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Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Diesel Motorsports - Is it all Black Smoke?

I get asked this question all of the time, look at the black smoke! A very touchy subject considering the green movement within the business community.

Let me try and explain about our sport's black smoke . . .

Yes, many of the trucks shoot black smoke out of their upward extended exhaust pipes. Let me start out by saying the exhibition is considered by the EPA as Offroad/Ehibition as in NHRA drag races, NASCAR races and many other sanctioned races/events. The exhaust fumes coming out of high end dragsters and race cars are much more toxic to the atmosphere than our diesel's black smoke. Difference is you can't see it as it rises into the atmosphere.




Diesel's byproduct of too much fuel is black smoke which is very heavy and settles back to the ground. You can visually see it shoot out of the vehicle. In sled pulling it is considered part of the show by the crowd in rural settings, this comes from a long past history of trains, tractors and now trucks at local fairs. When the whine of the turbos spool up the crowd jumps to their feet and cheers as the expended fuel hits the turbos and shoots upward into the sky.

Same show as monster trucks shooting flames and smoke, same show as funny cars shoot flames and smoke on their takeoff! Americans love their automobile history and it's all about power.

Let me switch your thoughts to our normal customer who has a diesel truck. The customer, same as NADM, does not condone smoke on our public highways from diesel trucks.

They are using their performance enhancements to get better fuel mileage from their truck while using it for work or their business which requires hauling. Better fuel mileage comes from less fuel, less black smoke and more air. When they get to the track they can dial it up and compete using the same truck for exhibition. Many trailer their high end performance trucks to the events, so the smoke producing trucks are not even used for highway use, strictly exhibition and show for entertainment for the fans. No different than any alcohol dragster or funny car.

Many of our customers are outdoor enthusiasts which enjoy hunting, fishing, and camping. They are not going to jeopardize the environment and what they enjoy doing as other personal past time hobbies.

The small amounts of smoke coming out during a 3 hour show is less emissions than a 10 mile stretch of public highway in a major city for one day! Think about that, these trucks run for maybe 2 minutes each during exhibition. A local coal power plant produces more dangerous emissions in less than 30 minutes compared to a diesel exhibition show.

Now let me switch to the positive side of what our customers are doing with their diesel trucks . . . many are adding performance enhancements that not only produce more horsepower for more efficient hauling on the highways but getting twice the fuel mileage as OEM and with cleaner emissions.

Many of you ask how can this be done when our OEM vehicles are not doing this? By adding expensive performance upgrades and fine tuning the components. Our customers are showing the OEMs what they should be doing with diesels. We have a top fuel Pro Diesel Duramax that runs 1/8 mile in 5.13 (125 mph) with no smoke - completely clean! I have another customer that ran a diesel in his domestic Mustang that went over 200 mph on the track and got 38 mpg on the freeway completely clean!

We Americans are pretty innovative when it comes to our automobiles, we have a history that shows this for over 100 years! As i have stated before Europeans have learned to harness diesel over gas engines many years ago and are benefiting with the recent fuel crunch since some of their diesels are getting 85 mpg (BMW).

Yes we have some youth who think it's amusing to smoke their trucks on the highways and most likely do not have the knowledge to properly tune their diesels for top performance. Just as in the old days of hot rodding they grow out of that to want a better high performance, finely tuned diesel in order to look like the professional diesel competitor.

Don't judge our segment of the market by viewing a small minority on the highways and then the exhibition diesels at our shows. Our competitor is the innovative factor for the future when harnessing the diesel engine as the Europeans have done - take notice now of the other fuel alternative - DIESEL!

These high end diesel mechanics are the cutting edge for diesel technology, they are not just hicks or hillbillies working on a truck. Many have years of experience working on commercial diesels and have attended Diesel Technical Colleges or Schools.

Every year more and more competitors are tuning their diesels for less smoke and more power, the technology to do this is not cheap and at times very expensive when experimenting with engine components. Be patient and we will benefit from their efforts in DIESEL Motorsports!

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Who is the diesel enthusiast?

A vast majority of the diesel enthusiast is a worker who needs a diesel truck in their occupation. Those occupations are farmers, construction workers, heavy duty automotive and RV haulers. Why?



