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Thursday, April 26, 2012

What's in an image - smoking diesels!

Just had a discussion with an editor this morning and an industry leader yesterday regarding our diesel trucks smoking!

I told both it's all in the image and perception of what you want to see! Does that sound like a politician?

Truthfully, our top four classes in sled pulling and drag racing trailer their trucks to our events, they are not even licensed for the street. They are purposely built for off road/exhibition which is completely legal for what they are doing at events. It's no different than any NHRA, NASCAR, Monster truck show or any other motorsport that is put on for entertainment.

DIESEL Motorsports only has one class in sled pulling that is street trucks and two classes in drag racing that drive to the event. Even these trucks use their tuners to bump up the performance levels to compete and then de-tune them when they go back out on the highway.

Realize when they tune them up for competition they only get 5-7 mpg and use large amounts of fuel, do you really think driving back home long distances they want to get that kind of MPG? I don't think so! They de-tune it so they can get 20-25 MPG on their diesel trucks to make the long trip home, especially when diesel is $4-5 dollars per gallon.

At the events it's part of the show when smoke comes rolling out of the stacks, it's like when the monster trucks shoot out fire and fumes. It's part of the show especially with the rural crowd at fairs which brings back the old days of sled pulling with steam engines, tractors and now diesel trucks! The excitement of hearing the large turbos spooling up which sounds like a jet plane revving up gets the crowd on their feet! Then when the truck releases the fuel and the smoke erupts 100 feet straight up in the air like a chop-choo train the crowd goes nuts as the truck lurches forward pawing at the dirt track, throwing chunks of mud and dirt 30 feet while it pulls the 30-40,000 lb sled down the track!

Again, it's part of the show which is rural Americana and has been around for close to 70 years, it's part of our heritage.

Drag racing is a little different for diesels. The more fuel, the faster it goes! That has been the trend in the past and still exists for many diesel competitors. They are experimenting with combining current diesel technology and their own innovative improvements to make more power! This same thing happened in the old muscle car days at the drag strips, many of the improvements done to those old cars were not OEM or approved performance parts but they were done at a track licensed to provide off road performance events. Same for the diesels under current conditions, what our diesel competitors are doing to trucks today may be on future vehicles as OEM.

I know many of the more advanced drag race teams are now producing huge performance gains without producing any smoke. Now these are expensive units and require large funding to perform but that is a beginning for what will be available for future street trucks that want more HP with higher MPG!

What gives DIESEL Motorsports a black eye is the small few who leaves the track and smokes people at intersections because they have not de-tuned their truck. The true competitors do not do this because they have already competed at the track.  Many rural towns and cities have put laws into effect that allows local police to write tickets for doing this.

The bad aspect of this is the usual guy who may puff a little smoke when pulling a large load or trailer is now scrutinized because of a few knuckleheads who wanted to show off with their friends after an event.

It's always the few irresponsible people who make the rest of us pay for their actions. I know diesel shops who get weekly requests to tune people's truck so they smoke! They refuse and tell them that is sign of a bad tune and they do not produce that kind of work.

If you want to test the power of your new performance diesel parts, find a dyno event, a sled pull, a diesel drag race or local diesel club that holds events that are legal. We are trying to build an image that is a new automotive sport that is responsible and credible, that is how you make a sport go mainstream!

It's always the negative image that remains in people's thoughts, it does not represent the majority of DIESEL Motorsports enthusiasts!

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