Small town event that kicks off the pull sea­son

Ultimate Diesel Builder's Guide - - Contents - Text/pho­tog­ra­phy: Mike Mc­gloth­lin

It's late spring in the Mid­west. The corn and soy­beans have been planted, the wet sea­son is over, and tem­per­a­tures are on the rise— it's time to go pulling. For seven con­sec­u­tive years, dozens of trucks, trac­tors, and semis have de­scended on the small town of Vir­ginia, Illi­nois, for the Cass County Truck and Trac­tor Pull. Held on the first Satur­day in June, it serves as the “un­of­fi­cial” first hook of the year for com­peti­tors in the greater cen­tral Illi­nois area. And while not all classes carry points, many pullers use the op­por­tu­nity to get a test hit or two out of their new com­bi­na­tions.

Pro­moted, or­ga­nized, and op­er­ated by Ham­mer Down Diesel Per­for­mance (a shop in nearby Jack­sonville), the small town event brings out some of the strong­est run­ning trucks in the re­gion. The Work Stock class at­tracts a host of 650 to 800hp, pur­pose-built yet streetable trucks; an any­thing goes Open cat­e­gory pits high-horse­power diesels and gassers against each other; and a Fac­tory Turbo class al­lows mildly mod­i­fied daily driv­ers, tow rigs, and be­gin­ners to com­pete. Then there is the crowd fa­vorite: the street-le­gal semi class, where you never know which big-rig will drag the sled out the back door.

Fol­low along over the next few pages for a full re­cap of this year's show. And should you find your­self in the greater west-cen­tral Illi­nois area next June, make a pit stop in Vir­ginia. This is one of the more laid­back truck pulls in the Mid­west and a great op­por­tu­nity to catch some amaz­ing pulling ac­tion in a low-key en­vi­ron­ment. UDBG

This is what 1,800+ hp looks like. The Cum­mins that graces Daniel Whalen’s Dodge was built by Flynn’s Shop in Alexan­der, Illi­nois, us­ing a host of Scheid Diesel parts. The cast-iron 6.7L block is filled and deck-plated, the 12-valve cylin­der head is about as worked over as it gets, and one of Scheid’s 14mm P-pumps is em­ployed. Top­ping things off is a 3.6-inch smooth bore tur­bocharger from Hart’s Diesel. All told, the en­gine cleared north of 1,800 hp on Scheid’s en­gine dyno.

In the Open class, hang­ing front weights, com­pound turbo ar­range­ments and/or big sin­gles, and ni­trous were al­lowed. As for turnout, eight trucks (seven of them diesel) would make the call, and Jeremy Hayes’ sec­ond-gen is shown here claw­ing its way through the dirt.

One of the nas­tier trucks to com­pete in the Open class was this GMC Sierra 3500 du­ally owned by Kevin Der­mody. Ru­mor has it that a full Wa­gler-built Duramax lives un­der the hood, and the truck def­i­nitely ran like it. Der­mody would take the run­ner-up po­si­tion in the Open class (be­hind Daniel Whalen’s 1,800hp Pro Stock Dodge). The truck is tuned by Star­lite Diesel and sports a ni­trous bot­tle mounted to the floor in the cab... al­though Der­mody com­peted on fuel alone.

Al­though Mor­gan Primm planned to run a 2.6-inch smooth bore turbo for most of the sum­mer (in a newly cre­ated lo­cal Pro Street Diesel Truck class), he de­cided to throw a 3.0-inch charger on his 6.4L Power Stroke for the Vir­ginia, Illi­nois, event and run the Open class. Un­for­tu­nately, what looked to be a heck of a pass wasn’t meant to be due to the 5R110 au­to­matic up­shift­ing when it wasn’t be­ing com­manded to. Primm told us a PCS con­troller would likely be em­ployed to solve the prob­lem.

From what we could see, the track ap­peared a tad loose on the start but tacky in the mid­dle. Get a load of this 10-foot bed­ded sec­ond-gen, which nearly drifted side­ways at the 150-foot mark mid­way through the run­ning of the Open class.

Al­though hop­ping is­sues ham­pered his best ef­forts to find trac­tion, Nic Hill’s sleek-ap­pear­ing ’14 F-350 would still take Eighth Place in the Work Stock field. The late-model Ford has been fit­ted with a dual fu­eler kit (belt-driven CP3 in ad­di­tion to the fac­tory CP4.2), a Street­maxr turbo from Mid­west Diesel and Auto, and cranks out roughly 650 rwhp.

