‘Chutes and Ladders: Drag Racing at the 2017 Scheid Diesel Extravaganza
One of the most intriguing aspects of the Scheid Diesel Extravaganza is that the truck pulls, drag races and dyno competitions are all held within a few hundred yards of each other. The close proximity of each event is part of the allure for diesel enthusiasts — and there is truly something for everyone. If you tire of the action going on in the dirt, you can go watch lightweight diesels blaze the eighth-mile. And, if you manage to get your fill of either of those two, you can stop by the chassis dyno to see which street-driven pickup lays down the biggest number.
Located on the north side of the Wabash Valley Fairgrounds, Crossroads Dragway would be flooded with the nation’s quickest diesel vehicles in 2017. Throughout the course of the weekend, everything from Scheid Diesel’s 6-second dragster to full weight, over-the-road semis would go down the track. Before the racing came to an end on Sunday afternoon, we were treated to a showdown between two diesel-powered Novas, Pro Street trucks running in the 5’s and some of the closest Index racing we’ve seen.
Read on for the full highlight reel — and make sure you stay tuned for our coverage of the dyno and show 'n shine competitions.
After fighting traction issues most of the weekend, Dustin Jackson’s triple-turbo, Cummins-powered ’94 Ford Lightning finally settled in and ran back-to-back 5.20’s at 134 mph. Its last pass of the day — a 5.27 at 134.92 mph — earned Dustin the Pro Street victory over Lavon Miller. Thanks to the win at Scheid’s, and the fact that only one event remains in the Outlaw Diesel Super Series season, Dustin now sits comfortably in the lead of the Pro Street points chase. On top of that, he has a commanding lead in the NHRDA Pro Street category. Whether it sees its first 7-second quarter-mile or not, it’s been a successful year for this 1,500+ horsepower first-gen Lightning.
No. 1 Qualifier
If Lavon Miller and the Firepunk Diesel crew weren’t the Pro Street favorite heading into the Scheid Diesel Extravaganza, they probably were once the scoreboard displayed the 5.17-second elapsed time they achieved (at 141 mph) during qualifying. Predictably, Lavon drove his way (consistently) into the final round, but unfortunately encountered traction issues once there. He would end up running a 5.50 at 135 mph to Dustin Jackson’s aforementioned 5.27 at 134 mph and had to settle for the Runner-Up spot.
Another Dragster Hits the Diesel Scene
In addition to RLC Motorsports bringing its Duramax-powered rail to compete in the Pro Dragster category, driver Jared Smith was working on obtaining his NHRA licensing at the Scheid event. The bright orange dragster — powered by a nitrous-assisted, single turbo Duramax with a billet-aluminum water-to-air intercooler from Wagler Competition Products — would click off a best pass of 5.29 at 126 mph before meeting the Scheid Diesel rail in the finals.
Battle of the Novas
It was a race everyone wanted to see: Ryan Milliken’s Cummins-powered ’66 Nova vs. John Fyffe’s twin-turbo, Duramax-powered ’63 Chevy II (driven by Jacob Richards). On Sunday, the two would meet for the final round of the Pro Mod class. At the light, Milliken would get the jump and sail to a 5.58-second, 128 mph win.
Vulgar Display of Power
One of the best parts of the Scheid Diesel Extravaganza is seeing Scheid’s own, 6-second dragster scream down the track (far lane). Even though the 2,000+ horsepower, compound turbo, billet-aluminum block, P-pumped 12-valve Cummins that powers it has to be turned down in order to maintain traction — it’s still lightning quick. If you blink, you’ll miss it. Thanks to a 4.52-second pass at 152 mph, driver Jared Jones handily took home the trophy in the Pro Dragster class.
’55 Ford, 6.0L Power Stroke
This unique creation caught our attention in the staging lanes and then proceeded to impress us when it finally hit the track. It’s based on a ’55 Ford F-100 and powered by a 6.0L Power Stroke. Thanks to the truck’s light curb weight, our estimation is that 500-rwhp was all that was needed to make good on the 7.70 dial-in on the windshield. In fact, it would be too fast. The owner broke out with a 7.56 early on in eliminations.
Manning Motorsports’ Jared Ring traveled all the way from central Texas to line up next to some of the baddest Pro Street trucks in the business. Even though Jared’s Viper Red second-gen sports a single turbo, 5.9L Cummins and spends most of its time competing in the NHRDA’s 6,000-pound Super Street category, the truck still held its own against the triple-turbo, 4,500-pound competition. While it wouldn’t be a record-setting weekend for any Pro Street driver, Jared’s best pass of 6.01 at 124 mph wasn’t far off the truck’s typical, 5.90-second pace.
Neck-and-Neck in 6.70
While Seth Higgins and Braxton Grose would battle it out in the 6.70 Index class final on Saturday, these two Rams made it to the last round on Sunday. Pictured above, Rick Fox’s common-rail Cummins powered second-gen Dodge (right) takes on Exergy Performance’s Ric Newbury in his ’04. In a race that came down to the wire, Newbury’s 6.90 would edge out Fox’s 6.94.
It was a great weekend for Joey Moore, who was competing on his hometown track with his Cummins-powered Ram. On both Saturday and Sunday, he would claim the First Place payout and trophy in the E.T. Bracket class. With the E.T. Bracket field oozing with close competition, earning back-to-back wins is almost unheard of.
All-Firepunk 7.70 Final
As has become commonplace at national diesel events, the Firepunk Diesel crew showed up with a truck capable of winning each class (from E.T. Bracket to Pro Street). When it came to the 7.70 Index finals, Firepunk’s Larson Miller (near lane) was pitted against Firepunk mechanic, Tristan Dunlap and his ’06 Dodge. In a race that was decided at the light, Larson’s ’07 Dodge ran a slower 7.79 at 75 mph to Tristan’s 7.74 at 90 mph, yet Larson took home the win.
What’s impressive about these trucks is that they utilize Exergy Performance injectors that are 400 and 500 percent larger than stock — which is enough fueling capability to produce (at least) 300 to 400 more horsepower than a typical 7.70 Index truck makes. In order to run consistently in the 7.70 Index class, they are dialed back via spot-on ECM tuning.
Duramax-Powered ’72 Ford
Other than the Scheid dragster, Eugene Ogle’s ’72 F-100 Ranger is one vehicle you can always count on seeing at the Extravaganza. The truck, which is powered by a 6.6L Duramax, has become a mainstay at the event over the years and is known for its consistency in the E.T. Bracket and 7.70 Index classes. In 2017, Eugene would make the quarter finals on both Saturday and Sunday.