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Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Oil Down at Diesel Drag events . . . why???

These happen it seems quite often and you hear about it quite often because it delays the race for some time - why?

Mostly because our diesels hold so much more oil than domestic gas vehicles and when it comes out it is a real mess on the drag strip. Most drag strip professionals will tell you after four oil downs on a surface it is done for the day, no matter how much cleaner and prepping it takes.

As a promoter and sanctioning body I can tell you we hate these because a track charges us $800-$1500 per clean-up for each spill! That can add up real quick!

That is why our SFI techs inspect the trucks so carefully for leaks and the track people are instructed to back out anyone who is leaking fluids - of any kind off and out of the lanes!

As a competitor it makes most pretty upset when they are backed out. Better one upset than hundreds or thousands who have to wait while the fluids are cleaned off of the track which can take anywhere from 15 - 45 minutes depending on the spill.

Luckily DIESEL Motorsports has fewer oil downs than most because our techs are diesel trained and know what to look for on the trucks for leaks. DIESEL Motorsports is the only sanctioning body who has their own techs, all others have to use NHRA or IHRA techs for their events and what do they know about diesels? Very little because neither have diesel classes nor do they want them.

Our techs check them at teching, in the lanes, before the water box and before they pull into the lights! If the truck is leaking at anytime they are backed out! A truck while running and warmed up can leak small amounts which can lead to major weaknesses during high pressure runs.

It makes the race run so much smoother when there are no oil downs plus it keeps the strip clean and pure for the competitors. A surface kept clean is obviously so much better than being oiled down time after time. It effects a competitor's time and results dramatically.

Remember a real drag racer needs to run at least three to five runs to reach the end of the race or class. How many times have we seen the final runs in a class and a truck pull up by itself and run for the win? Too many to count in this business, that makes for a boring event, a boring finish and not much of a show for our sport!

Know your truck limits, pre-inspect for leaks and monitor your truck's vitals is the best way avoid a oil down as a competitor.

So when a DIESEL Motorsports tech stops you for leaks understand it's the good for the race and other competitors! These things can be a pain at any diesel drag race!

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