Ultimate Diesel Builder's Guide - - Contents -

Diesel Den’s 11th An­nual Smokin’ Up The Val­ley Chil­dren’s Char­ity Event

G ood events have stay­ing power and when the event is built on a good cause that tends to make it even stronger. The Smokin' Up The Val­ley event in Sweet­wa­ter, Ten­nessee, raises money for the East Ten­nessee Chil­dren's Hospi­tal char­ity fund. This year the event, put on by Josh Wat­son and his fam­ily, friends, vol­un­teers and Diesel Den em­ploy­ees, raised $26,400 for the char­ity that is near and dear to the Wat­son fam­ily. The event has moved around from a few dif­fer­ent venues af­ter con­tin­u­ous growth and has en­joyed both beau­ti­ful weather as well as damp and rainy weather through the years. But at­ten­dees at the 2017 edi­tion, once again held at the I-75 Race­way, en­joyed ex­cel­lent weather through­out the day and into the night.


Ac­tion started around 8:00 a.m. with ve­hi­cles tak­ing to the Track Lab Dyno por­ta­ble chas­sis dyno in the morn­ing and through­out the day. More than 20 ve­hi­cles spun the rollers, with the top mark set by Ryan Jame­son and his 2006 Dodge 2500 be­ing the only truck to crest the 800-horse­power mark with a dyno pull of 835 hp. Two other Dodges were hot on his tail though, with Diesel Den’s own Josh Wat­son tak­ing one of his shop trucks for a spin on the rollers, de­liv­er­ing 799 hp, and Lo­gan Epling and his 1995 Dodge spin­ning the rollers to the tune of 794 hp even while hav­ing trou­bles and blow­ing an in­ter­cooler boot more than once. The high­est pow­ered Du­ra­max truck in­ter­est­ingly came wrapped in a clas­sic Ford body. Eu­gene Ogle’s 1972 F100 rides on a Du­ra­max chas­sis and put down 654 hp to the dyno rollers to mix it up in the top 5 with the Cum­mins-pow­ered Dodge trucks. The high­est pow­ered Power Stroke truck was Trent Raper’s 2005 F-250, which came in 10th over­all and made just un­der 500 hp.

In ad­di­tion to check­ing out the ac­tion on the dyno, the 3,000-plus spec­ta­tors could also pe­ruse the show-n-shine trucks that were on dis­play. Lo­gan Hardesty took home the award for the Best Dodge while Tan­ner Massey won Best Ford and Cameron Austin earned the Best GM hon­ors. The sur­prise of the show-n-shine was Tucker Mcguire’s Du­ra­max-pow­ered Chevy Ex­press ad­ven­ture van that was given the Best Open award and turned heads every­where he went. He also blasted down the track in the dirt drags af­ter the show-n-shine awards were pre­sented.

The first dirt drag test-and-tune passes blasted down the track just af­ter 2:00 in the af­ter­noon, al­low­ing driv­ers to get used to the grippy clay/dirt sur­face they were rac­ing on. All the driv­ers seemed to have a great time even once the elim­i­na­tions started. The ve­hi­cles were di­vided into two ba­sic classes based on the trans­mis­sion—one for man­ual trans­mis­sion ve­hi­cles and one for au­to­matic ve­hi­cles. Gas and diesel cars and trucks were mixed to­gether in each

group with the dirt and trac­tion be­ing the great equal­izer, as well as of course re­ac­tion time to the flag­man at the start­ing line. One by one the gassers were elim­i­nated by our diesel-pow­ered brethren, with Hunter Vin­cent tak­ing the man­ual class win over Mark Long­worth and Adam Doan claim­ing vic­tory over Eu­gene Ogle in the au­to­matic trans­mis­sion class. The dirt drag awards were handed out at around 3:30 and a few grudge races were held on the dirt strip af­ter the awards.

As the grand­stands filled to ca­pac­ity with over­flow seat­ing on the hills over­look­ing the track on each side, as well as tiered park­ing for spec­ta­tors want­ing to watch the ac­tion from the com­fort of their cars and trucks on the far side of the track, Sam Swann and his South­ern Im­pact sled team were get­ting ready to do bat­tle with the trucks. The first hook got un­der way at around 5:15 in the Street Stock diesel truck class. Un­like other more tra­di­tional events this one is for char­ity, so driv­ers were able to buy back in to make an­other hook if they were un­happy with their orig­i­nal and thought they could im­prove upon it. This was a win for the crowd as they got to see more hooks and for the kids as more money was raised for the East Ten­nessee Chil­dren’s Hospi­tal char­ity fund. In ad­di­tion to com­pe­ti­tion


in the Street Stock diesel class there was also a 2.5-inch turbo class, 2.6/3.0-inch smooth bore class, Open/out­law class and a Street Gas class, as well as a few ex­hi­bi­tion hooks thrown in for good mea­sure.

