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Sled pulls and drag racing are two disciplines of diesel motorsport that are completely different, but both feature gobs of power and finely tuned diesel machines. We don’t always get the opportunity to take in both activities in close proximity on the same day. Fortunately, the team at RLC Motorsports has brought us the Rocky Top Diesel Showdown, with awesome drag racing and sled pulling action from some of the best trucks in the country, along with a show-n-shine and dyno competition thrown in for good measure.

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Summer 2016 marked the third year for the event, with drag racing test and tune and Pro Street Class qualifying Friday night under the lights and a full day of diesel action on Saturday, July 30.

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Curt Haisley drove his Off Constantly Dodge to the win in the Pro Stock class with the longest hook of the night at 322 feet.

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In the ET Bracket class final round Eugene Ogle drove his Duramax-powered 1972 Ford F-100 to the win around Andrew Thompson’s Dodge.

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Jason Gunn took home both the Best Dodge and Best of Show awards in the show-n-shine competition with his beautifully restored 1st Gen Dodge.

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Ric Newbury used his Dodge to muscle past Matt Maier’s Ford to take the win in the 7.70 Index class final round.

While Friday evening offered some exciting action on the drag strip with fast cars and trucks mixing it up on the track, the main event took place the following day. Competitors and spectators began filing in to the newly renovated 1/8-mile Crossville Dragway early in the morning to check out the latest and greatest products from the many shops, vendors and manufacturers with booths set up on the manufacturer’s midway. Enthusiasts were also able to take in the action on the DP Tuner mobile chassis dyno and see amazing trucks on display in the show-n-shine competition. At around 10:00, drag racing action got underway on the drag strip with many of the big power Pro Street trucks struggling to get traction on the newly resurfaced track since there was not a lot of rubber laid down as this was the first major event for the track since its major renovation.

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The Dodge-on- Dodge final round in the 6.70 Index class went down to the wire with Larson Miller (far lane) taking the win over Banean Woosley, who crossed the line first but broke out, running a 6.67 and handing the win to Miller.

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A red light determined the winner in the Pro Street final round when Lavon Miller (near lane) tried to get a head start on Chace Lunsford, who was handed the win. Both trucks ran mid-5-second passes in the round.

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The proud drag race winners got together for a group shot to show off their custom D&J Precision Machine trophies after the presentation.

Racing action continued through the day with ET Bracket, 7.70 Index, 6.70 Index, Pro Street and Pro Dragster class drag racing. The final round of racing ended at around 6:30 with only the most dedicated drag racing fans looking on as the rest of the crowd had already made its way over to the Cumberland County Fairgrounds to take in the PPL sled pull. At the fairgrounds, the PPL series had three classes of diesel trucks competing: Limited Pro Stock, Pro Stock and Super Stock in front of a packed house. The first trucks hooked to the sled as the sun began to dip low in the sky and the final pull ended at around 10:15, wrapping up a full day of diesel action on the drag strip and on the pull track. If you were not able to make it to RTDS3 in person check out the next few pages to catch a glimpse of what you missed.

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The Pro Dragster final round was a tight battle with Jared Jones (far lane) cutting the best light but Wade Moody putting the power to the ground and getting out front to take the win, despite Jones running a faster mph at the line before trouble happened.

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After crossing the finish line at more than 165 mph the parachutes on the Scheid Diesel dragster (left lane) piloted by Jared Jones failed to properly deploy and the tires bounced along the track surface, sending Jones and the dragster over the sand trap at the end of the track and into an embankment beyond the creek.

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From left to right, Dan Scheid, Jerry Frey and Jared Jones huddle together, discussing the crash shortly after the moment of impact. Thanks to the high-quality Spitzer chassis and proper safety components (including a head and neck restraint worn by Jones) he walked away from the massive impact unharmed.

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The same couldn’t be said for the dragster, which did its job of protecting the driver but lost the front half and body work in the process as designed. Notice that the cockpit area of the Spitzer chassis is completely unscathed and maintained its full integrity to protect Jones during the crash.

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Less than a month later, the Scheid Diesel Drag Racing team had the chassis and body repairs completed with Jones piloting the beast down the track once again!

To continue building on the success of the RTDS3 the team at RLC Motorsports has set the date for the 2017 event on July 28 and 29. Once again they will bring together ODSS drag racing and PPL sled pulling competition to thrill the eager Tennessee crowds. Check out rlcmotorsports.com or follow their social media channels for the latest information. Bring your truck out and come and have some fun with us if you’re in the area. We hope to see you there.

SCARY FAST!

In the Pro Dragster final round Jared Jones and Wade Moody both made mid-4-second passes in their diesel dragsters, but things got ugly for Jones when his parachutes did not properly deploy after he crossed the line at over 165 mph.

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Rob Wright took the Limited Pro Stock class win with a pull of just over 311 feet with his Haisley Machine-powered Dodge.

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Kyle Michael and the Climax Chevy fell less than a foot short of the Super Stock win.

As Jones fought to slow the rail down, the massive rear tires began to bounce along the track surface, scrubbing off very little speed. The final bounce was a big one that completely cleared the sand pit at the end of the track, allowing the nose of the dragster to dig into the ground on the other side of a small creek. Fortunately, Jones was driving a well-built Spitzer chassis and using the proper safety equipment that allowed him to walk away from the heavy impact unscathed. Without a doubt, if he was not using proper safety equipment he would have suffered serious injury, so be sure to buckle up and wear the proper gear whenever you are racing your truck. DW

SOURCES

CROSSVILLE DRAGWAY
931.200.7458
CrossvilleDragway.com

CUMBERLAND COUNTY FAIRGROUNDS
931.484.9454
CumberlandCountyFair.com

DECISION MAKER PULLING SLEDS
724.887.4136
DecisionMakerSled.com

DP TUNER Mobile Dyno
828.221.0076
DP-Tuner.com

OUTLAW DIESEL SUPER SERIES
OutlawDieselSS.com

RLC MOTORSPORTS
931.526.5956
RLCmotorsports.com