Profiled: 5 of Diesel Drag Racing’s Top Pro Mod Trucks
It’s hard to ignore the Pro Mod diesel class. Aside from the dragster field, they’re the lightest vehicles to grace the drag strip at any diesel-exclusive event. What do you get when you combine 2,000hp with 2 tons of mass? Lightning-quick elapsed times and blazing fast trap speeds. Big boost, breakneck 60-foots and 4-second eighth-miles are all in a day’s work for the Pro Mods. On the track, these tube-chassis speed demons are a sight to behold. In the pits, they’re a hit with passersby—including us! This is exactly why we’ve chosen to showcase five of the latest trucks on the Pro Mod scene. Below, we’ll spell out the parts combinations that make it possible for each oil burner to cover so much ground in so little time. Enjoy!
1. Edgar Artecona: Save the Racks S10
While all of the Pro Mod trucks featured in this article have debuted within the last two or three years, this is the freshest face of the lot. Owned by Edgar Artecona and currently being driven by Firepunk Diesel’s Larson Miller, the Save the Racks S10 has come a long way in a very short period of time. Its first outing at a national diesel event (the Outlaw Diesel Super Series’ TS Performance Shootout on June 1-2), yielded a best eighth-mile effort of 4.77 at 152 mph. The two-wheel drive S10 was a big-block powered Pro Mod in its former life, and the chassis was updated by the guys at Firepunk Diesel over the winter to meet SFI 25.3 specifications. Trust us, 4.7s is just the beginning for this wild ride.
Massive power potential is provided by a D&J Precision Machine common-rail Cummins. Fueling comes in the form of dual CP3s and injectors from Exergy Performance, with Exergy also providing the stand-alone ECU that’s used to tune the engine. A single Garrett turbocharger mounts to a Stainless Diesel exhaust manifold and in conjunction with a healthy dose of nitrous, sends 80 psi of boost through aluminum Vibrant Performance piping. Exhaust gas temperature is kept in check thanks to water injection and the potent Cummins is backed by a Rossler TH400 transmission.
2. Rudy’s Performance Parts: 2WD F-250
We’ve spotlighted the Rudy’s Performance Parts Super Duty piloted by Rawlings Barnes before, but not since it’s new best E.T. was achieved. At the 2018 Rudy’s Diesel Season Opener in Julian North Carolina back in April, the truck leapt off the line with a 1.14-second 60-foot and collected a 4.95-second time slip at the end of the track (at 143 mph). At the same event—and with the 3,540-pound, two-wheel drive, regular cab, ’08 F-250 making consistent high-4-second passes all day—it also took the overall win in the Pro Mod class. The Rudy’s camp is also poised to release a 4x4 Pro Mod truck at some point this year. Look for it to go 4s as well…
Power Stroke Power
Although Power Stroke V8s aren’t frequently used in the top tiers of diesel motorsports, the 6.4L is a formidable contender in the Pro Mod field thanks to its vast performance potential and a few Ford die-hards willing to campaign it. Cosmetically, the Power Stroke that propels the Rudy’s Pro Mod F-250 is a work of art. Mechanically, it’s more than sound. Wagler Competition Products rods, forged-aluminum Mahle pistons and Elite Diesel Engineering cylinder heads make big boost, torque and rpm nothing to worry about. An injection system employing dual K16 pumps and Super Mental injectors from Dynomite Diesel Products (and that is supported by two 230 gph AirDog lift pumps) brings enough diesel into the equation to make well north of 1,200rwhp on fuel. A single 75mm turbo from Precision Turbo & Engine (mounted behind the radiator) means boost production is kept simple yet serious. Last but not least, a Rossler TH400 with a Neal Chance lockup converter handles everything the nasty 6.4L sends its way.
3. Ben Shadday: ’06 Dodge Ram
You may have already seen Ben Shadday of Done Right Diesel Performance’s ’06 Dodge under the microscope at Driving Line in recent months (Extreme Diesel: 2,000HP in a 3,500-Pound Ram), but Shadday’s Ram has made a lot of noise so far in the 2018 racing season. First, the truck broke ground in early spring with a 5.16-second pass right off the trailer (and the converter left unlocked). Then 4.80s became a guarantee. Now, Shadday owns the current ODSS Pro Mod record after going 4.71 at 155 mph at the TS Performance Shootout. At the same event, Shadday also took home the Pro Mod win.
