Inaugural Smoky Mountain Diesel Association Event

The events we typically attend have been established for years and are hosted by shops and/or manufacturers. We do get to see new events from time to time and the 2014 Smoky Mountain Black Out was one such event. Not only was this a new event, it was also hosted by a diesel club (the Smoky Mountain Diesel Association) with sponsorship from various shops in the region rather than a single shop or manufacturer.

The Smoky Mountain Black Out featured a dyno competition, a Show-N-Shine and multiple classes of sled pulling to wrap up the full day of diesel activities. The large Greene County Fairgrounds had plenty of space available to host the events as well as the crowd of about 1,200 diesel enthusiasts.

“Much to the horsepower-crazed spectator’s delight more than half of the trucks run across the dyno put down more than 500 horsepower to the rear wheels, providing excitement throughout the day.”

On The Dyno

A total of 31 pulls were made on the Dynocom chassis dyno with a few guys making more than one power pull with their trucks. The highest horsepower number of the day came from James Cameron with his 2005 Ford F-350. He had a dyno run of just less than 700 horsepower early in the day, falling about 20 horsepower less than Carlyn Yoder who laid down a 720-horsepower run as the first truck on the dyno. Cameron attacked the dyno once more at the end of the day and pulled out the win with a run of more than 750 horsepower.

Crowds of diesel enthusiasts gathered around the DP Tuner mobile dyno throughout the day to see the action as trucks were pushed to the limit.
David Patrick’s 2007 Dodge put down close to 650 horsepower to the dyno rollers through the rear tires—not a bad number.

Much to the horsepower-crazed spectator’s delight, more than half of the trucks run across the dyno put down more than 500 horsepower to the rear wheels, providing excitement throughout the day. Even on the lower end of the horsepower scale, only two trucks finished in the 300s, with the lowest a respectable 346 horsepower from Jason Rial and his Show-N-Shine-winning 2005 Chevrolet.


Between dyno runs, spectators could peruse demonstration booths set up with sponsors’ products or wander through the trucks on display for the Show-N-Shine competition. Nearly 30 trucks entered the Show-N-Shine, hosted in the gravel lot not far from the dyno. Judging took place after the rain fell with plenty of time given to the competitors to get their trucks dried off and polished once again.

Trophies, plaques and prize money were on the line for the show trucks, including People’s Choice, Best Dodge, Best Ford, Best GM and Best of Show awards. The coveted Best of Show plaque went to Shane Ryans, making his 1993 Dodge a double winner for the event.

Sled Pulling

The sled pull got under way just after 6 in the evening and finished under the lights, making for a great end to the day of diesel activities. A total of six different classes hooked to the Predator sled, including a combined 2WD Diesel and Gas Truck class, Pure Street class, Workstock class, 2.5 class, 2.6 class and an Outlaw class to entertain the crowd and keep the action going.

Pulling started with the 2.5 class, where the top six trucks pulled for more than 300 feet. The battle between third, fourth and fifth places was very close with nearly 3 feet of difference between them. A pair of Chevys finished on top of the class with Bryan Hamby taking home the trophy along with a cash prize for the nearly 352-foot pull with his 2008 Chevy.

The next class to attack the track was the 2.6 class. Here, the top 10 drivers pulled the sled beyond the 300-foot mark. 2.5 class winner Hamby had a great hook pulling the sled nearly 340 feet, but that was only good enough for fifth place in this very stout class. The longest pull of the event came from Jonathan Brooklyn and his mean 2008 Ford F-350 that drug the sled along for a 379-foot ride. Unfortunately, there was only about 376 feet of track available and Brooklyn ran through the fence at the end of the track much to the surprise of the fans sitting on the grass mound on the other side of the fence. Always a great sport, Brooklyn immediately offered to pay for necessary repairs on the chain-link fence.

There was a good-sized crowd on hand for the new event, showing great promise for future events hosted by the Smoky Mountain Diesel Association.
The club set up a bounce house as well as an activity area for the kids complete with crayons, monster trucks, face paints and of course Goldfish crackers.
Full pull! Jonathan Brooklyn pulled for 379 feet on a 376-foot track and the fence paid the price.
Dino Swafford was a busy man on the pull track, competing in three different classes. He came home with the win in the Workstock class with his father finishing in second. Talk about some good father/son bonding!

With the anything goes Outlaw class on deck to pull next, sled operator Jack Reed set the sled to be more challenging and to keep the big trucks from running out the back of the track again. Reed’s effort kept the class in check with only one truck pulling out beyond 300 feet. Brandon Harrington took the Outlaw class win with a 305-foot pull in his 1995 Dodge.

The Workstock class pulled next with two pullers getting past the 300-foot mark. The battle for the win was a father and son affair with Dino Swafford putting 35 feet on his father Danny to take the Workstock class win.

The combined 2WD Diesel/Gas class pulled next with Robert Raynes dominating Rick Shelton pulling more than 300 feet. The night was brought to a close with the Pure Street class where a pair of Fords out-pulled the rest of the field of Dodges with the only 300-foot pulls of the class. Will Riner took home the last win of the night with his 2005 F-350 when he dragged the sled along for a 325-foot ride.

End of a Great Day

Shortly after the last pull truck ran, the Smoky Mountain Diesel Association crew handed out the trophies to class winners. There was also prize money totaling more than $4,000. Even after paying out all that prize money and covering expenses like the facility, sled and dyno fees, the Smoky Mountain Diesel Association still managed to raise an additional $2,115 with the event. The proceeds went directly to the Niswonger Children’s Hospital, a good cause for sure. The club hopes to raise even more money for the hospital with next year’s event.

Bryan Hamby competed in three pulling classes with his beautiful 2008 Chevy taking the win in the 2.5 class.
Sometimes simple is better, the judges and spectators voted Shane Ryans’ ultra-clean 1993 Dodge as the Best of Show and People’s Choice award winner.
We’re not sure which ride is cooler, the Dodge or the Power Wheels copy. Fortunately for Eric Helton, his compound-turbo 2006 Dodge has room to bring the “Baby Dually” along in the bed so he doesn’t have to decide between the two.
Jason Rial poses proudly with his Best GM truck trophy for his clean 2005 Chevy.
Will Riner and his monster-sized 2002 Ford took the honors for Best Ford in the Show-N-Shine thanks to the fully custom suspension, paint and interior.
The pull winners get together for a group photo. From left to right, Robert Raynes, Will Riner, Dino Swafford, Bryan Hamby, Jonathan Brooklyn and Brandon Harrington.

The good turnout, and a lot of positive feedback from participants and spectators, have convinced the Smoky Mountain Diesel Association to make the event an annual happening, and expand it to a two-day event. This year’s event is scheduled for September 11 and 12, 2015 and will be run under the new name of Smoky Mountain Diesel Days. If you’re in the northeast Tennessee area and want to catch some great diesel action, you owe it to yourself to come out to the event as a spectator or competitor—either way we’re sure you’ll have fun. Just be sure to tell them that your friends at Diesel World magazine sent you. We’ll be looking for ya there. DW

This has got to be one of the best-looking trucks we’ve seen on the pulling track. Zach Eaton finished third in the 2.6 class by pulling the sled more than 370 feet in his 1992 Dodge W250.
This massive Chevy barely fit on the dyno, but spun the rollers with those huge Toyo tires nonetheless.

DP Tuner Mobile Dyno

Greene County Fairgrounds

Predator Sled Rental

Smoky Mountain Diesel Association

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