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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! 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!

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