Another single turbo truck, the Freedom Racing Engines’ 6.8L common-rail Cummins under the fiberglass hood makes use of a 102mm GT55-based charger from Forced Inductions. Twin 12mm CP3s join forces with Dynomite Diesel Products injectors on the fuel side, while a direct port nitrous system injects ice-cold oxygen into each cylinder. Just like the previous Pro Mod trucks, a proven Rossler Turbo 400 is bolted to the race-ready engine, with a Neal Chance lockup converter also getting the nod.
4. Taylor Overcash: 4x4 Super Duty
Bolstering the Blue Oval presence in the class, Taylor Overcash campaigns a 6.4L-powered Super Duty. A four-wheel drive version with chassis work performed by Customs by Bigun in Iredell, North Carolina, Overcash’s Ford hooks hard—often cutting sub 1.2-second 60-foots. Tipping the scales at 4,000 lbs, the truck is a bit heftier than other vehicles in the Pro Mod category. However, a recent 5.15-second blast through the ‘660 at just under 135 mph (and with each trip to the track showing improvement) proves that Overcash is right there with the rest of the pack. Should someone get caught sleeping on the line or break traction, he’ll be there to steal the win.
Ford Power, Ford Transmission
Under the care of MB Diesel Performance, the 6.4L Power Stroke in Overcash’s Super Duty was stuffed with Carrillo rods, forged-aluminum pistons, River City Diesel 150-percent over injectors, dual belt-driven K16s, a single S476 turbo and plenty of nitrous courtesy of a Nitrous Express system. Breaking away from the Rossler TH400 transmission crowd, this truck is equipped with a 4R100 that was prepped for battle by the folks at Twisted Diesel. With our data showing roughly 1,300rwhp on the truck’s 5.15-second pass—and believing there is likely enough nitrous on tap to add at least a couple hundred more ponies—we wouldn’t be surprised if Overcash is eventually capable of running neck-and-neck with the fastest trucks in the class.
5. Michael Dalton: ’12 Ram 2500
For one of the cleanest Pro Mod builds we’ve come across, we bring you Michael Dalton’s two-wheel drive ’12 Ram 2500. Built to represent Dalton’s Cookeville, Tennessee business, RLC Motorsports, the chromoly tube chassis was pieced together by Wide Open Design in Murfreesboro, Tennessee. At the business end of the short bed Ram, you’ll find an adjustable rear 4-link with QA1 double adjustable coilover shocks and a Spidertrax axle with 4-inch axle tubes, a Strange Engineering 9.5-inch ring and pinion and a spool. In the same boat as the aforementioned Taylor Overcash, Dalton’s truck weighs in at 4,000 lbs. While this makes the truck heavy for Pro Mod, it would be right in the thick of things if laced with ballast and brought up to the 4,500-pound Pro Street minimum. To date, Dalton’s Ram has been as fast as 6.04 at 119 mph in the eighth-mile.
Assembled by Havana, Florida’s Donalson Diesel Performance, the 5.9L Cummins in Dalton’s bright orange Ram conceals six R&R connecting rods, Diamond Racing forged-aluminum pistons and a Hamilton cam. To help the truck’s weight bias, the engine is set back approximately 16 inches. Power production begins with a set of 300-percent over common-rail injectors from S&S Diesel Motorsport, which are supplied fuel by way of twin Fleece Performance Engineering PowerFlo CP3s. The injection system receives its low-pressure fuel supply courtesy of a 250-gph FASS system. For air, a single 88mm Garrett charger mounted to a Steed Speed exhaust manifold gets the job done, while a spooling stage of nitrous is employed to get the big snale spinning on the starting line. A competition-ready 48RE from Sun Coast Diesel has no problem harnessing all the 5.9L’s grunt.
Contributing Photographer: Amy Gilbert of Stainless Diesel