It takes a large truck to haul heavy weights, a gas engine can do the same as a diesel with a few drawbacks. Those drawbacks being much lower MPG when hauling and shorter engine life. A diesel engine has a much larger capacity for hauling because of the torque produced when hauling and almost double sometimes triple MPG for the diesel engine while hauling.

A diesel enthusiast can use their vehicle all week long at work and then go to the tracks on the weekend to compete using the same vehicle. This transition has not been seen since the days of the musclecars in automotive aftermarket.

They tune their truck to use less fuel while working and then go to the track, dial it up and produce high horsepower to compete. Many part options are available currently to double - triple the OEM capabilities of the diesel engine. It's the NEW performance segment of the automotive aftermarket!

Two groups make up our competitors, the young 20-30 used truck buyer and the 35-50 new truck buyer who both make performance upgrades to their trucks! The younger group can buy a used truck for less then $10,000, add $2,500 of performance parts and produce 600-700 HP! Can't do that with modern musclecars or even imports.

Plus what's more American than driving a truck, especially if your work requires a truck. Start looking at who drives a truck now, it may surprise you. A lot of young women are now buying trucks and getting into the sport. It's the new cool thing to do in rural and suburban settings.

Older segment buys the truck for functionality when hauling a RV, camping, outdoor activities and taking it to the track. Older segment has more discretionary income and can buy newer trucks plus adding more and more performance parts.

Look at the transition; buy a air intake, more air requires better programming for the engine, buy a programmer, now you need more fuel for a richer mix of air/fuel (hotter injection pump), now you need hotter injectors to handle the rich mix, then a larger turbo to handle the outflow, now a larger exhaust to match turbo outflow, now a stronger drivetrain to handle the increased HP and torque, then heavyduty engine components such as head bolts, valves, rods, gaskets, etc.. . . and wow it never stops!

Welcome to Diesel Motorsports! I have seen diesel enthusiasts add as much as $25,000 to their daily driver street truck so they could have the power when they want it! Even in the used market the diesel trucks retain their values when the engines can last 300-400,000 miles before a rebuild when proper maintenance is practiced.

Who is our diesel enthusiast? Hard worker in order to afford the parts, very technical to find the most HP out of a diesel, loyal to what they believe, and most are extreme competitors!

If you want to see first hand, come to an event and walk the pit area, they will tell you all about their truck (except their secret on how it's the hottest).


Monday, June 27, 2011

Back to the beginning - Lion's Club Park, Gaston IN 2001-2011

Well, what a Saturday night in Gaston Indiana for Diesel Motorsports, sponsored by PureDieselPower.com! This sled pulling event was held in honor of where it all began 10 years ago. Gene Mohney and Eric McBride who orchestrated and held the first event was there to tell the story. Originally held as a TDR club event along with letting outside diesel trucks in to sled pull on the local fairground. A fairground that has been in the small farming community since 1935, you could tell by the giant trees shading the fairgrounds.





The locals crowded in to watch some of the most powerful trucks in the Midwest pull against each other under a beautiful evening sunset. This was a family event with entire families attending, I talked to one group that had the Grandparents clear down to the great grandkids helping them to the stands to watch the pull. While the trucks ran down the tacky clay dirt track children played tag with each other in front of the grandstands.

The main difference in the ten year span was the trucks! Great advances in technology has taken what used to be top trucks (600 horsepower) to unbelievable power levels of 1000 to 1800 horsepower trucks.

Everything from the drivetrain to engine components have been improved for power along with safety. Most of these show trucks were brought in on trailers or in semi trailers. Back when it started most of the participants drove the trucks to the event.

It has become a business for many diesel repair shops and performance centers for diesels. That is progress and it shows how the popularity has grown in just a small amount of time (10 years).

Yes many of the locals still remember the original event and a few stated they still had the original Thunder in Muncie t-shirt. They told me the trucks were quite different then and the newer trucks put on much more of a show of power going down the track.

It's good remembering your roots and who you knew while growing up! Diesel Motorsports needed this right now! While so many are trying to climb to the top and discredit the others who have contributed to the sport throughout the years, this event was to remember those who started the movement.

Many of the local shops came with trucks representing their abilities and those who were here in the beginning; Dave's Diesel, Haisley Diesel, Wade Wright's Garage, and many more.

