Drags, Pulls, and Dynoing in Oregon
Alot of folks fondly remember the old days of diesel racing, back before the big sponsorships and 2,500-horsepower dyno figures. In the old days, there were trucks that did less with more, and even in 2019, we believe that budget 10-second full-sized trucks are still pretty cool.
We enjoyed a big blast from the past in June at the fifth Siskiyou Dieselfest in Oregon. Siskiyou Diesel Performance, a shop in Central Point, Ore., hosts the annual event that features drag racing, sled pulling, and a dyno contest that’s part of the Northwest Dyno Circuit.
The festivities began with a meet-and-greet at Siskiyou Diesel Performance, where we got a glimpse at some would-be fast rides. It was definitely Cummins country, as a lot of the hot trucks were inline-six powered. We saw builds with towing twins, 160-hp pumps, and some with a lot of nitrous. We were surprised at the amount of lightening that went on — a lot of racers made use of “free horsepower” by reducing weight. It was clear the focus was going to be on drag racing, so we were excited to see what the next morning would hold when racing started straight away at Medford Dragstrip.
When the gates opened, there were classes for virtually every make and speed of diesel truck, from bracket classes to an “open” class, where anything and everything would show up to race. Notable racers included Larry Strawn’s famous “Fodge,” a 1,000-hp Cummins-powered Model A on a Dodge 4×4 chassis. There was also Jim Calhoun and Great White Racing, which has been around since the early years of diesel performance. Source Automotive brought a hot common-rail that was redefining the limits of just how fast a single turbo truck could be.
After eliminations on the dragstrip, we joked with Mat Ray about how he was a ringer, and how you’re not supposed to be the fastest truck at your own event. Although drag racing was the main draw, there was sled pulling, too, and some hot dyno action courtesy of the Northwest Dyno Circuit.
Some standout performances included Corey Lingren taking the stock class at 567 rwhp in his Chevy, Cody Heath churning out 1,099 rwhp in the Small Single class, and Rex Gully’s budget 12-valve making 1,150 rwhp in unlimited.
Once the food had been eaten, the dragstrip smoke had settled, the sled-pulling dirt was slung, and the rollers had been spun, everyone agreed Siskiyou had been one good time — and many already have it marked on their calendars for next year.
Are you a hometown hero who thinks you have what it takes to compete? We’d love to see you there.