The Late-August Classic is Relocated And Rejuvenated At Wagler Motorsports Park
When industry giants like Dan Scheid and Jeremy Wagler team up on something, you’re going to get your money’s worth. Such was the case for the 24th running of the August blockbuster known as the Scheid Diesel Extravaganza. Relocated to Wagler Motorsports Park in Lyons, Indiana for 2020, the 100-acre complex played host to ODSS drag racing by day, PPL truck and tractor pulling by night, and very busy show ‘n shine and dyno competitions in between. In a year that has been anything but stable and predictable, the Scheid/Wagler partnership ended up being the shot in the arm the diesel industry needed. Thousands of enthusiasts turned out to spectate, compete, or work, and by all accounts it was one of the smoothest run renditions of the Extravaganza in recent memory.
Things kicked off first thing Friday morning with more than 100 Limited Pro Stock and Pro Street trucks weighing in, receiving tech-inspections, and then attempting to qualify for the nighttime show on Wagler’s freshly-groomed and tightly-packed clay track. At noon, it was time for two rounds of qualifying over on the NHRA-approved, concrete eighth-mile drag strip. The remainder of drag race qualifying and eliminations would commence the following day, beginning late morning. Each evening, fans were treated to the kind of high-quality truck and tractor pulling action the Extravaganza has long been known for, with the best Super Stock, Pro Stock, Limited Pro Stock, and Pro Street diesel trucks in the nation all taking to the dirt. Various tractor classes and even the Hot-Rod Semis would get in on the action as well.
If 2020 is any indication of what to expect from future events, expect the Scheid Diesel Extravaganza to enjoy another quarter century of success. To see the highlight reel for this year’s affair, keep reading.
Bet you’ve never seen a Lincoln Town Car like this! Adam Nack of Rev’s Diesel Performance drove his 1985 four-wheel drive-converted sedan all the way from New Hampshire. His hot-rod Lincoln sits on an ’05 Super Duty frame (albeit shortened) and axles, is backed by a ZF-6 manual, and is powered courtesy of a P-pumped Cummins.
As expected, Larson Miller and the Firepunk Diesel team brought their A-game to the Extravaganza. The Hot Shot’s Secret Pro Mod S10 turned in a best pass of 4.26 at 177 mph and routinely carried the driver side front tire part-way down the track. Miller would beat out Ben Shadday’s ’63 Corvette in the final round of Pro Mod, running a 4.32 at 174 mph to Ben’s 4.40 at 166.
Friday morning at the Extravaganza is usually known for its fairly slow start. This wasn’t quite the case for 2020. Before 9 a.m. the pullers were already stirring in the pits, trucks were lining up in the infield to get on the scale, vendors had already opened up shop, and spectators were filing in. Camping spots were sold out, and then some.
With 26 trucks on the docket, anticipation to watch the Super Stock trucks in action was high, to say the least. For 2020, and for the first time that we can remember, there were more Super Stocks than Pro Stocks in attendance. Jon Woskob made the call from Warriors Mark, Pennsylvania, and his second-gen Dodge coined Rollin’ Coal yanked the sled 313.59-feet on Friday night, good enough for a mid-pack finish.
For the ultimate display of speed, Scheid Diesel’s time-tested 12-valve, compound turbo’d rail faced off against Wagler’s blown, nitrous and water-methanol-injected Duramax dragster driven by Andre Dusek. Scheid driver, Jared Jones, took the eventual win in what would be the most captivating side-by-side race of the weekend, going 4.19 at 179 mph to Dusek’s 4.23 at 166 mph. Every time Wagler’s rail has visited the track so far, it’s gone quicker. If this continues, Jones and team Scheid may have a serious rivalry on their hands.
Kent Crowder is no stranger to the winner’s circle at the Extravaganza, and in 2020 the Scheid employee and driver of the Super Stock third-gen did it again. Hugging the left line (which would be the preferred path in the Super Stock class on Friday night) and waiting until roughly 225 feet before unleashing everything the triple-turbo’d Cummins had to offer, Crowder moved the sled an incredible 361.1 feet. Four feet behind him was Cody Hastings’ Against the Grain Dodge, who would put three feet on Crowder in earning the win the following night.
