For the 15th consecutive year the Scheid Diesel Extravaganza took over the city of Terre Haute, Indiana, with nearly 15,000 diesel enthusiasts coming to town to see the best diesel motorsports has to offer. As in years past the Extravaganza was a three-day event with action taking place at the Wabash Valley Fairgrounds as well as the Crossroads Dragway. This year’s event saw local temperatures in the low 90s with heat indices hitting the lower 100s throughout the weekend. And, as is typical in the Midwest, summer heat brings summer thunderstorms, with one heck of a storm pounding Terre Haute on Saturday afternoon.
Friday and Saturday activities featured a Show-N-Shine presented by the Purdue Diesel Club. The Purdue judges had their hands full with 54 entries on Friday and an astounding 82 entries on Saturday. Awards were on the line for Best Dodge, Best Ford, Best GM and Best Custom for each day, with winners splitting the entry fees for a prize of $270 on Friday and $410 on Saturday.
For those who wanted to see horsepower on display, the Scheid Diesel Mustang chassis dyno and the DP Tuner Dynocom trailer-mount chassis dyno were both in operation. Friday ended up being a scary day for the DP Tuner dyno crew when the dovetail on the trailer collapsed under the weight of a GMC C4500 Topkick. The damaged trailer shut down the dyno for the rest of the day while the Scheid Diesel team removed the big GMC and made repairs to the trailer. Some 13 owners were able to run their trucks on the DP Tuner dyno before the collapse, with Curvin Zimmerman and his 2006 Dodge taking home top honors with a run of more than 700 horsepower. Over on the Scheid dyno, 28 trucks hit the rollers with highest hp honors going to Justin Andres and his 2005 Dodge, which made just over 670 hp.
The DP Tuner dyno was back in business on Saturday, and 34 brave souls ran their trucks on it with Keith Burwinkle topping the charts at just over 830 hp. The Scheid dyno was just as busy with 40 trucks making runs. Morgan Primm posted the highest number of the day with 2008 Ford delivering more than 675 hp.
Spectators were able to peruse the manufacturer displays inside and around the main pavilion to check out the latest and greatest offerings from the best diesel performance companies on the planet. The Scheid Diesel crew also had a full-blown retail store set up with some great show specials, and they even offered on-site installation for those who couldn’t wait to get more performance out of their diesel trucks.
A series of manufacturer seminars over the weekend gave attendees a chance to improve their diesel knowledge and learn more about the participating manufacturers. Seminars were held by Airaid Performance Filters, Bosch Motorsports, Precision Turbo, Steinbauer Performance, TS Performance, and Vincennes University regarding their Diesel Technology Program.
The sled pull draws the largest crowds at the event, and the grandstands of the famous Terra Haute Action Track were filled for the 2.6 Class qualifying runs. Competitive 2.6 Class pulling trucks generally make around 1,200 to 1,300 horsepower, more than double the power of the average modified daily driver. A total of 63 trucks attempted to qualify on Friday, with the top eight drivers on each of the two tracks making it into the big nighttime show, while the top 10 in Pro Pulling League (PPL) points automatically advanced. Friday’s two top qualifiers were Alan Blackburn in “Joker” and Richard Lowry in “Trailer Trendz.”
Friday evening’s pulling action included Pro Stock, Super Farm and Super Stock Diesel tractor classes in addition to Super Stock Diesel, Pro Stock Diesel 3.0 and 2.6 Class Diesel truck classes, all vying for the honor of a coveted Scheid Diesel Extravaganza win. The pulls were finished around 11:30 after tons of trucks and tractors ripped their way down the main straight where the PPL crew had two pulling tracks and two sleds running side-by-side.
Competition on the pulling track was fierce with the top five 2.6 class trucks finishing within four feet of each other. All but two of the 26 2.6 trucks pulled for more than 300 feet, demonstrating that this is a truly stout class. Rob Wright and his “All Attitude” Dodge came away victorious with a pull of nearly 325 feet.
While the 2.6 class had the largest number of trucks attempting to qualify, the 3.0 Pro Street class had the most competitors, with 39 trucks going head-to-head on Friday night. The larger turbochargers used in the 3.0 class allows their engines to produce considerably more power, with competitive trucks making 1,600 to 1,700 horsepower. The top 24 trucks pulled for more than 300 feet while the rest of the pack struggled to make it into the upper 200-foot range and a handful fell even shorter. It was no surprise to see the famous “Off Constantly” Haisley Dodge take the win in the 3.0 class, but this time it was done with backup driver Carey Clark behind the wheel.
