TRUCK MANIA

DIESEL VS. GAS IN AN ALL-OUT WAR

If there’s one thing that Northern California is known for, it’s trucks. The area is heavy in construction, agriculture, and transport businesses—all of which require vehicles that can tow or have beds. It’s no surprise then that many enthusiasts have trucks as hot rods or race vehicles in addition to their daily transport. Thanks to DmaxStore.com and Sacramento Raceway, all of these vehicles had a place to play in late September. It wasn’t just an event for drag trucks either, as there was a chassis dyno for street trucks to measure their merit, a mud bog for those who wanted to get dirty, and a sled for pulling trucks to test their might.

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It all started on the dragstrip, where a number of gas and diesel classes were created for street and strip pickups alike. There was plenty of bracket action, but there was also a $100 buy-in heads up shootout open to any competitor who was brave enough to enter. Although it wasn’t a truck, Russ Wullenwaber also brought his awesome 1,500 horsepower Duramax-powered Nova to make some exhibition runs.

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1. The Show-N-Shine at Truck Mania was full of pickups of every shape and size. The old Chevy up front was powered by a 8.3L Cummins, the Dodge on the right sported a custom flatbed, and the GM in the background was more than ready to go off-road.

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2. There was a vendor row at Truck Mania in addition to all the racing. Merchant Automotive was one company that made the trip, along with their awesome Duramaxpowered sand rail.

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3. Lifted, lowered, and leveled trucks of all makes and models could be seen in the show area, with GMs, Rams, and Fords all represented.

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4.With all the off-roading opportunities in the area, truck and Jeep companies were on hand to offer a wide variety of parts. WFO Concepts was there with a line of differential covers for virtually every make and model of diesel truck.

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5. DmaxStore.com not only provided sponsorship for the event, they also showed up with quite a display of performance parts, as well as a number of trucks. In addition to their hot street truck, they had a lifted straight front axle-swapped Chevy that was ready for wheeling.

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6. It was a pleasant sight to see that a number of American flags were on display in the Show-N-Shine, including this “Thin Blue Line” flag in support of police officers.

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7. The Black Smoke Mafia brought a number of trucks out to the show, including this Old Body Style (OBS) Ford, which had Road Armor Bumpers cleverly integrated into the body lines.

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8. One of the most impressive performances on the dyno was from Cody Heath, who laid down 841 rearwheel horsepower on a single out-of-the-box 75mm turbocharger. He obviously had fuel for much more, and told us the truck will soon be getting compounds.

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9. Cummins-powered Dodges weren’t the only trucks lighting up the dyno. Ryan Pini’s Duramax was another strong performer, with a stout 788hp dyno run.

The morning also saw a Show- N-Shine area filled up with lifted, lowered, and modified trucks of all shapes and sizes, both gas and diesel. On the diesel side of things lifted trucks were king, with diesel truck clubs from all over Northern and Central California getting in on the action. A number of swaps were also on hand, including a cool old 8.3L Cummins-powered Chevy, which could be found dropped to the ground in the middle of the show area.

As part of the Northwest Dyno Circuit, Custom Auto brought out their chassis dyno, and it was filled with a string of trucks the entire day. Almost all the entries were fuel-only, with Dmax Store’s compound turbo entry cranking out 917 horsepower at the wheels on an exhibition dyno pull, and several trucks in the 600 to 800 horsepower range.

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10. In addition to the various classes, there was also a “Fun Run” category for those folks who just wanted timeslips. Fun didn’t mean slow though, as this lowered Duramax ran low 11s at more than 120 mph.

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11. One of the strongest running and cleanest Dodges running at Truck Mania belonged to Adam Aquino, who has gone from 11s, to 10s, to mid- 10s with a whole lot of patience and tuning. The blue Ram was one of the hardest launching trucks of the weekend, with consistent 1.5-second 60- foot times.

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12. The two quickest diesel trucks on the premises belonged to Cole Dow and Rob Coddens, both of which were running mid- 9s in the Gas vs. Diesel shootout. In this race, Coddens came out the winner, with a 9.68-second pass to Cole’s 9.71.

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13. Blake Iskra’s budgetbuilt two-wheel-drive has cracked into the 11-second zone for $11,000, including the cost of the truck. The Dodge didn’t disappoint in Sacramento, where it ran mid-11s all day long.

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14. One of the cleanest and fastest street trucks on the ground was Dmaxstore’s ’10 GMC. In its first outing since a new motor was built, it ran 11s at more than 120 mph on a soft tune.

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15. Consistency and good reaction times are key in bracket racing, and none were better in Sacramento than Steven Good. Not only did he win the Street Diesel class, he also won the Sportsman class that was open to both gas and diesels.

As the afternoon came to a close and the drag races proceeded through their final rounds, the action moved over to Sacramento Raceway’s infield, where the mud bogs and sled pulls were just beginning. The mud bogs were fast and fun, with a stopwatch timing system and a wide range of competitors, from a turbocharged 4×4 Camaro to a Subaru Outback. A number of diesel trucks made runs too, with Chris Cobabe’s first generation Dodge appearing to be the quickest, thanks to its light weight and good power.

Nighttime saw sled pulling, where more than 40 trucks competed for honors in classes from Stock to full-on Super Street. The field saw two serious pullers from back East that had just been sent out to California, and not surprisingly, they were the ones to beat. A number of drag racers also entered the sled pull, where some of them did quite well.

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16.West Coast Diesels is good at building horsepower, and they brought their own shop truck to prove it. With consistent low 11s at the dragstrip, it was clear that owner Tom Wallace wasn’t pulling any punches.

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17. Diesel World editor Adam Blattenberg went rounds in the street class with his 7.3Lpowered F-250. Despite piloting a two-wheel drive, he ran a quick 13.46 at 106 mph after putting down nearly 600 rwhp on the dyno.

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18. Although Cole made it to the finals, he was outmatched by Jon McGovern’s nitrousassisted gas truck, which proves that a 2,000- pound weight advantage does indeed make a difference.

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19. Rifraff Diesel was the hands-down winner in the burnout contest. There’s a 7.3L-powered shortbed Ford buried somewhere in all that tire smoke.

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20. Russ Wullenwaber’s Duramax-powered Nova suffered a horrible crash when it got loose at more than 120 mph and slammed into and then over the guardrail. We often forget that drag racing is a dangerous sport, but thankfully all the safety equipment did its job and Russ walked away from the crash unharmed.

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21. A short mud pit was created right next to the sled pull to give the crowd some mud slingin’ fun. A number of diesel owners weren’t scared to get dirty, like the driver of this OBS Ford who skated right through.

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22. Randall Parker brought this awesome Ford panel van that was powered by a Power Stroke engine in a bus chassis. It didn’t pull far, being two-wheel drive, but it certainly pegged the cool meter.

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23. More serious pullers are starting to find their way out West. Everett Powell’s American Addiction puller won the Super Street class, putting 15 feet on the rest of the field with a 313.87-foot pull.

After the dust, dirt, and mud settled, the overall conclusion was that a good time was had by all. Whether you were in the Show-NShine, a racer on the track, or just a spectator, the food, fun, and excellent weather made for a great celebration that was everything truck. A big thanks to DmaxStore.com and Sacramento Raceway for hosting, and we can only expect next year’s extravaganza to be even bigger! DW