Celebrating The Late-Summer Blockbuster’s 25th Anniversary In The Dirt,
On The Drag Strip, and Aboard The Dyno

Every year for the past quarter of a century, Scheid Diesel Service has played host to the can’t-miss event of the summer. It started as a TDR rally in Effingham, Illinois, expanded to all makes of trucks and migrated to Terre Haute, Indiana in 2000 (where it ballooned in size and popularity), and then relocated south to Lyons, Indiana in 2020. This year, hundreds of pullers, dozens of drag racers, and thousands of spectators flocked to Wagler Motorsports Park the weekend of August 27-28 to be part of the 25th running of the Scheid Diesel Extravaganza. It was hot and humid, but the action was nonstop and the caliber of competition was the highest it’s ever been.

Out on the clay pulling surface, everything from Pro Street to Super Stock trucks were hooked to the sled, along with the wheels-up, Pro Stock tractors. And as is always the case, a huge turnout of Limited Pro Stock and Pro Street trucks called for matinee qualifying sessions before each nighttime show. Just over a football field away from the action in the dirt, Outlaw Diesel Super Series drag racing was lighting up the eighth-mile track. There, fans were treated to two new world records and some of the best index racing you’ll find anywhere. Other attractions included Pearce’s Diesel Doctor dyno, the annual show ‘n shine competition, and a sizable vendor’s midway.

After taking in all the action at SDX 25, it’s easy to see why one of the diesel industry’s longest-running events is still one of its best.