Right as the sun disappeared, Jeremy Roberts’ 8345 R John Deere rocketed out to 342.51 feet. His Super Farm tractor, known as the Wicked Whitetail, would hold on to take the win on Friday night.
KC Turbos’ Charlie Fish traveled all the way from Arizona to get a piece of the ODSS action in his ’05 Super Duty. At this point, he has the truck dialed in to run 5.90s consistently, thanks in part to cutting repeatable high 1.3-second 60-foots now. However, not being in the running for points in 2020 convinced him to throw the book at the 6.0L Power Stroke during his final pass on Saturday. It responded by putting up a 5.78 at 122 mph.
To say that the driver of the Angry Farmer Products’ truck, Todd Dugan, has adjusted to the Super Stock class since making the switch from blown-alcohol would be an understatement. He and his Scheid-built, Cummins-powered Ford (formerly Carl Atley’s Ohio Cat truck) went 348.99 feet for a Third Place finish on Friday night, followed by an 11th Place, 322.48-foot hook behind the wheel of his other Super Stock ride, a Chevy that represents the Angry Shine brand.
The long-awaited debut of Cummins Killer III, the mechanically-injected, all-billet Duramax fitted with triple-turbos, was reason enough to attend this year’s Scheid Diesel Extravaganza. The latest version of the infamous Super Stock truck was built by Proformance Pros, is based on a 2020 model GMC, sports a tube chassis frame, and retains an IFS suspension system. The engine is a DX460 from Wagler and the P-pump nestled in the valley came from Wimer Fuel Injection & Turbo.
So how did Cummins Killer III do on its maiden voyage in competition? How does a Fifth Place effort sound! After walking the big GMC out of the hole and waiting until mid-track to whack the hand-throttle, driver Craig Dickey guided the mechanical Duramax 336.96 feet. We’d say the Wisconsin-based pulling team came out swinging with this brand-new build.
Don Masterson’s championship-winning Pro Stock John Deere was piloted by Darryl Folz for the weekend. Folz put the infamous Tinker Toy in the runner-up spot on both Friday and Saturday night. His 335.51-foot effort on Saturday ended up measuring less than 3 inches behind the class winner, Peter Norton.
In one of the closest races of the weekend, Firepunk’s Josh Scruggs met Stainless Diesel’s Johnny Gilbert in the Pro Street final. Under normal circumstances, Gilbert’s 4.86 and then record-setting 4.82 at 156 mph passes on the weekend would’ve made him the favorite. However, after the engine suffered a burnt exhaust valve on the record-setting pass, Gilbert idled into the burnout box with his Cummins running on five cylinders. Even so, he led the race until Scruggs drove around him at half-track, eventually going 5.01 at 149 mph to Gilbert’s 5.02 at 146 mph.
The trucks pulling in the 8,000-pound Pro Street class are about as close as it gets to the ones sitting in the parking lot. In this class, engines are limited to running a single, smooth bore turbo with a compressor wheel inducer no larger than 2.6 inches (66mm). And as you might’ve guessed, dual rear wheels are prohibited. Even though this field has a reputation as being one where anyone can win on any given night, this particular third-gen Dodge does a lot of winning. It belongs to Doug Monroe and he calls it Bad Influence. His silver slayer traveled 327.38 feet on Saturday night in taking the win.
Always a crowd favorite, the Hot-Rod Semi category returned to the Scheid Diesel Extravaganza for 2020. Ryan Debroux’s sharp-looking Kenworth called “Playin’ With Fire” would earn a Third Place finish on Friday night, but took the win on Saturday after dragging the sled 345.29 feet.
Rod MacMaster’s two-wheel drive Dodge was lights-out in 5.90 Index the entire weekend. In the finals he would narrowly beat the always-on Austin Doidge, going 5.907 to Doidge’s 5.918 after grabbing a quicker reaction time (0.088 to 0.112). Here, MacMaster gets the jump on Austin Denny and his 1,500hp 6.0L Ford in the semi-finals.
Some 13 hard-running tractors turned out to battle it out in Super Farm on Friday night, among them was Tony Sietsema of Allendale, Michigan. His 4430, the Wolverine Deere, would dig 325 feet and change before the sled could bring it to a halt—a solid Fourth Place effort overall.
