The grass roots feel of dirt drag events has been growing in influence this year and was a welcome addition to the Riffraff Diesel Performance Event in Newport, Tennessee, this summer. The family style event has grown every year and become an important event on many diesel enthusiasts’ calendars, and this year was no exception. Diesel junkies flocked into the Cocke County fairgrounds on July 18th 2015 eager to see the stunning Show-N-Shine trucks, hear the spool of engines on the dyno, watch Riffraff’s first dirt drags, and of course, witness the sled pull.
As in year’s past, the event was family friendly and everyone was welcome to come and have a good time, including the young ones who were able to enjoy some bounce castles, cotton candy and snow cones, even with the scattered showers that poured on spectators and their trucks. Though the event originally catered to the Power Stroke clan of diesel lovers, a variety makes and models made it to this special event.
The DP-Tuner Dyno started off right away and very quickly had a long line formed behind it waiting for their chance to prove their metal and lay down the power. The highest horsepower honor eventually went to Patrick Riner with his ‘06 Ram 2500 with an impressive 949 horsepower and 1,822 pound feet of torque. The top Duramax and top Power Stroke both rounded out the top three overall with Phillip Mullet’s ‘03 GMC 2500 coming in with 786 horsepower and 1,050 pound feet of torque followed by Colt Minton and his 2010 F-250 at 618 horsepower and 1,201 pound feet of torque.
Next to begin after the dyno was underway was the inaugural dirt drags. Still showing their welcoming attitude and “run what you brung” attitude, Clay Note and his Riffraff West Coast based crew set up five different classes for the drag racing activity. The quick arm-drop style dirt drags had a good pace and kept fans excited, as they flew down the 300-foot track with dust flying. Adam Doan grabbed the win in the 4WD Gas class as the brackets wound down, while Kamen Drae won the 4WD Stock Diesel through his competitive group. The 2WD/Manual classes were won by Gabriel Williams in the gas division and Dustin Coons on the diesel side. Phillip Mullet showed his trucks ability by placing second highest power overall on the dyno and coming out on top of the Modified Diesel dirt drag class, as he pounded down the track ahead of the rest down to the final. The dirt drags were a hit as fans enjoyed watching the homegrown style, head-to-head racing with mixed clouds of clay dust and black smoke.
By the time the dirt drags were wrapping up, judging had been tallied for the crowd of Show-N-Shine contestants. With a variety of trucks entered, vehicles were divided into six distinct categories and competition was held across those to determine the overall best-in-show. One of the largest classes of the event was the Old Body Style (OBS) early Ford group. Jackson Camb was able to take the win in the Work Stock group, and Justin LaFollete took home first in the Best Dodge category. Kevin Martin and his slick OBS (custom painted black with deep, dark red flames and carbon fiber effects) was able to nab first in both the Cleanest Ride and Best OBS. But Will Riner’s custom-built, massively lifted, gray, flamed Power Stroke show truck with bright yellow and blue accents and clean underbelly came out on top by gathering the Best Ford and Best Paint category wins and taking the Best in Show title, literally towering over ogling spectators and judges alike.
Rolling out next was the Dirt Hog II sled for everyone’s favorite home-style sled pull. The stands swelled again to watch the trucks struggle to drag the sled down the Tennessee clay. The Riffraff family showed their open door policy by again allowing a wide range of classes to allow anyone excited to try their hand at a hook to enter, even giving a bright blue semi a chance at the track in an exhibition round. The popular work stock, stock, and 2.5 classes are some of the staples of outlaw sled pulls, enabling many to sample the sport they love to watch, dialing in project trucks and just having a good time. And Riffraff’s pull didn’t disappoint these categories or the fans in the stands.
Many competitors entered multiple classes and really put their trucks to the test, like Hollis Morton, who was able to land first place in both the Work Stock and Stock Classes (he ended up as the largest pack of the pull with 15 trucks competing). He pulled a 361-foot run in Work Stock, nabbing the longest pull of the night and a 346-foot pull in Stock. Rick Eckerle at 318 feet then Jason Pandolph with 313 feet trailed behind Morton in the Work Stock Class and Ryan Evers’ 330 feet followed by Cole Bailey’s 307 feet rounded out the podium in the Stock Class.
The Open Class was small but still a crowd pleaser with its four entrants, the top two being Adam Doan who finished second with a 236-foot run and Eric Whitfield who won with his 294-foot pull. Another double classer actually pulling two different trucks was Justin Goode who snagged the win in the 2.5 Class with a 319-foot pull and landed a podium finish in the 2.6 pack. Zach Green took second, coming in with 295 feet while Michael Moore finished third in the 2.5 pack with a 273-foot pull. In the 2.6 Class, Ernie Huling came in third at 320 feet behind Justin Goode’s 326-foot run in second and Bruce Wilson in the top spot with 331 feet. The pulls that started in the early evening and wound into the night gave the fans the thrill they were looking for at the family event.
The Riffraff team came together again and put on another great event with something going on around every corner the entire day. From kids laughing in a bounce castle, turbos spooling on the rollers and tires squalling on dirt and clay, you were bound to have a great time. DW
Best of Show: Will Riner
Best Ford: Will Riner
Best OBS: Kevin Martin
Best Dodge: Justin LaFollete
Cleanest Ride: Kevin Martin
Best Paint: Will Riner
Work Stock: Jackson Camb
DIRT DRAG WINNERS
4WD Gas: Adam Doan
Stock 4WD Diesel: Kamen Drae
Modified Diesel: Phillip Mullet
2WD/Manual Gas: Gabriel Williams
2WD/Manual Diesel: Dustin Koons
SLED PULL RESULTS
|Work Stock Class|
|Patrick Riner||2006||Ram 2500||949||1,822|
|Phillip Mullet||2003||GMC 2500||786||1,050|
|Colt Minton||2010||Ford F-250||618||1,201|
|Jonathan Sals||2005||Ford F-250||550||1,024|
|Jackson Ferguson||2008||Ford F-250||521||1,033|
|Tammie Crews||2008||Ford F-350||512||950|
|Mike Kha’rzada||2002||Ford F-250||497||962|
|Ian Dunn||2004||Ford F-250||483||840|
|Will Riner||2005||Ford F-350||481||886|
|Neal Sawyer||1997||Ford F-250||469||760|
|Tyler Moore||2004||Ford F-250||458||842|
|Justin Manuel||2010||Dodge 3500||441||1,136|
|Bret Banks||2007||Chevy 2500||437||760|
|Clayton Bellen||2005||Ford F-250||421||751|
|Dustin Koons||1995||Dodge 2500||399||801|
|Christian Carmen||1997||Ford F-250||395||768|
|Blake Mull||2013||GMC 2500||389||1,174|
|Andrew Krause||1996||Ford F-250||385||720|
|Doug Brown||2000||Ford F-250||359||712|
|Adam Uinson||1999||Ford F-350||302||651|
Cocke County A&I Fair
DP-Tuner Mobile Dyno
Riffraff Diesel Performance