Rumor has it that C.W. Cartmell’s Limited Pro Stock truck conceals one of the highest horsepower Cummins power plants to leave Haisley Machine’s facility this year. And judging by the kind of year Cartmell is having in his “Most Hated” second-gen Dodge, that rumor just might be true. On both nights (not to mention qualifying), Cartmell ran away with the lead in the 3.0 smooth bore category. Things got interesting on Friday night when, incredibly, after ripping the draw bar off of the frame rails during Friday night’s rough track conditions, he was able to get things repaired, re-hook, and take the win.
It was a solid weekend of work for Andrew Grove and his second-gen coined Bad Timing. He won the Pro Stock class on Friday with a 304.46-foot pull, finishing just ahead of Curt Haisley in the revered Off Constantly Dodge. The following night, Andrew would place fourth in a tighter, tougher, and bigger 19-truck field.
David Large put it all together when it was time for 5.90 eliminations, beating out Adam Foltz’s well-oiled, P-pumped 24-valve machine. Won on the tree, David’s 5.92 ousted Foltz’s  5.91. In the final, David suffered a loss to Dustin Sterling and his hard-charging Duramax. However, leaving the Extravaganza, David had overtaken the ODSS season points lead with just two races remaining.
It came as no surprise when Firepunk Diesel’s S10 grabbed the number one qualifier in Pro Mod, and its trap speeds were blazing. On both Friday and Saturday, the Hot Shot Secret-sponsored Chevy touched 176 mph through the eighth-mile—speeds that not even the dragsters in attendance would see. The quickest pass we saw driver Larson Miller make on the weekend was the Pro Mod’s 4.34 at 176 mph blast on Saturday.
The Scheid Diesel Extravaganza is a tough place for a Limited Pro Stock or Pro Street diesel truck. If you want to pull with the big boys during the nighttime show, you have to make the cut during the daytime qualifying session—and the high noon track conditions are the complete opposite of what you experience in the evening. In 2021, there were 57 Limited Pro Stock rigs and 36 Pro Street trucks signed up to try their hand in qualifying. The top 20 Limited Pro’s were selected (10 from each lane), while only a dozen Pro Street trucks were allowed into the main event (six from each lane).
This work of art was on display in Scheid Diesel’s vendor booth. It’s the latest creation—a billet-aluminum block and billet-aluminum 24-valve cylinder head—to come out of its new machine shop facility in Terre Haute. We’re sure this piece is more about functionality than looks, but boy does it look good! Expect this package to support well north of 3,000 hp, and do so in an ultra-reliable manner.
David Large’s Extravaganza got off to a rough start. On Thursday, his 5.90 Index third-gen lunched the pinion in the 9-inch out back and he lost the driveshaft. Luckily, his friends Daniel Moon and Rod MacMaster helped him hunt down parts, Pro Mod driver Ben Shadday kicked in a new third member, and David was able to get everything back together in time for qualifying on Friday. During Q2, he earned the number 1 spot with a 5.918 at 120 mph.
Although some racers struggled to find traction at the drag strip, Stainless Diesel had no issues getting its Pro Street Dodge to hook. On its first qualifying pass Friday morning, driver Johnny Gilbert put up a 4.86-second pass at 158.02 mph—a new Pro Street trap speed record. Johnny and the Stainless crew were also knocking on the door of the 4.82-second ET record, which they hold as well. Ultimately, Johnny took the win over RLC Motorsports’ Michael Dalton in the Pro Street final, putting up a 4.98 (at 152 mph) to Dalton’s 5.56.
With big compounds feeding a SoCal 7.1L stroker motor, a BTS 4R100 transmission backing it up and full support from Truck Source Diesel, Dan Zelten’s GMC is probably capable of 5.50s in the eighth-mile. That was reason enough to sign up for a grudge race against fellow 5.90 Index competitor Brett Marcum, where both of them could find out exactly what their trucks could do when they aren’t forced to run the number. During Friday night’s grudge race sponsored by S&S Diesel Motorsport, Dan went 5.70s and took the win despite blowing an exhaust bellow near the stripe.
The last time Dustin Sterling and his Duramax made it to an ODSS race was three months prior to the Extravaganza, but (incredibly) he left Wagler Motorsports Park tied for Second Place in 5.90 Index class points. This is because, in the only two races he’s made it to in 2021, he’s been a winner. Dustin—with the help of his compound turbocharged SoCal 7.1L stroker mill and Truck Source Diesel-influenced build—was a lights-out performer during eliminations, ultimately beating a tough David Large in the final.
Mechanical injection still dominates in the Pro Stock and Super Stock classes in diesel truck pulling, but common-rail technology has proven time and again that it’s capable of keeping pace in Limited Pro Stock. Such was the case for Jordan Kinderman and his Dodge this year. He took Second Place during Saturday night’s competition with a 331.61-foot hook.
Ten trucks made the call to race the 5.90 Index class at the Extravaganza, and Austin Denny’s 6.0L Power Stroke looked impressive. He made it to the final four just as he’d done a month prior at Rocky Top Diesel Shootout. Ultimately, Austin ended up being put out by Dustin Sterling, the eventual winner for the class, but it’s clear that he and his 6.0L Super Duty are growing ever more consistent. According to Austin, Firepunk’s Cody Fisher added a water-injection system before SDX and it made a world of difference.
Super Stock diesel trucks continue to be the main attraction of the nighttime pulling sessions at the Extravaganza. With multiple turbos, billet blocks, heads, and P-pumps, most candidates are making 3,500 hp or more—a condition that can make traction hard to come by. For that reason, Super Stock is more of a driver’s game than anything else, and Aiden Hodges definitely did a fine job behind the wheel at SDX 25. Friday night, he guided the On Borrowed Time Dodge 296.09 feet down track and took Fifth Place. The following night, he yanked the sled 342.87 feet for the win.
Moving past the distance Brion Withrow’s Nut Job had laid down early in the Super Stock class on Friday night, Shane Kellogg’s 303.12-foot pull would end up being good enough for Second Place (Cody Hastings’ Against the Grain was the eventual winner). Roughly 24 hours later, Kellogg and Trump were back at it, traveling 323.45 feet for a Seventh Place finish right behind Van Haisley’s Rock Hard Ram.
Scheid Diesel’s Pro Stock truck made its annual appearance at the Extravaganza, this time with 17-year-old Brady Ingram behind the wheel. To give you an idea as to how long this truck has been on the circuit, Brady’s father (and Scheid employee) Brad, his mother, Susie, and now Brady have all driven this iconic second-gen over the last 14 years, since the Ingram’s took over driving duties in 2008. Brady wound up in Fourth Place on Friday, and took tenth the following evening.
Jesse Warren’s appropriately named, cut-tire Ford, “Shark Bait,” mixed it up in the Super Stock class, and did surprisingly well. Jesse’s 6.0L Power Stroke-based, HEUI-fired, compound turbo’d Blue Oval was sporting a solid cast-iron 6.4L block from PSP that displaces 7.0 liters. The combination earned him a 10th Place finish and a distance of 292.44 feet on Friday night. Injection pressure (ICP) issues would surface the following night, forcing Jesse back to 15th Place.
Ultimate Callout Champion Justin Zeigler was on hand and signed up to compete in 5.90 Index. The only problem was that trying to slow his 2,500hp Dodge down enough to keep from breaking out was a formidable obstacle. On Justin’s first qualifying pass, the truck still went 5.60 at 124 mph despite a very conservative tune-up. Eventually, enough fuel was pulled out of his combination (a tune that called for just 800 microseconds of duration) to get him his 5.9-second passes. Going forward, Justin says he may run in Pro Street, perhaps even behind the wheel of a lighter weight truck…
Up against Austin Doidge in the first round of 5.90 eliminations, Justin Zeigler’s 5.93 edged out Doidge’s 5.91 thanks to winning the race on the tree. Justin would cut a light the following round as well, but in an effort to keep from breaking out let off, at which time Cody Fisher drove around him at the end of the track for the win.
Following a protest where Limited Pro Stock truck drivers who were experiencing repeat breakage in a choppy east side lane refused to continue to hook to the sled, the Super Farm tractors took over on Friday evening. Here, Brian Barman’s 9,300-pound IH coined “Hooked Up” drags the iron sleigh 312.85 feet for the win. Full disclosure: the Limited Pro Stock trucks were restarted in the west lane later on, and the class ran deep into the night.
In recent years, Kill Devil Diesel has become a big name in the world of 6.0L and 6.4L Power Stroke performance. When we stopped by their booth, the company’s popular 6.0L O-ringed cast-iron heads were on display, which feature a higher nickel content and a thicker deck surface than stock heads for a more rigid overall casting. In addition, these heads come equipped with hardened alloy valve inserts, which prevents valve seats from cracking like on the factory heads. KDD’s 6.4L heads are also reinforced, featuring more meat in the water jacket area near the head fastener bores, which keeps any of the infamous cracked block scenarios from occurring.
The last time Dustin Sterling and his Duramax made it to an ODSS race was three months prior to the Extravaganza, but (incredibly) he left Wagler Motorsports Park tied for Second Place in 5.90 Index class points. This is because, in the only two races he’s made it to in 2021, he’s been a winner. Dustin—with the help of his compound turbocharged SoCal 7.1L stroker mill and Truck Source Diesel-influenced build—was a lights-out performer during eliminations, ultimately beating a tough David Large in the final.
Following a 12th Place hook during Friday’s Pro Stock session, Jon Manns and his “Crazy Ex” Cummins-powered OBS Ford returned with a vengeance on Saturday night. His 316.23-foot pull put him more than five feet ahead of Second Place, an impressive feat considering the Second through Sixth Place finishers were separated by less than two feet.
Nothing says you’re interested in protecting your sled pulling investment like a $500 under hood fire suppression system. After a recent fuel fire damaged the hood and paint on his beautiful Limited Pro Stock third-gen, Tim Tuttle opted for a bit of future insurance against the same kind of damage. Tim’s mechanic, Jake Richards, walked us through how the system works and also justified its expense in this way: “At this point, we are at risk of splitting blocks and all kinds of other stuff, so it’s better to have it and not need it than to need it and not have it.”
A 4-second pass remains elusive for team DHD’s Pro Street Duramax, and intermittent issues with the truck didn’t help matters. Spooling issues compounded the uphill battle for driver Tyler Burkhard and the rest of the crew even further, but despite their troubles they still managed to grab the number 2 qualifier, putting up a 5.25-second pass at 138 mph. They took home Third Place points on the weekend.
Rock-steady, like always, it was Ryan Riddle taking the win in the 7.70 Index class. Now known as the scientist thanks to his consistency in winning, he even wears a lab coat when he accepts his trophy. It wasn’t easy this time, though, with Nick Morris and his Duramax giving Ryan a serious run for his money in the final. Leaving the Extravaganza, Ryan held a slim, 6-point lead over Nick for the season, with two ODSS races remaining.

