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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
CUMBERLAND COUNTY FAIRGROUNDS
DECISION MAKER PULLING SLEDS
DP TUNER Mobile Dyno
OUTLAW DIESEL SUPER SERIES