Northern California has become an unusual hotbed of diesel performance. There’s a big show contingent too, as lifted, lowered, and swapped trucks are numerous and well-executed. The dyno, provided by the Northwest Dyno Circuit, was spinning all day, as tons of trucks hit the rollers. There was drag racing, with numerous trucks on hand making 7, 6, and even 5-second eighth-mile passes. A vendors row was also an attraction, as everything from clothes, to turbos, to transmissions were available for interested enthusiasts.

Annette Bee Bauer brought her ultra-clean, lifted, pink and grey dually to the show. She reports she absolutely loves it, other than trying to find a place to park in the big city!

One fun aspect of covering an event year-to-year is seeing the emergence and changing of trends. This year, probably one of the biggest new influences we saw was that of 6.0L Performance. A number of extremely hot Fords hit the dyno and track, where they respectively put down some of the best numbers and times of any vehicle in competition.  Another trend we’re starting to see more and more are short-bed conversions–especially with regular cab pickups. We’re not sure if it’s weight or aesthetics that drives the trend, but we’ve concluded they do look pretty cool. Finally, we’ve seen older trucks, swaps, and pre-98 (pre-smog in California) trucks than ever before. We can’t say that’s a bad thing!

If we were giving out a best “under construction” award, it would be to this diesel-swapped older Ford, which was also one of the longest and lowest trucks in attendance.
Older diesel swaps are on the rise, and there was an entire row of 70s Ford with diesel power this year.

In the area of competition, the dyno and drags both saw multiple vehicles vying for the quickest time or highest power number. At the end of the day though, it pretty much came down to two on the dyno and two on the track. The dyno saw William Eaves wildly modified 6.0L Ford with three 0.125-inch solenoids worth of nitrous lay down the gauntlet early in the day with a crazy 1289-hp pull! With Kenny Bruner’s Cummins having issues, his only other major competitor was the dyno operator himself: Kody Pulliam! Often these guys don’t get enough credit for having their own highly modified vehicles, but Kody didn’t disappoint, with 1,030-hp on fuel, and a wild 1,517-hp on the bottle.

As they become worth more and more, people are taking the time to restore classic older diesels. This pristine blue Ford was a prime example.

On the dragstrip, the duo that was battling it out was the unlikely combination of Rick Fletes and his Duramax-powered Chevelle, and the race-only 6.0L Ford drag truck (yes another 6.0) brought to California by KC Turbos. Both of these rides would be running in the 5.90 Index class, which if you ask us, is smokin’ for a diesel! Rick led the charge with a 5.91 on a 5.90 Index, but the KC Turbos truck proved it had plenty of juice with a 5.77-second pass! Both teams decided the overall crown would be won in a best 2 out of 3 race, and although the big Ford would win the final race, a broken nitrous controller took them out in the second race and Rick won the first, so in the end, it was Rick Fletes who was the 5.90 champ!

Show trucks were in full force in Sacramento. This ginormous Ram stood above most of the rest of the trucks thanks to a Plan B lift kit with coil-overs that put it sky-high.

When attending events like these, the main question we always get is “was it fun?” To that, we have to answer heck yes it was! The crowd was awesome, with more than 5000. attendees and the dragstrip and dyno were both open to “fun runs” for those who didn’t want the stress of competing. The Roseville police department even showed up and raced their police cruisers–one of the only chances you’d get to legally outrun a cop. The event left us nothing but smiles, and we’re definitely looking forward to October when sled pulling will be added to the festivities. But for now, we sign off from the Golden State, and we’ll see you all in a few months for the next one!

We didn’t get any specs on the Mercedes diesel, but we’re pretty sure they didn’t come with large front-mounted turbos. We saw it later at the drags where it was trapped in the 90mph range, so it definitely had a little oomph to it.

One of the coolest trucks at the show had to be this 1971 International Loadstar, which had a 5.9L in it. If the valve cover looks unfamiliar that’s because it’s an International 5.9L, not a Cummins! The P-pump inline-six has a lot of similarities to the Cummins however and makes similar power.
The line for the dyno was long all day, as there were classes for single turbo, compounds, and unlimited classes.
Nitrous was flowing on both the dyno and dragstrip, as it wasn’t uncommon for competitors to see 100, 200, or even 500 extra horsepower depending on how much juice was flowing.
To prove our point, William Eaves used a full three solenoids to make an insane 1,289 horsepower from his 6.0L Ford, using an engine that he’d just put together the night before! This run would earn him the Highest HP Of The Day Award and a cool $1000 bucks.
A manufacturer’s midway is always a big part of any Sacramento diesel event and saw vendors like BD Diesel, Dmax Store, and more with products on display.
If you want to draw a crowd, a good way is to bring your UCC Dodge as Kenny Bruner did. The Cummins made more than 1,700 hp on the dyno last year!
Dyno Operator Kody Pulliam put up the big number at the event this year (albeit as an exhibition) after he made a few ticks over 1,500 hp with his Duramax-powered ride. A blown intercooler boot meant he was one and done on the dyno.
The drag racing festivities kicked off with the Roseville police department racing some of the diesels in their cop car. They only won one race, but were good sports about it, and dropped their E.T. from 17s to 15s during the event.
It was old versus new, as this Chevy took on a new 6.7L Ford. The Chevy got the launch and held off Ford’s 10-mph advantage on the top end.
BMW diesel is welcome at the track and is usually pretty quick. This one was modded, as evidenced by its 12.98 at 109mph pass.
After going low 12s at more than 120 mph last year, the driver of this P-pumped 1st Gen got the launch down and hauled to a nitrous-assisted 10.91 at 127 mph.
Fuel prices got ya down? Corey Cooper’s Dodge gets 24-26mpg on the freeway thanks to a camper shell and set of 19.5-inch wheels and the corresponding high-psi tires. We told him he needed just a little more power though, as the bone stock truck ran in the 18-second zone.
Perhaps the most exciting races of the day were the matches of Rick Fletes and Charlie Fish, both of whom are well over 1,200rwhp and both run 5s in the eighth mile.


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