Stirring the Soil at the 2019 Scheid Diesel Extravaganza
Low-compression and ether-assisted startups, 3,000hp trucks with triple-turbo setups and dozens of wheels-up smoker tractors. Welcome to Terre Haute, Indiana in late August. For the twentieth consecutive year, the Scheid Diesel Extravaganza has taken place here—and the ground-pounding sled pulling action has never been finer. For two days and nights, thousands of spectators watch the most powerful diesel trucks and tractors in existence drag the iron sled 300 feet through the dirt. The competitors, some of which come from as far away as Texas, Florida, New York and Canada, make their way to the prestigious Scheid affair in pursuit of series points, bragging rights or a shot at glory.
When the 2019 rendition of the Extravaganza rolled into town on August 23rd and 24th we were onsite at the Wabash Valley Fairgrounds, Sony and Canon equipment locked and loaded, ready to capture all the ground-pounding action we could. For highlights, the backstory on the top finishers and some of our best shots from the weekend, check out our recap of the truck and tractor pulls below.
Making the Grade
In both the Pro Street and Limited Pro Stock truck classes, competitors have to qualify for the night time show each day by placing high in the qualifying session. For Pro Street, the top five finishers from each pulling lane (there were two) clinched a spot in the final that evening. In Limited Pro Stock, and after a 40-truck vetting process unfolded during qualifying, the top 27 trucks in the nation earned the right to hook to the sled each night.
A Duramax Gets the Win
Despite mechanical or common-rail Cummins mills being the power plants of choice throughout truck pulling, Garrett Loucks proved that a V8 can do more than simply “hang in there.” After grabbing the last qualifying spot in Limited Pro Stock, he and his Duramax-powered classic body GMC pulled off the win Friday night, going 321.31, nearly three feet ahead of Second Place.
4 For 4 In Pro Street
It was a blockbuster weekend for Lane Aldrich and his Mud Grappler-equipped second-gen Dodge coined “Smokin’ Goat Reloaded.” Not only did he sweep the Pro Street Diesel Truck class on both Friday and Saturday night, but he took the number one qualifier spot on both days as well. Even amid a shelled ring and pinion after his qualifying run on Saturday afternoon, Lane and his crew were able to make the repair and get back on the track with their winning combination.
Digging A Little Deeper
Among many competitors in Pro Street and Limited Pro Stock, classes that require DOT tires, the Nitto Mud Grappler remains a popular choice for traction. On Saturday night, the set aboard Chad Durbin’s Cummins-powered ’79 F-250 dug him to a 10th Place, 307.99-foot finish.
Super Stock Diesel Trucks
Without a doubt, a big portion of the crowd at the Extravaganza shows up to watch the Super Stock Diesel 4x4 Trucks take to the dirt. These cut-tire behemoths pack more than 3,000 hp, see triple-digit boost and do a number to the pulling surface as they dig their way down the track. Here, Chase Eller’s “Caretaker” Cummins is in the midst of its Third Place finish at the Scheid show. Eller would end up less than a foot outside of First Place.
The Beauty of the Tilt Body
Key rules in Super Stock dictate a 460 ci limit, two-stage turbocharger configurations (up to three chargers in total) and a 7,500-pound overall weight limit. Most (if not all) trucks in this elite field are also equipped with tilt-bodies, which makes accessing and servicing the 3,000hp engine much easier. Check out the bling under the tilt-body on Don Bowling’s “Pulling for the Cure” Ford, a Haisley Machine-built Cummins sporting compound turbos. These mills are of ultra-low compression (try 11 or 12:1) and most are fueled by the mechanical Sigma pump available through Columbus Diesel Supply.
A 6.0L Invades Super Stock
Seventeen of the most powerful Cummins-powered trucks in the nation (and two nasty Duramax’s) couldn’t keep Jesse Warren and his 6.0L-powered Ford away from the Super Stock class. You can usually find Warren’s HEUI-injected Power Stroke, appropriately named “Shark Bait,” in Full Pull Productions' Run What You Brung class out east, but he packed up his ’05 Super Duty and headed to the Extravaganza this year to mix things up with the best in the business.
A step down in horsepower (not excitement), you’ll find the Pro Stock diesel trucks. In this category, cut tires are legal but engines can only be fed air by way of a single, smooth bore (non map groove) 3.6-inch inlet turbocharger and the Sigma injection pumps that are allowed in Super Stock are prohibited. Maximum weight for the class checks in at 7,800 pounds, each truck must retain its OEM frame and most Cummins-propelled engines belt out anywhere from 1,800 to 2,100 hp. One of the cleanest Pro Stocks you’ll come across belongs to Daniel Whalen (shown above). Whalen’s Scheid-built Cummins would finish eleventh (out of 28 trucks) with a pass that spanned 306.6 feet.
Two Trucks at the Front
Brent Meyer had nothing less than a successful night on Friday when both of the Pro Stock trucks he drives (and which perform under the Lincoln Diesel Specialties banner) made the top four. The First Place hook of 323.18 feet went to the Cummins-powered Chevy version while the fourth spot was secured with a 316.15-foot effort from the strong-running first-gen Dodge pictured above.
Another type of Pro Stock you’ll find at the Extravaganza is the 10,000-pound, wheels-up tractor class. Rules for the equipment found in this top tier category dictate that engines displace no more than 680 cubic inches and that any size single turbocharger can be run. As such, massive, 5.5-inch inducer or larger windmills are the norm—along with dyno graphs that read well beyond 3,000 horsepower… Mike Boyd is a familiar name along the Pro Pulling League circuit and he piloted his John Deere to a ninth place, 308.94-foot distance on Friday night.
In the Super Farm tractor field, where Bret Weber and his “Never Say Never” IH call home, a 9,300-pound maximum weight limit is observed. Horsepower is effectively limited through the use of a single, 3-inch turbocharger and a 640 ci displacement rule. Despite these limitations, the engines in these machines are rumored to crank out more than 1,500 hp. The Super Farm class’s tire size is also limited to 24.5 x 32-inch tread.
Curious to know more about the heaviest of hitters in the diesel truck game? Check out the Anatomy of a Super Stock Diesel Truck piece we put together.