Owen Maul kicked things off in the Work Stock class with his ’06 Sil­ver­ado and would take the win. His Bow Tie sports a stock bot­tom end LBZ Duramax that’s likely be­ing sub­jected to well over 700 hp on a reg­u­lar ba­sis.

Rules for the Work Stock class pro­hib­ited hang­ing front weights, called for an 8,500-pound weight limit, and re­quired that a stock-ap­pear­ing tur­bocharger or an S300-based turbo with a max­i­mum in­ducer size of 66mm be run. Here, Chance Meyer—a com­peti­tor that makes use of the afore­men­tioned S300 rule—tries his hand against the Lowry sled.

A rar­ity at most truck pulls, pas­sen­gers are al­lowed to ride along with com­peti­tors (for a nom­i­nal fee). Aaron Cully took ad­van­tage of this in the Open class, in which his fa­ther took over the reigns of his ’05 Sil­ver­ado while Aaron rode shot­gun. Prior to the ride-along pull, Cully turned in a Sec­ond Place ef­fort in Work Stock.

Joe Dow­son has been com­pet­ing in the cen­tral Illi­nois area’s Work Stock cir­cuit for sev­eral years now. At any given event, his reg­u­lar cab ’06 Dodge du­ally is in the hunt for a win. He would take Fourth Place on the day.

Jake Hodel put his ul­tra-clean GMC through its paces in the Fac­tory Turbo class and wound up in Third Place. His Duramax-pow­ered Sierra would cruise 272 feet be­fore the Lowry sled brought him to a halt.

For years, Sean Christy (and his brother, Nick) have been cam­paign­ing this ’08 F-350 in the cen­tral Illi­nois truck pulling re­gion. Despite the front end hop­ping some­thing fierce, Christy’s bat­tle-tested du­ally still man­aged a mid-pack fin­ish in the Fac­tory Turbo class.

Try­ing his luck in both the Fac­tory Turbo and Work Stock class was Bo Daw­son, and he would lay claim to Sec­ond Place in the Fac­tory Turbo cat­e­gory. In the Fac­tory Turbo class, it’s not un­heard of for Duramax own­ers to squeeze 600 rwhp out of the stock turbo plat­form. Com­peti­tors who take this class se­ri­ously have been known to make use of larger noz­zles and a stro­ker CP3 in or­der to run at the front.

A Fac­tory Turbo Diesel class served as a great way for new­bies or near-stock trucks to try their hand against the sled. The big­gest man­date in the class was (ob­vi­ously) that the turbo(s) were stock. Fuel and tun­ing changes were al­lowed, which meant most trucks ranged from 350 hp to roughly 600 hp.

With­out ques­tion, the S300 rule makes the Cum­mins-pow­ered Rams com­pet­i­tive in the Work Stock cat­e­gory. As you can imag­ine, a stock-ap­pear­ing turbo rule would put the Cum­mins mills at a con­sid­er­able dis­ad­van­tage against all the Duramax and 6.4L Power Strokes in this class. Here, Eric Loy’s ’05 Dodge—equipped with an S366—is in the midst of its Third Place fin­ish in Work Stock.

The Cass County Truck and Trac­tor pull would serve as Austen King’s first time ever hook­ing to the sled, and his ’08 F-250 would carry him 270 feet down the track. His fac­tory turbo 6.4L Power Stroke sends more than 550 hp to the wheels thanks to Gear­head Au­to­mo­tive Per­for­mance tun­ing.

It was a busy day of pulling for Mitchell Ruder. Af­ter com­pet­ing in the Fac­tory Turbo class in Vir­ginia, he would load up and haul his ¾-ton Sierra 80 miles north to Knoxville, Illi­nois, where he grabbed a Sec­ond Place fin­ish in a sim­i­lar class.

It’s al­ways nice to see a brand-new truck hook to the sled, and the stock turbo class cer­tainly af­forded Nick Power that op­por­tu­nity. While his ’17 F-250 Su­per Duty didn’t pull off the win, the crowd cer­tainly en­joyed the ef­fort.

Thanks to a com­pound­tur­bocharged, built Cat C18 dwelling un­der the hood, Richard Darr’s Peter­bilt glider could’ve lit­er­ally pulled the sled all the way home. Af­ter yank­ing the iron sleigh more than 350 feet, Darr let off the throt­tle and coasted to a stop.

Ev­ery­one loves semis, right? The Cass County Truck and Trac­tor pull wrapped up with a street-le­gal semi class—and sev­eral trucks proved they were much more than show queens. This Cat-pow­ered, ’85 359 model Peter­bilt driven by David Staats stormed down the track, sur­pris­ing the flag­ger who had to give chase to try to keep up!

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from USA

© PressReader. All rights reserved.