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Wednesday, September 16, 2015

What is stronger in DIESEL Motorsports - pulling or drag racing???

It all depends on what part of the country you are in geographically! The popularity of it changes from region to region but it all surrounds diesel performance. Obviously because of the population the East and Midwest has the largest concentration of diesel pickups and in that area sled pulling dominates not only events but also in number of trucks competing.

It's only natural since this area is the bread basket of farming and diesel trucks and machinery are used for their work. Plus pulling has been part of the county fairs for over 100 years starting with horses, to tractors and now to trucks!

Drag racing is still popular but it doesn't draw the crowd that pulling does in the Midwest and East. Many fast trucks/diesels are built in the Midwest because of the technology researched by the diesel shops in this area. Many new items have been developed for advanced performance and horsepower by the local shops.

Out West is mostly drag racing with the trucks because that and off-roading is what the West has always done! It's where the CA racing scene was hot in the 50-70s but with increased population the tracks are having a hard time staying open.

The South is mostly drag racing but pulling is found in pockets in the South, there are a lot of fast trucks in the South. The numbers are smaller for diesel performance trucks but they still are growing the sport in this area.

The NE area of the country has grown yearly for diesel performance in pulling and racing because of the diesel shops. They have advanced by leaps and bounds producing some high HP trucks for both racing and pulling.

The Southwest remains about the same, a lot of trucks in that area but there are less people and less need for performance diesels.

Overall the sport is growing in more areas than others plus the use of diesel for transportation is up 5% for both trucks and domestic vehicles. This is attributed to more access to diesel fuel at the pumps and the interest by the public for longevity for their vehicles.

Monday, September 7, 2015

Trucks, trucks and more trucks . . . gas & diesel . . . because that is what's selling!

I just got back from the Performance Warehouse Association conference and the WDs were looking to buy products that are for trucks! ALL trucks!

That's because they follow what the masses are buying and what will sell at the retail level. Trucks are used for work, pleasure and families, a multipurpose vehicle. With trucks being designed as a four door and most ride as smooth as cars anymore, plus they will still haul or tow large loads at anytime.

They do cost more but most people look at resale values and trucks always retain their values better than domestic cars. Diesel trucks really retain their value in the market place. 

The buyers were looking for products that enhance the trucks but they have to be legal for the market. Mostly because the attorneys have warned them to only sell what the government considers legal for use on trucks because another WD in OH was penalized by the EPA for selling illegal products just last month.

Is it worth the risk, can they do that to a free marketplace? Yes they can and consider the penalties you will have to incur for selling the products.

It's a crazy environment we live in today and even though we may not agree with the majority sometimes -  it is the law which they will enforce. 

I'm writing this to tell what I witnessed at the conference as a warning and as a positive to shop owners. It was good to see the WDs wanting to buy products from manufacturers for trucks both gas and diesel. It's supply and demand so the days of truck accessories, performance and maintenance is back as it was in the 80s and 90s.

Should be a perfect time for many shops to capitalize on what the public wants and demands to purchase for their vehicles.

Saturday, September 5, 2015

Sled Pulling rules - past - present - future . . .

DIESEL Motorsports gets asked every year are we going to change our ruleset for pulling. Past years DIESEL Motorsports pulling rules were determined by a group of rural regular pullers and partner Larry (Gene) Mohney based on what should be legal and allow the most diesel trucks to run.

A fair ruleset so everyone in the country could go county to county, state to state to run in everyone's pulls and the rules were the same as not to favor a local group.

What a grand idea and thought to grow the sport of pulling!

It worked for a few years while everyone was cordial and friendly, a family of diesel truck pullers.

It didn't work long though since businesses with pulling trucks competed in the group and wanted to win every time. More power, more wins and more advantages with technology, then the rules started to change at the local pulls again to favor the local trucks. Then entire state groups started to change influenced by those who had the most powerful trucks along with selling the parts to make those trucks.

Turbo rules, weights, etc started to change for the more powerful trucks. This should be a natural progression for technology and advanced performance - right? Yes the trucks that were once considered Modified ran 1000 hp and now the 2.6 trucks easily run over 1000 hp.

2.8 class disappeared and now less 3.0 trucks so the trend starts of less trucks competing. The local rural pulling enthusiast can no longer compete unless you are quite well off - trucks from $50 - 100,000 are the norm for the better pulling trucks.

Let's introduce the 2.5 trucks to include the locals so they can still pull! Now during the past two years i now see 2.5 trucks trailered to the events and are getting close to 1000 hp.

Higher price turbos, injectors, engines, etc and now the modified class trucks are not even trucks and resemble funny car frames with fiberglass bodies reaching near $250,000 each.

Meanwhile the local person cannot afford to keep up with a sport that once dotted all of the fairgrounds with pulls and the fun of competing with other diesel friend's trucks.

DIESEL Motorsports stayed the same for years on local levels and had to change at Regional events until last year where we changed then to accommodate the Midwest trucks. DIESEL Motorsports does not sell parts or favors one brand over the other so more people can compete.

Now other organization's rules are being set by the people who are selling the parts! More higher price parts sold, higher end pulling trucks but less people who are pulling because of costs.

Is this progress?

Now the rules are in question again for the future which basically knocks out the lower truck puller completely. Sure they can drop down as the 2.8 trucks did, or the 2.6 trucks did to 2.5 but how many do we lose in the process.

Sure every one wants to win and take home the big checks but if there are less trucks then the fairgrounds look for other pulling options such as tractors, semis and alcohol mods.

So DIESEL Motorsports is still trying to keep the ruleset on a fair playing field for local trucks and professional trucks in the near future. We want the sport to grow with more people with diesel trucks getting into the sport. What do you think should be the direction? More horsepower and less trucks or fair ruleset with more trucks?

We will see where this takes us for the future for the sport of diesel truck pulling. . .