I don't have a photo of Gene and Eric from ten years ago but I have seen some in the past, they have aged like all of us but they still love the sport they helped start!




Friday, June 24, 2011

Back to Thunder in Muncie where it all began!

Tomorrow I head to Muncie Indiana where the first ever diesel truck only event was held in 2002. That's right, just barely less than 10 years ago this sport has grown to what it is today!

Yes, diesel trucks were pulling and racing before that but mixed in with tractors and gas vehicles. This was the FIRST DIESEL ONLY event. I have been told the story many times by Gene who used to pull years before Muncie. Originally started by Dave's Diesel, the organizers involved Eric McBride to help with the event. Eric asked Gene to help him organize and help put on the sled pull while he did the drag race. Trucks were lined up to become the first DIESEL ONLY event and history was made.

The original Thunder in Muncie had drag racing and sled pulling. This year only sled pulling will be done because the dragstrip had another big event going on Saturday. Next year we'll try to book a weekend where the drag strip will be available.

From one event to over 250 known events in just 9 years, what growth this sport has shown in such a small amount of time. That's what is great about this country, to be able to watch each competitor's ability in taking a underpowered, high torque diesel truck and turn it in to a powerful competition vehicle.

It will be like stepping on hallow ground at the Gaston Lion's Club Park fairgrounds.  I only came into this sport about half way through it and have seen great strides taken to advance not only the technology but the products for the sport.

I will not be posting till Monday because of the trip and will have plenty to report when I return. Please join us there if you are close to Muncie!

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Diesels vs Tractors vs Gassers? Do they mix?

We get asked this all of the time and we get the same answer . . . each group thinks they are the most important and the main attraction of the show!

NADM supports a lot of combined groups through our affiliate program and it is why we are there, the diesel trucks of the groups claim they are not being treated fairly over the tractors and gassers. The local TTPAs ask us if we can contribute to help the diesels because all of their funding goes to tractors or 2WD Gassers.

Obviously we help where we can and promote the diesels, we want their local diesel truck count to grow so the sport keeps growing. It's plain to see that the three do not play together well! Each are separated in the pits and in teching.

NADM decided when we do a show and rent a facility it is advertised as DIESEL ONLY, for a reason. The reason is to let local diesel enthusiasts know that this is a diesel truck only show so you are the show, the main attraction and DIESELs will be showcased!

Occasionally we let some semis, a few tractors, etc, in to be part of the show but they are diesels and exhibition only. The trucks are the main show for this very reason, our members tell us they want to be the main attraction! NO jet dragsters, no alcohol dragsters, no 5 engine tractors - DIESEL TRUCKS!

That's why so many of our vendors in Vendor Alley report brisk sales for equipment, the attendees are truck owners and look for new products for their vehicles.

The percentage of diesel truck owners in the United States and the number of diesel performance enthusiasts is still a long way from being close to each other! We are only reaching approximately 18% of those truck owners, a generous estimation based on diesel publication circulation, Association members, largest diesel only event, etc.

So you can see we have a long way to go before we can say that Diesel Motorsports is saturated in the marketplace. That makes Diesel Motorsports a valuable market since it has so much area to grow and include more of the diesel trucks in the country.

Should we mix the others in the shows to draw more people, we tried that and found they don't mix well! Soon as the diesel trucks started to claim they were the show they others got upset! As business owners we should want this in order to draw more people and make more money off of the events, right?

We are a DIESEL ONLY Association and most likely will remain that way in order to remain loyal to the competitors and enthusiasts. We may mix in some other diesel vehicles such as TDIs, diesel tractors (exhibition only), and Semis but the main focus will be DIESEL TRUCKS!

Do we play together well with others? We just know which market segment butters our bread the best and most! DIESEL Motorsports.

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Tailgate Community - Diesel Motorsports!

When I wrote on Monday Diesel Motorsports is a family affair one of the attendees reminded me we are not a coat and tie group. Far from it, more like a Tailgate community!

Diesel Motorsports fans back their truck up to the track, setup the chairs in the bed along with their coolers, if it's hot put up an umbrella or popup and watch the show. You won't find many in the hot stands if there is room to back their trucks up to the track to watch.

