While diesel enthusiasts in Northern climates are bundling up and getting ready for winter builds in November, pullers in the Southern states are still pulling away. For the third year in a row, the sled-pulling season in the South has been extended, thanks to the team at the Liberty Antique Tractor Pull track in White Plains, Georgia, about an hour and a half southeast of Atlanta. Diesels In Dark Corners III was held on Saturday, November 9, 2013 at the track.
Down South Diesel Performance hosted the event with a large contingency of sponsors that put up more than $10,000 in payouts across multiple classes. The event has grown each year, with the most recent event being the largest yet—more than 3,000 diesel enthusiasts came out to enjoy a Show-N-Shine, dyno competition and sled pulling on the great Georgia clay track.
The morning started out like most November days in Georgia with lows hovering in the mid-30s, plus hazy skies and threats of rain. The temperature eventually rose to the mid 60s, good news for the truck owners who could make ample power with plenty of cool air. The event wrapped up with temps dropping back into the 30s as the trucks finished under the lights. Fans were treated to a total of 68 hooks with the action finishing up around 8 p.m. despite a delay to repair the clutch fork on the sled, giving fans a chance to get home at a decent time and put their young diesel fanatics to bed.
In addition to sled-pulling action on the well-groomed Georgia clay, Liberty Antique track fans also got a chance to check out some awesome-looking trucks in the Show-N-Shine where truck owners were vying for plaques and prizes for the top trucks from each make. Awards were given out for best ladies rig, best Dodge, best Ford and best GM. Chelsey Grayson took home the honors for the ladies with her clean white Dodge, while Jeremy Teem won the best Dodge with his first-gen flat-bed. Brad Sidwell had the best Ford with his 6.4L, and Chad Cole had the best GM with his black GMC 2500 HD.
There was also action on the DP-Tuner Dynocom mobile dyno throughout the day as a total of 29 trucks were strapped down to make pulls on the rollers. Luke Brown with his 1995 Dodge, which put down nearly 700 horsepower, made the most powerful run of the day. The most powerful Ford truck of the day came from Jonathan Brooklyn. His 2008 6.4L Power Stroke put almost 670 horsepower to the rollers to take third overall. Josh Lamb’s 2002 GMC finished sixth overall as the most powerful GM truck of the day with more than 570 horsepower put to the Dynocom rollers. Brown’s torque measurement of nearly 1,300 lb.-ft. was also the highest torque reading of the day on the DP-Tuner chassis dyno.
With aspirations of taming the red Georgia clay track surface, pullers came from far and near in hopes of taking home a win as well as some serious cash with more than $10,000 up for grabs. While there were a lot of local competitors from Georgia (37 to be exact), there were competitors who made a long haul, coming in from as far away as Florida, Illinois and Ohio, as well as quite a few from South Carolina and Tennessee. The longest pull of the night was 421 ft. by Jonathan Brooklyn, competing in the 8,500-lb 2.6 class. There were three other pulls by April Browning, Josh Watson and Eric Whitfield that broke the 400-ft. barrier. Three of the four were for class wins while Whitfield’s 401-ft. pull was only good enough for second place to Watson’s 407-ft. pull in the 8,000-lb Outlaw class.
Many pullers opted to add or drop weight to pull in more than one class with various results—April Browning managed to come away with two class wins while other competitors rose or fell in the standings as they made changes. The tightest finish was in the Pure Street class where less than 10 ft. covered the top three finishers with about 12 ft. covering the top five. Adam Disbro took the Pure Street class win over Browning, who finished second to go with her wins in the 8,000-lb and 8,500-lb Work Stock classes for an average finish on the night of 1.33. Mike Davis won the 8,000-lb 2.6 class, while Josh Watson won the 8,000-lb Outlaw class. Jonathan Brooklyn won the 8,500-lb 2.6 class and Gaynor Hardy won the 8,500-lb Outlaw class.
To offer some variety, there was a 9,500-lb Hot Farm Tractor class with four tractors competing. Ray Foster took home the Tractor win with his 1974 IH 966. Additionally, there was a pair of semi trucks pulling with Matt Haynes and his Peterbilt taking the win over Rick Bouchard and his Kenworth.
As with the past two DIDC events at the Liberty Antique track, DIDC III was a great success and the event continues to grow each year. If you are itching for sled-pulling action after the weather turns colder you can count on the team at Liberty Antique Tractor Pull to bring it to you. You’ll probably still need a jacket, but we can almost guarantee that you won’t need your snow shovel! They have already set the date for Diesels In Dark Corners IV on November 8, 2014, so mark your calendars and get ready for the action on the Georgia clay. Just be sure to tell them your friends at Diesel World sent you! DW
Joe Peabody: March 31, 1969-November 9, 2013
Sadly, we lost a puller on the morning of November 9, 2013. Joe Peabody lived in Connecticut most of his life, serving as a patrolman for the Monroe Police Department for 18 years before being diagnosed with congestive heart failure and forced into early retirement. To get away from the cold Northern climate, which aggravated his medical condition, he moved to Florida where he got involved in sled pulling and worked hard to pull as much as possible with his 2005 Dodge.
Despite contending with upper respiratory issues the week prior to the Diesels In Dark Corners event, Peabody was determined to make it to the event and run his truck on the Georgia clay. Peabody and his good friend Jonathan Coblentz made their way up from Florida with the truck prepared and ready for action on the track. Event coordinators spoke with Peabody via email Friday night and he reported that he was feeling great and was ready to get his truck down the track.
Unfortunately, Peabody did not get that hook, as he passed away in his hotel room on Saturday morning. Coblentz drove the truck for Peabody at the event, dragging the sled more than 360 ft. in the 8,000-lb Outlaw class to place fifth and nearly 355 ft. in the 8,000-lb 2.6 class to finish sixth. The diesel community lost a diesel enthusiast, sled puller and all-around great guy, while people close to Peabody lost a dear friend, and his family lost a beloved son, brother and uncle.
Down South Diesel Performance
DP-Tuner Mobile Dyno
Liberty Antique Tractor Pull