The 2015 Jefferson State Diesel Nationals
Full of long stretches of highway, mountains and lakes, northern California is the perfect environment for a diesel enthusiast. It should come as no surprise then, that Redding, California’s Jefferson State Diesel holds a yearly event, celebrating everything diesel. There’s drag racing at the Redding Drag Strip, one of the oldest continually operating in the country. The strip was also nice enough to create a sled pull track, where everything from stock trucks to all-out competition pullers would be making passes. Finally, on a laid-back Sunday morning, the festivities moved to Jefferson State’s shop, where competitors could see what kind of power they were putting down on the company’s large-roller 248C Dynojet.
“Some of the quickest vehicles were swaps, with Brad Ponci’s S-10 and RPM Motorsports Duramax-powered Nova leading the charge.”
From Saturday morning to Sunday afternoon, the constant action kept crowds of fans entertained. Since rust isn’t much of an issue in California, the scene was dominated by creative swaps and old-school rides. The number of old body style (OBS) Fords was impressive, with some running as quick as 12-seconds down the quarter mile. Some of the quickest vehicles were swaps, with Brad Ponci’s S-10 and RPM Motorsports Duramax-powered Nova leading the charge. On the sled-pull track, common-rail trucks took control, with the most impressive pull of the night belonging to Les Szmidt’s ’06 Dodge 2500, which took it out the door with a 338-foot effort.
“The Dodge laid down a mammoth 1,561 rwhp, the highest non-nitrous number we have ever seen on an inertia dyno.”
On Sunday, the dyno action consisted of mostly street-legal trucks, with a few notable exceptions. Wildman Pat Liskey from Big Twin Diesel brought his Ram race truck, which had split its block just weeks before but could still make a few dyno pulls. With an 80mm and 118mm compound setup and twin 12mm stroker CP3’s, everyone was expecting big numbers out of the 5.9L Cummins, and boy were they right. The Dodge laid down a mammoth 1,561 rwhp, the highest non-nitrous number we’ve ever seen on an inertia dyno. While Pat was the big draw, there were a number of other trucks in the 500 to 800-hp range that were regularly street driven.
After all the diesel horsepower had settled down to an idle, everyone walked away with a sun-drenched weekend of drag racing, dynoing, and sled pulling. And you know what? It doesn’t get any better than that. DW