When the ground began to rumble, the crowd took notice—the 2,500-plus horsepower Super Stock trucks were taking the track. Eleven of these beasts attacking the track in rapid succession brought a great night of pulling to a rousing finale. Ten of the 11 Super Stock trucks dragged the heavy sled more than 300 feet to the thrill of the crowd. Curt Haisley drove Eric McConnell’s freshly delivered “Wild Diesel” truck. McConnell asked Haisley to pilot the truck for its first competition since Haisley had worked on the truck and was more familiar with it. The collaboration proved to be a fruitful one as Haisley took the event win by two feet over Carl Atley in the “Lethal Weapon” Ford.
Saturday looked to be another great day of diesel activity. A total 53 trucks attempted to qualify for the 2.6 class Saturday, with top qualifiers Kyle Ehrich in “Dirty Hooker” and Alan Blackburn in “Joker.” Unfortunately, the weather had different plans as a massive thunderstorm rolled into town just before 5 p.m. Record rainfall of more than an inch and wind gusts over 30 mph sent the crowds scurrying for shelter in the pavilions. The rain put an end to the action at the neighboring Crossroads Dragway and soaked the pulling track to the point where the evening’s sled pull had to be cancelled, but it didn’t dampen the spirits of the event’s attendees. Some took to playing in the huge puddles on the fairgrounds, while others took up residency in the parking lots for some bench racing and partying with fellow diesel enthusiasts.
A total of 30 bracket racers started the day Saturday finishing three rounds before the rain washed out the day’s racing. Tyler Shorter, Cody Alumbaugh, Eugene Ogle, Trey Sikes, Adam Price, Karl Mireiter and defending champion Tony Price had wins in the third round. Good weather returned on Sunday, with morning clouds giving way to clear skies as 21 bracket racers took to the lanes for eliminations. Adam Price made flawless passes throughout the day, with nearly every round finishing within a 10th of a second of his dial-in. He took the ET Bracket class win and Scheid Diesel Extravaganza bragging rights.
The Big Rig class featured eight trucks on Saturday and was the only class able to finish their final round before the rain came. Robby Patterson’s Peterbilt semi was consistently fastest throughout the weekend but ran into problems and lost in the final round Saturday to Ray Morrison. On Sunday with a smaller six-truck field Patterson took out Morrison in the first round and went on to win the final round, his 12.91-second pass defeating Josh Hubbard’s 13.82 second run.
Saturday’s 7.70 Index class featured 10 trucks and made it all the way to the semi-final round before the rain stopped the action, with Johnny Gilbert and Lavon Miller winning their semi-final round matchups. On Sunday 11 trucks ran for the 7.70 class win. The second round matched Saturday’s semi-final winners with Gilbert advancing to the next round. Gilbert won his way into the final round to compete against Jim Layden, whose 2WD drive taking the class win while Gilbert broke out.
The 6.60 Index class also made it to the semi-final round Saturday with Daniel Pierce and Johnny Gilbert each winning. Sunday was a different story, with both drivers advancing to the semi-final round before being eliminated. Derek Rose and Bruce Block faced off in the final round, and Rose came out on top with a 6.7162-second pass at 96.16 mph.
Sunday saw the crowd-pleasing Pro Street diesel truck class on the track, while the Scheid Diesel dragster and Power Service altered made a few four-second passes down the newly repaved 1/8-mile Crossroads Dragway strip, much to the delight of the spectators. The drag racing action continued non-stop through the afternoon, after which the spectators were invited to judge the burnout contest. Three brave truck owners put their rear tires up in smoke for a shot at glory and $500 cash. Steve Scank put on a show with his Dodge sending huge plumes of black diesel smoke and white tire smoke into the air to take the win.
Even with Saturday night’s rain, the 2014 edition of the Scheid Diesel Extravaganza was a diesel enthusiast’s paradise, with three solid days of show trucks, manufacturer displays, seminars, event special bargains, dyno competitions, sled pulls, and drag racing, all in one place. If you’re serious about diesels, we consider this a must-attend event. Scheid has already set the date for next year’s Diesel Extravaganza—August 28-30, once again at the Wabash Valley Fairgrounds and Crossroads Dragway. Event information, as well as results from past events, can be found at ScheidDiesel.com, so mark your calendar and start making your plans, and we’ll see you there!
*For complete results (including tractor classes) point your browser to ScheidDiesel.com and click on the Extravaganza 2014 results link, or check out ProPulling.com for detailed pull results including 2.6 class qualifying. DW
Lucas Oil Pro Pulling League
Wabash Valley Fairgrounds