Truck Pull Central: 2017 Scheid Diesel Extravaganza
Another Scheid Diesel Extravaganza is officially in the books. The 21st running of the three-day event swept through Terre Haute, Indiana, the weekend of August 25-27 and, as it always does, brought hundreds of trucks out to hit the dirt, drag strip and dyno. Friday morning, we passed through the front gates and proceeded to take in 15 hours’ worth of pure diesel awesomeness. Then, we did it all again on Saturday, followed by an eight-hour stint on Sunday. After perusing the exhibition hall, chatting with dozens of exhibitors and then zig-zagging through a maze of beautiful trucks entered in the show 'n shine competition, we made our way onto the Terre Haute action track for the late morning truck pull qualifying.
If we learned anything this year, it’s that common-rail technology seems to have hit a wall as far as truck pulling applications are concerned. Not only were Duramax-powered trucks few and far between, but even common-rail Cummins-equipped Rams had a hard time making the cut. Across the board, the mechanically injected Cummins (namely 12-valve engines with P-pumps) dominated the pulls. Each night, more than 60 of the nation’s hottest-running trucks tried their hand against the iron sled, with the Hot Rod Semis and several tractor classes only adding to the top-notch entertainment.
Check out 2017’s biggest moments in the dirt below — and stay tuned for our drag race, dyno and show 'n shine coverage.
In order to compete in the Pro Pulling League (PPL) sanctioned Limited Pro Stock class on Friday and Saturday night, trucks first had to qualify each morning. An exception was given to the top 10 points leaders that regularly compete on the PPL circuit, automatically granting them admission into the nighttime show. Of the 40 trucks that weren’t fortunate enough to get the bye, only the top 16 would qualify. Ryan Dedolph (pictured above) earned the number one qualifier position Saturday morning with his Cummins-powered ’17 Chevy on Nitto Mud Grapplers.
Taking the win at the Scheid Diesel Extravaganza is a tall order, yet Rob Wright made it look easy in 2017. Neither track condition nor pulling order could keep Rob’s Limited Pro Stock Dodge out of the winner’s circle on both Friday and Saturday night. His second-generation Cummins would put a foot on the nearest competitor the first night and would win by less than 6 inches the following evening.
Running at the Top
Nearly unbeatable, Jared Cox would also have a great weekend behind the wheel. Coming into the Scheid show, Jared sat Third in the Pro Pulling League’s Pro Stock points chase. A Second Place on Friday followed by a win on Saturday would change all of that. Jared’s ’80 Chevy sports a Scheid-built, deckplated Cummins engine that cranks out somewhere in the neighborhood of 1,900 hp.
Always a crowd favorite, the Hot Rod Semi field puts on a heckuva show. These frame-twisting, 20,000-pound behemoths typically carry the driver side front wheel off the ground for the entirety of the track. William Miller’s International day cab did just that, along with taking Third Place on Friday night with a distance of 307.60 feet.
Still a 'Thing'
The ultra-aggressive Nitto Mud Grappler continues to be a “thing” in the Limited Pro Stock category, where DOT tires are mandatory. In the shot above, longtime puller Jeremy Straley puts a set of six Mud Grapplers to work during Friday morning’s qualifying session.
Because finding traction is a major challenge in the Super Stock class, we hung out near the 150-foot mark for a lot of our photos — which is where most competitors turn their engines loose. Here, Erik Stacey whacks the throttle of his triple-turbo’d, Cummins-powered Chevy en route to a mid-pack finish during Friday night’s action.
A Ford With a Power Stroke?!
While the Ford body isn’t a rarity in the truck pulling world, finding one that’s still sporting a Power Stroke engine is. This Super Duty is campaigned by Rudy’s Diesel Performance, a company that got its start by pushing the 6.4L Power Stroke to new limits. Over the years, the company has never drifted from its roots and remains loyal to the 6.4L platform. We caught up with the truck’s driver, Zak Peters, right before Limited Pro Stock qualifications began, where the truck was being weighed in — complete with the 150 pounds’ worth of ice its water-to-air intercooler system would consume.
Bumping Up to Super Stock
Stepping up to the Super Stock class this year (from Pro Stock), the Haisley Machine-built Cummins in Jacob Bair’s second-generation Chevy C/K. With Curt Haisley of Haisley Machine behind the wheel, the sleek, old-school Chevy would obtain a best of 10th Place at the Scheid Diesel Extravaganza—which is pretty good considering most of the trucks it was up against were equipped with triple-turbo arrangements and tube chassis frames.
The Tilt Body Is Where It’s At
It’s been said before, but the best thing that ever happened to the Super Stock class was the addition of the tilt body. It allows fans to see a 3,000 hp engine up close and (of course) provides easy serviceability for the driver and crew. This is Chris Ryan’s third-gen bodied Dodge Ram, which is saddled with a triple-turbo, “Super B” Cummins built by Haisley Machine.
Rock Hard Ram
Shooting from mid-track, we were able to capture the moment when Van Haisley brought 3,000 horsepower to life in his Super Stock Ram. After clawing his way 325.55 feet through the dirt, he wound up taking Second Place in the pull-off against Josh Deeter’s Scheid-powered Chevy.
Campaigning 2 Trucks
Jim Greenway’s willingness to travel hundreds of miles to compete, along with the fact that he owns both a Limited Pro Stock and a Pro Stock truck, tells us he’s pretty serious about truck pulling. Jim’s ’07 Dodge (shown) would qualify for the nighttime Limited Pro Stock show on both Friday and Saturday, while his Pro Stock rig would earn him a solid, Third Place finish during the Friday night affair.
The Wagler 'Shop Truck'
Remember the blown, twin-turbo “shop truck” the folks at Wagler Competition Products competed with at the Ultimate Callout Challenge? The same, wild creation made an appearance at the Scheid Diesel Extravaganza. During the day, it served as a major point of attraction while parked at the Wagler product booth. At night, it was allowed to make an exhibition pass down the track. Now void of turbos, the blown, nitrous-huffing Duramax is audibly reminiscent of a Super Modified when it roars down the track.
Pro Stock Tractors
The name Boyd is big in tractor pulling — and for good reason. On Friday night’s running of the Pro Stock tractor class, Mike Boyd would pilot the Green Streak X John Deere to a win, while Andrew Boyd laid claim to Second aboard the Boyd & Company Green Streak (pictured). Considered one of the more prestigious classes in diesel tractor pulling, the Pro Stocks are allowed to weigh 10,000 pounds, run 680 ci engines but are limited to one turbocharger. As you can imagine, that one turbocharger is pretty exotic. How does a 5-inch (127 mm) or larger inducer and 130 psi of boost sound?
For full event results visit ProPulling.com.