What's a truck bed for anyway? I have done this myself many times with my family, one time I even threw in the redwood lawn loungers in the back. Why not be comfortable while watching your favorite sport - right?

It's a natural for our rural fans to do this with their trucks for family and friends. At some rural sled pulls we don't even rent stands we just bring in flatbed trailers to line the track. At a recent pull I saw a group bring their flatbed trailer early but occupied it late, they met a bunch of new friends who had already camped there for the event, yes they respectfully made room for them. It was their trailer!

You will find grills early before the show smoking some great meats for consumption during the show. I have consumed many of these when offered before the shows, who wouldn't, wouldn't want to be unhospitable!

Truck beds are made for hauling and utility uses, our guys are very creative and we have seen many setups that makes you look twice. To get above the crowd I saw a young couple bring their sofa and place it on top of the truck cab roof, cooler included of course.

If forced to they will sit in the stands, and most walk the Vendor Alley many times during the shows. They are always looking something new for their trucks. If you want our crowds attention you better be close to the fence where all of the trucks are sitting!

And of course the best way to experience this firsthand is to bring your truck and backup to the fence, meet some new friends and watch the show!


Tuesday, June 21, 2011

What's in your truck? Oil?

You want to start an argument in the pits at a Diesel Motorsports event, question an owner about the oil in his/her truck! This is a personal question that only the brave and knowledgeable dare to ask, then settle in for a lengthy discussion.

Everyone claims success and their choice is the best for their truck. NO ONE, I mean NO ONE is right about their oil but the one telling you about theirs. As well it should be, it's the lifeline of the truck's engine, the very lubricant that flows through the veins of the engine that makes it perform properly.

When you spend as much money as our diesel heads do on their truck's engine it is very important in order to make the engine perform and last longer. Who has the best oil? Very good question depending on who you talk to about their vehicle.

Industry experts can tell you all about the most advertised oil or the usual you can find on almost any shelf (availability)! But finding the right oil for all of the customizing you have been doing to your diesel engine?  Who can customize a oil for what you have done to your engine.

I discussed this very thing with what I have considered one of the top experts on oil in the Nation, Karl Dedolph at the MPMC Council in LA this winter. Karl is currently with Champion Oil (Official oil of NADM) and formerly with Amsoil (a diesel favorite), his expertise is beyond anyone I have talked with in over 25 year when it comes to oil and lubricants.

Karl asked me what our diesel guys could use this winter and I told him a performance oil that added all of the additives (zinc, additives, etc) the EPA took out in 2007 when they added the DPF. There are a few companies offering those additives in can that can be added every time you change the oil. What's better than adding them back in with every change?

A performance diesel oil where it's all ready in the oil as in pre-2007 and made for racing or pulling diesel engines!

After not hearing from Karl for about four months this spring he called one day out of the blue and said "I got your oil!" Of course I replied what oil? Karl said; "The oil we discussed for performance diesels, that oil!"

Wow, Karl got Champion to manufacture an oil just for our diesel marketplace, Champion Blue Flame Diesel Oil. Champion is already known for their race oil (Champion Racing Oil XP) which is found in many circle track vehicles. Now they have launched a oil made just for our diesel performance guy running non-DPF applications (off-road use only ;)!

After testing and asking various diesel teams on the performance of the oil NADM deemed Blue Flame the Official oil of DIESEL Motorsports. Check them out: http://championsusechampion.com/

Champion's Blue Flame oil can be bought through a line of distributors and shops; XDP.com, DPPI, PureDieselPower, New Era Diesel, A&A, also check their web site for more.

Karl knows his oil so next time you see him at an event, start a discussion with him about oil -I DARE YOU!

(Karl will be at the July 16th A&A East Coast Diesel Nationals in Numidia, PA)

Thanks for the support for Diesel Motorsports Karl!

Monday, June 20, 2011

Is Diesel Motorsports a Family Affair?

After spending a great Father's Day with my family and parents it brings my thoughts to the diesel events we host and witness across this great country of ours. How much do we do to make these diesel events a family affair. Not enough in my opinion!

Yes there are some women who are interested in diesel performance and want to be involved in it because of their spouse. We even have a handful of women competitors who drive some pretty high profile trucks. We are seeing more and more campers coming to the events filled with children who can hang at the trailer and zip around the tracks on their parent's ATVs.

