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ROCKIN’ THE ROLLERS IN NORTHERN CALIFORNIA

Nestled in a corner of Northern California, Jefferson State Diesel has been in the performance and repair industry for the better part of a decade. Experience with Fords, GM, and Dodge diesels has led the Redding, Calif., business to become quite successful, and every year they give back by hosting a dyno competition, as well as a sled pull and drag race. Unfortunately, Mother Nature had other plans for 2016, as the drag race and pulls were rained out. The dyno event sponsored by Spec-Rite torque converters was still on however, and the relaxed pace gave us plenty of time to talk to the competitors and get some specs on their rides.

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Justin Cardwell’s ’06 Dodge was one of the first trucks on the rollers, and laid down an impressive fuel-only 574 hp and 1,040 lb-ft of torque.

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This ’02 Dodge equipped with a VP44-pumped Cummins engine did quite well for being in the Stock class. The blue beast laid down 437 hp along with 932 lb-ft of torque.

Many of the higher-horsepower rigs were older smog-exempt trucks, although we did see some race common-rails put down some pretty good numbers. Les Szmidt is a California sled pulling regular as well as the owner of sponsor Silver Bullet Tuning, so we definitely expected good numbers out of his ’07 Dodge. After dynoing in the 950hp range for a couple years, he finally got greedy for that four digit power number. With a “don’t try this at home” strategy of spraying nitrous directly into the intake the Dodge came up big, with a peak of 1,143 hp along with 1,693 lb-ft of torque.

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The highest-horsepower Ford of the event belonged to Shaun McMaughton, who cranked out 571 hp. A few days later on a different tune the truck topped the 600 mark with a 609hp pull.

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A set of hefty wheels and tires didn’t seem to hurt Ajay Munger’s truck any. His Idaho Rob-tuned Chevy was the top Duramax-powered truck, with a 460 horsepower pull.

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Built on a tight budget, Blake Iskara figures he has about $10,000 in his 11-second Dodge including the cost of the truck. The quick two-wheel drive didn’t disappoint on the dyno, as the 12-valve Cummins laid down 602 hp on a single turbo without nitrous.

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Arvind Saini made 640 hp to the wheels with his ’03 Ram. The truck has a Jefferson State Diesel transmission and 66mm/80mm compound-turbo setup. More fuel is next!

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One of the stronger Fords at the meet was the 6.0L Power Strokepowered ’03 that belonged to Rich Matlock. The Ford was equipped with a 68mm BD PowerMax turbo, 190hp injectors, and laid down 494 hp along with 835 lb-ft of torque.

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They don’t get any lower than Eduardo Acevedo’s two-wheeldrive 6.0L-powered Ford, which was another Blue Oval that put down some good numbers. That day, it hit the rollers to the tune of 534 hp, but has made much more on nitrous.

Right behind Szmitdt’s monster was a purpose-built drag truck, a ’94 Dodge owned by Aaron Flournoy. The lightweight short bed two-wheel-drive had run in the 10’s its first time out, so Flournoy expected big numbers. The high-winding Cummins responded with a fuel-only reading of 867 rear-wheel horsepower, which was good for second place. Another step down from Flournoy was Chandler Faeth, who rolled the rollers to an impressive 760 rwhp, which isn’t bad for an ’06 Dodge with a single 68mm turbo and a single CP3 pump.

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After Les Szmit’s puller hit more than 900 hp you’d think that he’d be happy, but no. He convinced a brave crew member to spray nitrous directly into the intake on the next dyno pull, spinning the rollers to an astounding 1,143 rear-wheel horsepower.

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Brad Ponci made the trip down in his ’11 GMC from his shop in Fortuna, California. The tuneonly Duramax laid down 436 hp and 842 lb-ft—a pretty good improvement over the factory numbers.

While the high-horsepower Dodges were a good time, most of the street trucks landed in the 450-to-650 horsepower category. Other notable performances included Arvind Sanani’s ’03 Dodge, which laid down 640 hp, and Jeremy Torgersen’s ’06 Ram, which laid down 603 hp. The highest horsepower Ford was Shawn M’s ’13 cranking out 571 hp. Notably absent were built Duramax powered Chevys and GMCs; Ajay Munger’s stockclass Chevy was the highest-power GM with a 460rwhp reading we’ve ever seen on a dyno. All the engine had for modifications was a tweaked injector pump, and it sounded like a low-rpm smoke belching big block as it wound up on the dyno. The power number through the non-lockup transmission was an unimpressive 214 rwhp, but everyone had a good time.

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Jeremy “Stomp” Torgersen was another participant that had one heck of a Dodge, featuring compounds with an insanely loud Garrett atmosphere turbo. After making 527 hp on his towing tune, he cranked it up a little more and laid down 603 hp.

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Newer 6.7L Fords are proving to be quite decent at laying down some power. This stock-class ’15 owned by Payton Davis made 502 hp and 986 lb-ft of torque.

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Aaron Flournoy had handsdown one of the cleanest engine bays in the competition. It was a new engine so he didn’t want to lean on it, but the 13mm P-pump’d 12-valve cranked out 867 hp at the wheels at more than 4,000 rpm.

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Ahhh, the Monte Carlo. Owned by “Tim M” the race car shook, rattled and rolled the dyno to 214 hp. “After the big-block blew up we needed to do something fun with the car, so we threw a diesel in,” says Tim. He laughs: “It feels pretty good for about the first 30 feet on the launch.”

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If you’re a Ford fan, it’s hard not to drool over Mike Lippner’s ’95, even though it is Cummins-powered. The super-clean and super-long truck put down a stout 562 hp, with lightning quick-spooling 57mm/66mm compound turbos and barely any smoke.

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Chris Werner, co-owner of Jefferson State Diesel, is quite well-known in the area for his 12-valve tuning. After picking up a little regular cab, a few tweaks and a 63mm BorgWarner SX-E turbo was good for an impressive 570 hp.

After all the delicious food from Glenn’s Catering was eaten and all the trucks left the rollers, it was clear that Jefferson State had beat out the rain and still hosted one heck of an event. With many competitors promising to come back “bigger and better” next year, Jefferson State’s dyno day was a great way to close out the year, and we can’t wait for a warm-weather redo in 2017. DW