Top 7 Power Stroke Trucks of UCC 2019
Perhaps the most underrated group of the lot at Ultimate Callout Challenge are the Fords. More specifically, the Power Stroke-equipped Fords. Usually the heaviest trucks you’ll find of the Big Three, even some of the most stripped down Super Dutys at UCC have a pronounced weight disadvantage at the drag strip. Aside from a near-2,000hp dyno pull at the inaugural event, we’ve yet to see a Power Stroke match what the top tier Cummins and Duramax competitors bring to the table on the rollers. Adding to the odds, we’ve not seen a strong sled pull finish from the Ford camp since 2016—but all of that could change in 2019.
With the likes of Aaron Rudolf from Rudy’s Performance Parts and Jesse Warren of Warren Diesel Injection competing, you know a substantial amount of resources has been poured into making their Blue Ovals as competition-ready as possible. And who could forget horsepower junkie Craig Briggs of Maryland Performance Diesel or Dan Snyder, the owner of Snyder Performance Engineering, an innovator in the 6.7L Power Stroke game? The “Go Big or Go Home” Shawn Ellerton will also be returning for his fourth go at UCC competition, while Sam Gabel and Dylan Grooms will bring their growing knowledge of the 6.4L to bear during their respective first trips to the main show.
Look for the Power Stroke camps to have their work cut out for them at UCC 2019, but make sure you rule none of them out. They’re all champing at the bit to get a Blue Oval in the winner’s circle.
1. Jesse Warren
Based on his reputation and past performances at UCC, Jesse Warren is the unofficial pack leader for the Ford/Power Stroke camp. Even despite his 11th place finish in 2018, Warren is always expected to be in the mix for one of the top five spots when all the dust settles. After all, he finished sixth place overall at the inaugural event in 2016 and took home fifth place in 2017. On top of bringing a 6.0L Ford to the Cummins-rich environment that is UCC, Warren’s engine still sports the factory-based HEUI injection system. With loads of truck pulling experience and plenty of nine-second passes under his belt, look for Warren to end up toward the front in both of these events in 2019, along with a top 10 finish on the dyno.
Big Boost 6.0L
Given the 6.0L Power Stroke’s widespread reputation for being unreliable, throwing gobs of fuel, boost and nitrous at one seems like a recipe for disaster to any outsider. But for those that’ve watched Jesse Warren’s progress with this engine platform over the years, they know he’ll be bringing yet another durable, extremely powerful 6.0L to Indy. Though Warren has ditched the air-to-water intercooler setup this year, his compound turbo arrangement has been upsized to two HX82s. The compressor wheel inducer on the atmosphere charger measures a whopping 4.7 inches (120mm), while the high-pressure units sports a 3.6-inch wheel. Larger, 760cc injectors are also being employed this year, as well as valve train upgrades in the form of solid lifters and a more aggressive cam.
2. Aaron Rudolf
From his days adding 600hp worth of nitrous to his truck’s dyno numbers to the countless nine-second passes he’s made through the quarter-mile, Aaron Rudolf is a 6.4L guy through and through. Having set the UCC horsepower and torque record for the Power Stroke camp back in 2016 with 1,987hp and 3,005 lb-ft, it’s practically a guarantee that Rudolf will have enough spray on tap to match or surpass this feat on May 4. With a record-setting 6.4L-powered Pro Mod F-250 already under his company’s umbrella, expect Rudolf to bring a truck capable of running eights in the 1320.
3. Shawn Ellerton
A familiar face at UCC and one that is perhaps best known for the 6.0L Power Stroke that self-destructed aboard the dyno in 2017, Shawn Ellerton will once again be trekking all the way from Alberta, Canada to compete in his standard cab Super Duty. This year, Ellerton and team have devised a plan to survive all events by running a big single turbo during the drag race portion of UCC, with a set of triples getting the nod on the dyno and sled pull (for bigger torque production). His built 6.0L sports Wagler Competition Products’ rods, Diamond Racing pistons, a Stage 3 cam from Colt, injectors from Warren Diesel Injection and 5,000-plus rpm tuning from Innovative Diesel.
4. Dan Snyder
Despite his truck being a 2010 model year Super Duty, Dan Snyder relies on a 6.7L Power Stroke to motivate it. Stroked to 7.0 liters of displacement, the engine breathes through a two-stage, triple-turbo system. Stroker CP4.2 high-pressure fuel pumps and high-flow injectors from Exergy Performance offer up plenty of fuel to match all the air, while a 4R100 automatic (built by Snyder himself) stands up to all of the Power Stroke’s abuse. Though Snyder is yet to realize the full potential of his creation, it has sent him through the quarter-mile in 9.4 seconds (2018) and laid down 1,400hp (along with 1,933 lb-ft of torque) on the dyno (2017).
5. Craig Briggs
When Craig Briggs and the team at Maryland Performance Diesel competed at the first UCC event in 2016, they brought an impressive compound turbo’d 6.7L-powered ’11 Super Duty coined “Dark Horse.” Unfortunately, the engine was hurt during its 1,614hp and 2,532 lb-ft performance on the dyno and the East Coast clan was unable to continue. Since then, Briggs and team have been absent from UCC but extremely busy designing better aftermarket components for the growing 6.7L aftermarket. Now, many of those cutting-edge components have made their way onto the engine they’ll be using to compete with in 2019. Look for the MPD guys to shine on the dyno and drag strip, but don’t count them out of a solid effort during the sled pull.
6. Sam Gabel
Earning the right to compete in the main show of UCC 2019, BD Diesel & Auto’s Sam Gabel fought his way up through the ranks, so to speak. After putting up solid numbers on the dyno and running a mid-11-second quarter-mile during last year’s UCC Qualifier, engine carnage kept Gabel from competing in the sled pull. Not to be denied, he ended up qualifying at the Wagler Competition Products event in the fall, thanks to a 1-2-3 finish in the dyno, drag race and sled pull. Thus far, Gabel has knocked on the door of 1,400hp and 2,000 lb-ft on the rollers, as well as run 6.70s in the eighth-mile (mid-to-low 10s in the quarter).
Big Fuel & a Pair of Garretts
Though we’re unsure exactly what Gabel’s engine setup will be for UCC 2019, last fall we know he made more than 1,330hp on a stock bottom end 6.4L Power Stroke. For air, a T6 flange Garrett GTX5533R Gen 2 atmospheric turbo was spotted feeding a GTX4508R. For fuel, a pair of Siemens K16s maintained rail pressure while 175-percent over injectors from RCD Performance took care of in-cylinder delivery. It will be interesting to see what setup Gabel brings to Indy, as well as how he fairs against the best in the business. As perhaps the underdog of underdogs (i.e. the rookie competing in the Power Stroke camp), he certainly has nothing to lose. Look for Gabel to lay it all on the line.
7. Dylan Grooms
Signed up for the UCC Qualifier in 2018, Dylan Grooms wasted no time earning a spot on the 2019 roster. He and his 6.4L-powered F-250 kicked things off with 1,324hp and 2,345 lb-ft of torque on the dyno, backed it up with a 9.92-second quarter-mile and then lugged the sled far enough to guarantee a fourth place overall finish and a ticket to the main show a year later. Now, one year later, we can’t help but wonder if Grooms will reach for the third stage of nitrous again (his first engine saw some damage when doing this last year) or bring a completely different engine combination to Indy. Either way, it will be fun watching another qualifier compete in the top ranks.