NADM has cut quite of bit of the party attitude out of the events like some of other bigger diesel events use to promote and increase the attendance. Are these people really interested in Diesel Motorsports or just a big party? NADM experiences smaller crowds but the vendors all report high volumes of sales for parts and more families at the events.

Is it a bad thing to attract serious competitors and families to events instead of the party crowd? My marketing sense kicks in to ask quality over quantity, target instead of shotgun, etc.

Yes we need people through the gates to make money at the event and our sponsors want people in the stands to justify their sponsorship with NADM. Again are we doing them justice since they are selling diesel performance parts to fill the stands with people seeking out a FREE something to do on a Saturday or just to have a party?

It all comes back to why they are relying on us to bring qualified diesel enthusiasts and families in the gate for them to sell their products or our crew to market those parts to that crowd. Yep, it all comes back to our responsibility to provide them and the people coming a family show of diesel motorsports entertainment.

I have already discussed this with the partners and all agreed we need to look for family activities during the events. These will soon be integrated into the future shows and events, it's our work that will make Diesel Motorsports a mainstream family affair and event to attend for the masses.

If we want to see this sport grow we all need to get away from the bad boy outlaw image of smoking into town, destroying property and leaving in a drunken stupor. I have been in motorsports for a number of years and many towns have thrown these events out no matter how much business they brought into town.

It's called taking it Mainstream, Diesel Motorsports! It's our responsibility to take it to the next level and make it a family affair!

Saturday, June 18, 2011

A Vision for Diesel Motorsports

Since it's Father's Day weekend my posts will be a little shorter but still hopefully important to read.

Yesterday I had the privilege of standing on the starting line of the ADRL Races at Heartland Park in Topeka, compliments of Carl Robinson of Mickey Thompson. I remember several years ago when Richard Small of Flowmaster was in my office and said I want you to meet and talk to a friend of mine who is starting a new race organization called ADRL and Flowmaster is going to help sponsor it. Talking to Ken Knowling then was refreshing to hear so much energy in a person with a big vision for his competitors.

It has been a few years since I have been to one of their races and it was refreshing to see how much it has grown and the quality of competitors and sponsors they have now incorporated into their program.

I have that vision for Diesel Motorsports, it has grown tremendously over the past few years and continues to gain popularity. The trucks have almost doubled in power and the numbers have grown even in a down economy. I feel some of the innovative performance parts and systems our competitors are running on their trucks will be on domestic models in the next ten to twenty years just like some of the systems developed during the musclecar era.

Once Diesel Motosports also includes domestic diesel cars (TDIs, Audi, etc.) expanding the vision of diesel as the other alternative fuel. It takes 1/3 less crude oil to produce and process, why the domestic automakers have not seen why Europe has converted to diesel many  years ago still puzzles me.

The technology has made diesel a clean fuel alternative in domestic models and some of our competitors are burning clean with over 1200 horse power engines.

I know once ADRL obtained outside investors their organization doubled within the next year or so. Those investors saw what Ken was building and saw the potential of what it could be in the future.

I have that vision for Diesel Motorsports, with all of the hard work put into what it has become today I'm hoping some investors see the big picture of diesel being the alternative fuel as Europe saw many years ago.

What do you think? Diesel as the alternative fuel!

Friday, June 17, 2011

Where is Diesel Motorsports growing??????

I am asked this all of the time by industry manufacturers. Over 5 years of gathering data on attendance, from performance shops, manufacturer's sales figures, and event activity I would have to say the growth continues in the Eastern/Midwest states. From there it is in pockets of concentration around the country.

If there are a lot of diesel performance shops that have enough business to survive in the current economy then that area is into diesel performance. The Midwest is a natural since the three big automakers engine plants for diesel engines are in Ohio and Indiana. The two other areas are the Pennsylvania, West Virginia, New York, New England, New Jersey states . . . and the Midwest MS Valley states, Illinois, Tennessee, Kentucky, Missouri, all growing in the popularity of diesel motorsports.

The pocket areas are Texas, Salt Lake City and surrounding states, Florida, and Washington. The pocket areas are quite a bit behind compared to the Midwest states though in number of performance trucks, events, attendance, etc., are still strong in sales, trucks, parts. However, the pocket areas are growing every year.