Despite trying second gear launches to try to tame his common-rail, second-gen beast, Paul Cato still struggled to find traction all weekend. His bad in black Pro Street Dodge is on the cusp of breaking into the 4-second zone, and although we weren’t able to see it at the Extravaganza, watching it happen at the next ODSS race he attends is certainly possible.
Jared Jones never lifted during his Friday qualifying pass in the Scheid Diesel dragster, and the result was essentially a 330-foot burnout where he still managed to trap 169 mph! In the heat of the day on Saturday, Jones pulled off a 4.23 at 175 mph, as well as a 4.30 later on at the same trap speed. When breakage gremlins sidelined the Hollyrock Customs’ rail, Jones and team Scheid cruised to victory in the Pro Dragster category.
To help avoid an overflowing show ‘n shine area, competitors have to pre-register prior to the Extravaganza. The crop of trucks present at this year’s show were first-rate, with a nice mix of aesthetic appeal, performance potential, and functionality. The show ‘n shine was also organized just south of the dyno competition taking place on Pearce’s Diesel Doctor mobile chassis dyno.

Ken Phillips held off Ryan Riddle from doubling up and claiming the trophy in ET Bracket, too. In doing so, Ken claimed his second win in a row. The impressive final race resulted in Ken running his dial-in, a 9.58, right on the money, while Riddle went 7.71 on a 7.70 dial. Leaving the Extravaganza, Ken sits 8 points ahead of Riddle in the season standings, which sets the stage for a very close finish in the 2021 ET Bracket category.

 

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