All They Do Is Win

Diesel Power - - Particulate Matters - Kaje

I’M FI­NALLY back in Los An­ge­les af­ter at­tend­ing Ul­ti­mate Call­out Chal­lenge 2018 Pre­sented by Al­li­ga­tor Per­for­mance, and sev­eral other events and vis­its that had me on the road for al­most three weeks. It’s great to be home; a chance to recharge be­fore get­ting back out there.

If you’re a diesel ad­dict like we are, you prob­a­bly were ei­ther at UCC, or you kept up with all the ac­tion via the live feed on Speed­vi­sion. Trust me, be­ing there is spe­cial, and I think that if you haven’t seen the Chal­lenge in per­son, you should re­ally con­sider mak­ing a trip to In­di­anapo­lis one year and do so.

In the diesel com­mu­nity, it’s fairly com­mon knowl­edge by now that Lavon Miller is the over­all win­ner of Ul­ti­mate Call­out Chal­lenge 2018. He has won UCC three times, and to me it seems there re­ally is just no stop­ping the man and his Fire­punk Diesel team, es­pe­cially when it comes to the diesel scene’s mar­quee com­pe­ti­tions.

For many years, we’ve watched “the Hob­bits” seem­ingly win with ease, and also emerge vic­to­ri­ous af­ter fac­ing ad­ver­sity and ap­pear­ing they might pos­si­bly end up on the los­ing side of a com­pe­ti­tion.

Three-time NHRA Top Fuel cham­pion, An­tron Brown, once said some­thing that I think about a lot: “No one per­son in this world is per­fect. But, if you sur­round your­self by a group of great peo­ple, that group can make great things hap­pen.” I be­lieve this is def­i­nitely true for me, as well as for Lavon and his crew. There’s some­thing in that team—I call it moxie— that seems to al­ways be able to dig deep and push its way to the front ex­actly when it has to. Lavon and the Fire­punk boys (and girls) have the kind of gump­tion it takes to turn bad sit­u­a­tions into some­thing very good for all of them.

Diesel Power Chal­lenge: Twice. Ul­ti­mate Call­out Chal­lenge: Three times. Out­law Diesel Su­per Series event wins and Pro Street Cham­pi­onships: I’ve lost count. As I’ve said be­fore, here in Par­tic­u­late Mat­ters, and in con­ver­sa­tion to any­one who will lis­ten to me, Lavon is one of the most cal­cu­lat­ing com­peti­tors I’ve come across in my many years of be­ing in­volved with drag rac­ing and mo­tor­sports. He’s a thinker and a leader, and he’s sup­ported by cats who col­lec­tively “just know how to win.”

That’s a hard pack­age to beat. But we all know it can hap­pen. From a UCC per­spec­tive, with two years of be­ing the event’s over­all run­ner-up, Derek Rose ap­pears to be the com­peti­tor that might just have Fire­punk’s num­ber, as is Shawn Baca, who fin­ished in Third Place in 2018 and at the first UCC in 2016. I know some­body’s gonna beat ’em at this game. Some­day—only time will tell. But un­til that time comes, I’ll con­tinue to en­joy watch­ing the Fire­punk Diesel team do its thing. Plot­ting, and more so ex­e­cut­ing, at a level that is ob­vi­ously very hard to beat.

KJ JONES KJones@en­thu­si­ast­net­work.com

This isn’t the first time I’ve used my col­umn to talk about Lavon Miller, and there’s some­thing in the back of my mind that tells me it won’t be the last. As long as Lavon and his tight-knit crew of fam­ily and friends (they en­dear­ingly call them­selves...

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