Even though diesel drag racing gets a lot of the spotlight because of speed, sled pulling is the mainstay of diesel motorsports in the Midwest. From June 1 to August 30 there is a sled pull every night of the week for most pullers in the Midwest states from Missouri to Pennsylvania! Sled pulling in numbers make up at least 75% of the diesel motorsports marketplace.

Sled Pulling comes from the old days of horse weight pulling at county fairs, then to tractors, and now to high power diesel trucks. Still a big attraction at the county fairs, many locals fill the stands to watch 1000 to 2000 horse power trucks pull a weight driven sled down a dirt track of 300 feet.

Stand alone diesel events with combined sled pulling and drag racing are beginning to draw crowds that are respectable but still not as large as some county or state fairs!

The attraction for the standalone events for the manufacturers are the people attending and watching usually drive trucks and are potential buyers for their products! It's up to the Association or promoter to attract diesel truck owners to the events that makeup this diesel motorsports marketplace.

The only drawback in the progress of diesel motorsports is the jockeying of the diesel performance shops striving to make their shop the best in the region. It's quite popular when holding local events to sway the rules for competition towards one's shop or products, thus favoring the trucks worked on by that shop. The National Association of Diesel Motorsports is trying to supply a ruleset that is fair for all competitors and does not favor specific shops or manufacturer.

The bickering and fighting between the different shop groups are a natural sign of growth as larger players and companies see the potential of making money in a new marketplace. In a tight economy a lot of larger companies are now paying attention to the over $800 million a year business in diesel performance.

As in any business the players change constantly as the marketplace grows!

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Diesel Parts USA vs Imports . . .

Realize the people who makeup the diesel motorsports marketplace are rural farmers, construction, blue collar workers who values dearly the country we live. Many have served in the military and I would guess have strong conservative ties politically.

Having said that you know what the first question they ask, "is it made in China?" Automotive parts experienced a huge influx of import parts in early 2000 and they flooded the market with cheaper automotive parts. Garages soon found that replacing the cheaper parts that failed constantly cost them more than just buying the quality parts in order to get the business from customers.

The diesel market place wants quality performance parts! The diesel truck is not cheap to buy and they want the best parts for replacement parts to equal the quality of the rest of the truck. They use these trucks to work, haul and rely on them for a living. They want reliability based on quality and the ability to switch to recreation during the weekend to compete in local and national diesel events.

Only the inexperienced are buying parts off of ebay and unknown .com sites, try to get a replacement when something happens to the part you just bought. Local shops and known .com sites stand behind the products they sell, and can get the products replaced with warranty since they are licensed dealers.

Two big components that many insist on being quality are the fuel injection pumps and the injectors. Why? Because that is the main components of the diesel engine!

So when you want to replace parts think hard about what the pros do for parts, buy from a reputable repair center or performance shop or a known diesel .com site! . . . and ask where the part was made!

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

SFI and what does it mean for diesel performance?

SFI certification is very important for a sanctioning body such as NADM (National Association of Diesel Motorsports). SFI certification on parts and ruleset for competition makes our insurance more reasonable because the companies know safety measures are being taken during competition.

SFI was started by SEMA many years ago and then broke off on their own to insure safety in racing and offroad competition. When purchasing parts for your diesel make sure if a SFI certification is needed that it carries the true SFI number and label on the part.

WARNING: A lot of performance part imports are falsifying the labels for SFI, make sure it's a true certification.

Each track and organization's insurance is based on SFI teching and safety rules being followed, if there is a mishap then they can rely on the teching to ensure everything was properly running and safety measures were in place. SFI is followed by NASCAR, NHRA, NADM, ADRL, NTPA and IHRA.

When SFI inspection/teching is missing or overlooked then then when a mishap occurs the attorneys have a field day with the insurance companies, the track, the competitor and the sponsors. They go after anyone with monies.

That is why it is so IMPORTANT to follow the rules for competition in DIESEL Motorsports. Right now the only sanctioning body for diesel pickups in drag racing is the NADM (National Association of Diesel Motorsports) and in sled pulling there are a few tractor pulling associations who cover a few classes of pickups, NADM is the only one covering all classes of diesel pickups.

