This year the TS Performance Outlaw Drag Race and Sled Pull was expanded to three days of diesel competition to allow the drag races to be held on their own day rather than sharing a day with the sled pullers as in the past. With the new three-day format, activities began on Thursday, May 28, 2015 at the Beech Bend Raceway Park in Bowling Green, Kentucky, and finished Saturday, May 30th at Jim Roberts Park in Franklin, Kentucky. Over the course of the three-day festival of speed, horsepower and all things diesel, about 15,000 diesel enthusiasts enjoyed the activities.
When the dust settled, a little yellow school bus, of all things, won the class.
While Thursday may be an odd day to start the three-day event, there was still a decent-sized crowd of competitors and spectators on hand throughout the day at the Beech Bend drag strip. The gates opened at 8:00am and test and tune passes got under way by 11:00am to allow drivers to get a feel for the track and set their bracket times before the elimination rounds. Action on the track included the ET Bracket class, where we saw times ranging from low 12-second passes on the quick side and up to mid-24-second passes on the slow side of things. Additionally, there were 12.0- and 10.5-second index classes with some great heads-up racing in both classes.
The Pro Street class ran 1/8-mile rather than the full 1/4-mile but still put down some blazing fast times through the 660-feet distance in the low 6-second range. There were only two Pro Mod class entries present, but they gave it all they could, running low sixes in the eighth-mile with Aaron Reynolds taking the win over Steve Royalty. Three drivers entered the Pro Dragster class: Ryan Milliken drove the Willys nicknamed the Batmobile—a recent Diesel World featured vehicle—to join the rail dragsters of Jerod Jones and Jeff Dean.
During the race, a bolt flew off someone’s truck and ruined Dean’s day along with an expensive set of tires, showing the importance of making sure your truck is clean and ready for the track before making passes. However, Milliken and Dean both made upper 8-second 1/4-mile passes while Jones made a mid 7-second pass at over 200 mph but suffered problems in the final round handing the win to Milliken.
The largest drag racing class of the day was the ET Bracket Class with thirty-nine competitors running for the win. When the dust settled, a little yellow school bus, of all things, won the race. Kevin Meredith from Bowling Green drove the short bus to the slowest passes of the day but consistently cut the best lights, running within a couple tenths of his dial in time. Meredith defeated Dan Holland in the final round despite running the 1320-feet over 10-seconds slower than Holland thanks to Holland’s great start. Twenty-six racers competed in the 12.0 Index Class with top qualifier Susan Stump driving her 1934 Chevy Rat Rod to the final round but breaking out by 0.025-seconds, giving the win to Vince Neiderhauser in his 2007 GMC with a 12.013-second pass marking the closest final round of the day.
Jerrod Jones made a mid 7-second pass at over 200 mph.
The 10.5 Index Class featured fourteen trucks running head to head for the win and came down to the top two qualifiers in the final round. Karl Mireder was the top qualifier with his 1990 Dodge and ran against Jaran Holder in his 2006 Ford in the final round. Mireder got the holeshot and was the first to cross the stripe as Holder was unable to run him down at the top end despite running nearly 10 moh faster through the traps. Fourteen trucks also lined up for the Pro Street Class with three of the drivers—Shawn Proctor, Seth Sullivan and Sam Smith making 5.9-second passes during the day. Smith took out Proctor in the quarter-final round then faced Sullivan in the finals where both drivers cut good lights although Smith crossed the stripe first to take home the win.
Diesel lovers were able to watch the racing action on the track, walk through the pits to get an up-close view of the race trucks or visit the vendor’s row to check out the latest and greatest parts and accessories from some of the top manufacturers and shops in the diesel industry. The DP-Tuner mobile chassis dyno was setup at the end of vendor row on Thursday and twenty-five owners ran trucks across the rollers. Wesley Cline topped 900 horsepower on fuel only with his 2007 Dodge, while Morgan Primm used a nitrous assist to breach the 1,000 horsepower barrier with his 2011 Ford. On Saturday, the DP-Tuner mobile dyno crew ran fifteen trucks across the rollers with Clay McCoy and his 2011 Dodge making the best pull of the day with more than 700 horsepower put to the rear wheels.
Ryan Milliken and Jeff Dean both made upper 8-second 1/4-mile passes through the day.
SLED PULLING AND SHOW-N-SHINE
The focus of the event shifted to sled pulling for Friday and Saturday and relocated to about 30 miles south of Bowling Green to the Jim Roberts Park in Franklin. The Show-N-Shine competition reached new levels of greatness this year with more than 300 trucks competing for awards in nine different categories over the two days. Rickie Locke completely changed the look of his huge 2004 F-250 with a wrap and repainted suspension components to match the new color scheme. The changes impressed the judges and Locke once again took home the Best of Show honors as he has done in the past.
Qualifying for the 2.6 Class was held each day at around 11:30am to determine which sixteen pullers would make the big show for each night. Forty-three 2.6 trucks attempted to qualify Friday with forty-four making an attempt Saturday. Friday’s top qualifiers were Dylan Detwiler and Jim Greenway, but they failed to crack the top ten Friday night. Tad Ingram and Rob Wright took Saturday’s qualifying round; however, Ingram finished third under the lights and Wright experienced problems and ultimately finished outside the top 10.
On Friday evening, the pull got underway at around 6:30pm with the 2.6 Class, 3.0 Class and Super Stock Class representing diesel trucks and five additional classes for tractors and 2WD gassers giving spectators a wide variety of action on the track, where three separate sleds were in operation for nearly continuous action. All three of the diesel truck classes pulled in the center lane starting with the 2.6 trucks then the 3.0 trucks before finishing with the Super Stock trucks.
Just before the pull was set to start Saturday evening, a huge storm rolled through and soaked the track. So, the track crew plowed and prepped the track once again to get it ready for pulling action, getting underway at around 8:00pm.
Adam Hallien and his truck Wrecker took home the 2.6 Class win on both nights as the only double-winning truck of the weekend. On Friday, Daniel Whalen won the 3.0 class with his truck, Cumminized Out, while on Saturday, Josh Bowers took first with his truck, Sound of Madness. Joshua Deeter grabbed the win in the Super Stock Class, Friday night, with his truck, Up In Smoke, and Erik Stacey took the win Saturday night in Smokinya HD category.
UNTIL NEXT TIME
As in years past, the TS Performance Outlaw Drag Race and Sled Pull was a great event: With a dedicated day for the drag racing, we didn’t have to rush from the drag strip to the park or risk missing part of the pull if the racing ran long. Follow along over the next few pages to check out some of the highlights of the event if you were not able to make it there yourself. If you don’t want to miss the event next year, be sure to mark it in your calendar since the TS Outlaw event is an attraction that any diesel enthusiast needs to experience. DW
Beech Bend Raceway Park . 270-781-7634 . Beechbend.com
DP-Tuner Mobile Dyno . 828-221-0076 . Dp-tuner.com
Franklin-Simpson Parks & Recreation . 270-586-8999
Lucas Oil Pro Pulling League . 812-216-4024 Dp-tuner.com . Propulling.com
Scheid Diesel . 800-669-1593 . Scheiddiesel.com
TS Performance . 270-746-9999 . Tsperformance.com