2017 ODSS & PPL DIESEL SEASON OPENER
Rudy’s Diesel Performance hosted the season-opening event for the Pro Pulling League and the Outlaw Diesel Super Series on April 28-29, 2017 at the Piedmont Dragway in Julian, NC. After several past Rudy’s events have suffered through rain storms causing delays, rescheduling and even cancellations, the hard-working team finally got the weather they’ve been hoping for with two consecutive days of sunny skies and warm weather. More than 8,000 diesel enthusiasts in attendance over the weekend were able to take in great diesel drag racing and sled pulling action on the drag strip and pull track. Attendees were also able to check out the action on the mobile chassis dyno, take a stroll through the huge show-n-shine area, and visit tons of vendor booths in a vast manufacturer’s midway.
Friday was used for the ODSS Pro Classes qualifying runs as well as test and tune for anyone who wanted to make passes. Eliminations began Saturday afternoon after each class had a chance to make a few passes through the morning. There were 165 competitors ranging from slow ET Bracket racers making 11-second 1/8-mile passes down to the Scheid Diesel dragster making 4-second passes down the strip at more than 175 mph. In addition With nearly $30,000 in payouts on the line, drivers in every class attacked the track with vigor to try to take home the first win of 2017. In the ET Bracket class, Mitchel Harkey took home the win with his 2006 Chevy making a 9.93 second 1/8-mile pass. Blake Miller won the 7.70 Index class with a 7.76 second run in his 2004.5 Dodge Ram. The 6.70 Index was decided by the holeshot when Banean Woosley and his 2005 Dodge took the win despite running a slower 6.79-second pass to Bruce Wilson’s 6.70. In Pro Street, Dustin Jackson drove his Cumminspowered 1994 Ford Lightning to an upset victory over 2016 Champion Lavon Miller with a 5.18-second run to Miller’s 5.32 (Miller also left early, triggering the red light and handing the win to Jackson). Two newly completed rigs went head to head in Pro Modified with Ryan Milliken’s Cummins-powered 1966 Chevy Nova taking the win over Michael Dalton’s Cummins-powered 2012 Ram 1500. Jared Jones in the Scheid Diesel dragster was the only competitor in the Pro Dragster class, but that didn’t stop the team from putting down low 4-second passes.
Throughout each day, while spectators were not cheering on the action at the track, they could peruse the booths of various manufacturers and vendors to see the latest and greatest parts and accessories the diesel world has to offer. Manufacturer representatives were on hand to advise showgoers on ways to improve their own trucks. Action was also taking place on the Dan’s Diesel Performance Reality Check mobile chassis dyno with 22 trucks going across the rollers on Friday and 25 trucks taking on the dyno on Saturday. The top dyno run of the day Friday was Chris Sheulin in his 2005 Dodge, which put more than 1,000 hp to the rear wheels. Saturday’s dyno action saw three trucks break the 1,000hp barrier, with Rusty Cordwell and his 2006 Dodge putting more than 1,100 hp to the rollers.
Show-n-shine competitors were parked near the track to allow spectators to check out some of the wildest diesel trucks in the country. Josh Baldwin took home the Best of Show honors with his monster-sized GMC Denali HD and its custom airbag suspension while Tyler Morris won Best Dodge, David Martin won best Ford, Jordan Green won Best GM and Greg Studdard won Best Other with his Cummins 4BT-powered Jeep Scrambler.
Each evening the attention turned to the sled pull track at the far end of the facility. Sixty-five pullers hooked to the sleds each night with 2.5 Pro Street Diesel in the Carolina Truck & Tractor Pullers association and Super Farm Tractors, Limited Pro Stock, Pro Stock and Super Stock Diesel Truck competing with the Pro Pulling League. PPL officials handled the staging and flagging of the trucks and kept the action running smoothly on two tracks with a pair of Decision Maker Pulling Sleds doing battle with the trucks and tractors all night long.
Diesel enthusiasts in the packed grandstands were treated to excellent pulling action each night with well-matched competition in every class, some finishes determined by mere inches, while others showed dominance by putting several feet on their opponents. The only repeat winner was Evan Davis in the Chevy that he calls the Recycler, taking the win both nights in 2.5 Pro Street. In Super Stock, Justin Gearhart and his truck Cream of the Crop went from worst to first, finishing dead last Friday night and then knocking off Friday’s winner Van Haisley after Haisley helped Gearhart work through the problems he was experiencing with his truck on Friday night. Brad Ingram and Matt Penn split the Pro Stock wins while C.W. Cartmell and John Humpe took home the Limited Pro Stock wins Friday and Saturday nights.
The Spring Rudy’s event got the 2017 diesel competition season off to a great start with two full days of drag racing and sled pulling along with cool trucks in the show-n-shine, tons of vendors and big power on the dyno rollers. Check out these pages to see what you missed if you weren’t able to make it this year. The 2017 diesel competition season will come full circle with the ODSS and PPL seasons concluding at the Fall Rudy’s event at the Piedmont Dragway on October 6 and 7, 2017, for two more days of amazing diesel fun. For the latest updates on the schedule and racing or pulling information point your browser to RudysDiesel.com. DW