When building a truck make sure the rules are followed for safety so you can run your truck with any organization based on SFI equipment and guidelines. The rules are a free download on the web site - www.DIESELmotorsports.US!


Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Diesel Performance parts and service - what's hot and what's selling?

As mentioned yesterday, now is the time to focus on what can be offered to draw in the customer for performance business during a down economy. Look for bargains from manufacturers, there is a lot of them right now!

Air intakes (K&N) and exhaust (Flo-Pro) is always a easy add-on for the novice diesel customer along with programmers (Edge, PPE, Bullydog)! Bolt-ons are a easy add-on but it immediately changes their tuning which is a huge problem out there because the normal person does not know how to tune when they add all of the bolt-ons - that is where your shop can help them. The average diesel newbie thinks if it smokes then they are doing it right, just the opposite, if it smokes it is tuned incorrectly.

Higher upgrades such as turbos (High Tech Turbo) or twin turbos (PPE) and hotter injectors (Industrial Injection) require a much higher understanding of tuning the engine for performance. Then once you reach this level then all kinds of additions to the engine must be made or you are going to be breaking internal parts. Internal parts need replacement when upgrading to higher horsepower such as head studs (ARP), rods (Carrillo), pistons (Mahle), and gaskets (Victor Reinz).  Head studs are a absolute when upgrading turbo or injectors, most manufacturers require it in their instructions for installation.

Changing the injection pump (Industrial Injection) or dual fuel pump (PPE) for more fuel is when the enthusiast really needs an expert on not only installation but tuning all 4 components, air intake, fuel pump, injectors and turbo to work properly together! We see it everyday, they put in a bigger pump and other components start breaking or causing the engine to run poorly.

Once all is installed and running properly, it's the drive train then that is the next big improvement.  Can you take a 350 HP OEM engine, take it to 700 HP and expect the OEM tranny to withstand the excessive power - not going to happen! Clutches (South Bend Clutch) and transmissions (Gorends, Sun Coast) will need to be upgraded to performance levels that match the engine's output.

Do you see where I'm going with all of this?

More improvements, more money, more service, more parts, which equals loyal customer and yes, they are hooked on DIESEL Motorsports!

It's the part of each individual saying to themselves, I got the best, and I'm going to dominate with my truck! It's in all of us and especially a young guy wanting to prove his abilities. We have all been there including myself.

The opportunities are out there, educate yourself from the manufacturers!


Monday, June 13, 2011

Is the price of diesel hurting growth in DIESEL Motorsports!

The current price of diesel does hurt the industry and sport because of the trickle down effect within the economy. Everyone can say they are doing great because no one wants to be the first to admit a slow down is anywhere near.

Let's face the facts, most of the enthusiasts and competitors work within construction, farming and automotive. When fuel goes up all of these areas are hit hard by the economy surrounding fuel use, less discretionary income available. High prices on utilities, food, trucking, services all effected by higher fuel prices.

The smart diesel shops switch to maintenance along with performance upgrades. I have advised several to do so when times get slow, go to your local municipalities and ask for maintenance service business.

I have seen the numbers drop at events just as we did two years ago when the fuel prices jumped to $4-5 per gallon. It's harder to travel distances to events when it takes more money for fuel plus all of the services along the way have risen in price. Plus does the common guy want to drive his truck to an event, compete, break and not have anyway to get to work the next week.

Now that I stated it effects it I can easily say that DIESEL Motorsports is alive and continues to remain strong even with less attendance. We still have drag strips and fairgrounds contacting us for events because people are still paying to see our competitors where they are not of other venues. Even with trucks sales being weak the used truck market within our marketplace is quite strong and owners are buying accessories for the trucks.

DIESEL Motorsports is still a family event, husband and wife throw the kids in the truck along with a popup, cooler and grill. They head to the local track or fairground for a weekend of talking to people just like them and how they can make their truck look and run better than anyone else's truck. It's a social get-away from work and everyday humdrum to something they enjoy watching and doing with friends and family.

That's why we started holding more regional events instead of large ones that no one will travel to because of funds. We chose local areas that support local performance diesel shops because that is where trucks are the strongest in performance and numbers. We go for quality of the attending people that enables them to afford more products from our sponsors and still wish to improve their trucks.

Look for more tomorrow on how you can still be a part of DIESEL Motorsports?