D&J Precision Machine’s Bob Millican put in an impressive showing on Friday night, driving the Maverick Super Stock Dodge 344.27 feet and finishing just outside the top three. After suffering a broken injection line on the pass, the folks at Scheid opened up shop and built him a new one so the truck could be back in action on Saturday. Millican wound up on the heels of Shawn Hodges on Saturday with a 323.26-foot, eighth place pass.
Unlike the Pro Stock tractor category, you’ll find a lot of red ones in the Super Farm class. Here, Cottage Grove, Wisconsin native Dan Viney takes the Crank It Up IH 1066 on a 333.22-foot ride—a distance which was good enough for third best on Friday night.
After reportedly hurting both atmosphere turbos during Friday night’s 316.41-foot hook, Van Haisley and the Haisley Machine camp went to work in the pits. On Saturday, Van would bounce back aboard the Rock Hard Ram, traveling 327.56 feet and ending up in Fourth Place in Super Stock.
Already having suffered a pair of engine failures this season, Paul Cato emerged at Scheid’s with a brand-new Cummins and was ready to hit the drag strip to battle it out in Pro Street—and the engine’s first fire was literally the night before he needed to load it on the trailer. A deck-plate, girdle, billet rods and machining from Wagler say this version is ready for all the abuse he can throw at it, and the Garrett GT55 is more than happy to supply the boost. Cato’s big single, nitrous-huffing common-rail ended up third in Pro Street with a best pass of 5.29 at 138 mph.
Evan Davis has been campaigning a Duramax-powered truck for a long time, and even though things can get lonely in the Limited Pro Stock class he doesn’t seem to mind. His Chevy coined Grey Area qualified for both the Friday and Saturday night shows, with a 329.23-foot hook landing him in Third Place on Friday evening.
Josh Stahl kicked off the Pro Stock truck action just after 11 p.m. on Friday night. The second-gen Dodge he refers to as Thicker ‘N Blood was one of 23 trucks signed up to compete in the always-entertaining 3.6-inch smooth bore turbo class.
Two Chevy’s made the cut each night in the Pro Street diesel truck class, including Ronnie Hall’s nasty Mud Grappler-equipped ’06 Silverado called “Hall Pass.” His Duramax earned him the number one spot during Saturday’s qualifying session, and he followed it up that night with a Sixth Place distance of 320.34 feet.
You don’t see a lot of yellow tractors out on the track these days, but that doesn’t stop Russ Yoder from campaigning one in the elite Pro Stock category. And on Friday night, it sure didn’t stop him and his “Xtra Butter” workhorse from finishing strong amid a sea of hot-running green machines. His Minneapolis Moline would go 300.04 feet before all was said and done on Friday, and he claimed Seventh Place footage on Saturday.
Evan Ratcliff’s VE-fueled first-gen was a strong contender in the ET Bracket class, even though he fought breakout issues. The old Dodge simply wanted no part of its 8.85-second dial-in, eventually breaking out with an 8.75. The day before, we watched Evan click off an 8.60 at 78 mph—proof that the VE-pumped first-gen sends well over 400 hp to the wheels.
One of the more unique tractors on the Pro Stock circuit is Travis Kuhns’ Trailblazer—but that’s not because it’s a Massey Ferguson… The headers that protrude through the side shields indicate its V-8 means of propulsion. The 640ci eight cylinder Perkins turns out an estimated 3,500hp and emits one of the coolest exhaust notes you’ll here in the I-6 dominated class. Kuhns took the Trailblazer on a 318.5-foot ride on Friday (Seventh Place), and ended up 16th out of 25 tractors on Saturday.
Watching an AGCO storm the track isn’t something you see a lot of in tractor pulling, especially in Pro Stock. Friday’s Ninth Place, 310.97-foot hook proved just a warm-up for driver of the Young Blood machine, Brian Shramek. On Saturday, he returned for a Fourth Place, 328.7-foot encore.
When the hood came unlatched on Keith Witt’s second-gen Dodge, he and his Cross Wired Pro Stock truck were in for a very different kind of ride on Friday night. But despite losing visibility out of the windshield, Witt never lifted, instead watching and using the white chalk line on the far side of the track as a reference point to avoid disqualification. The result of staying in the throttle yielded him 291 feet and change, along with a lot of questions back in the pits.