Steve Leonard took the win in the Street Stock diesel truck class with a pull of just over 333 feet, while Thomas Karmi­cal won the 2.5 class with hook of nearly 320 feet. In the 2.6/3.0 class and Open/out­law class, Casey Rupe and Adam White did some place trad­ing. Rupe took the win and White fin­ished sec­ond in the 2.6/3.0 class; they were re­versed in the Open/out­law class, with White pulling out the win while Rupe fin­ished sec­ond. In­ter­est­ingly, Austin White and Jor­dan Hodge fin­ished in third and fourth re­spec­tively in both of those classes as well. Dur­ing one of the breaks be­tween classes, kids were in­vited down out of the grand­stands to en­joy the highly


an­tic­i­pated kids pedal trac­tor races. The fi­nal win of the night went to Josh Mcb­room in the Street Gas class.

The last hook of the evening fin­ished just be­fore 9:00 p.m., a per­fect time to al­low fam­i­lies and their kids to get home and get to bed at a rea­son­able hour. As in years past, Josh Wat­son and his Diesel Den crew of friends, fam­ily and em­ploy­ees did a ter­rific job host­ing the event and raised a whop­ping $26,400 for the East Ten­nessee Chil­dren’s Hospi­tal while they were at it. The 2018 event is ten­ta­tively sched­uled for Septem­ber 29th at the I-75 Race­way (fol­low the Diesel Den so­cial me­dia for the lat­est de­tails and in­for­ma­tion). If you are in the East Ten­nessee area in late Septem­ber you should come out for the diesel ac­tion, but most of all for the kids. We’ll see you there! UDBG

EVENT Text: Chris Tobin Pho­tog­ra­phy: Chris Tobin, Kyle Tobin & Diesel Den

The I-75 Race­way has a nice con­ces­sion stand with de­cent prices, good food and even a seat­ing area to re­lax and eat. On one hand Lo­gan Epling was happy that his great look­ing 1995 Dodge made 794 hp on the dyno, but he blew through an in­ter­cooler boot in the process. How much power could the truck have de­liv­ered with­out re­peated boot prob­lems? Jor­dan Wil­liamson ran his great look­ing OBS Ford on the dyno de­liv­er­ing al­most 350 horse­power. Crowds are drawn to the dyno through­out the day as truck af­ter truck spins the rollers.

Show-n-sine win­ners pose with their trucks and tro­phies. From left to right: Cameron Austin, Tan­ner Massey, Blake Pay­ton Cooper, Lo­gan Hardesty and Tucker Mcguire. Here is a sam­pling of the many, many cool items that were avail­able to raf­fle ticket win­ners through­out the day. Nice trucks of all vin­tages lined up in the show-n-shine area. Good old fash­ioned flag drop rac­ing— what could be more fun? Tucker Mcguire won the show-n-shine then headed down to the dirt to put the Du­ra­max van to a real test.

New trucks got in on the dirt drag fun as well with the Ford tak­ing down the Dodge in this tight bat­tle.

In the man­ual class fi­nal round Hunter Vin­cent takes the win by a good mar­gin over Mark Long­worth.

The sec­ond-gen Dodge takes an­other close win over the third gen, the crowd saw close rac­ing like this through­out the af­ter­noon of dirt drag ac­tion.

Adam Doan de­feated Eu­gene Ogle in the au­to­matic class fi­nal round.

Paula Bor­ing made a good show­ing for her­self and her GMC, fin­ish­ing fifth in the Street Stock diesel truck class.

The Diesel Den crew pre­sented a check for $26,400 to the East Ten­nessee Chil­dren’s Hospi­tal a few months af­ter the event. In the eleven years of the Smokin’ Up The Val­ley event the Diesel Den team has raised around $130,000 to­tal for the Chil­dren’s Hospi­tal. One of the high­lights of the Smokin’ Up The Val­ley event has al­ways been the kids pedal trac­tor races where each child gets a turn at the fun. No­tice that the girls are hav­ing just as much fun as the boys as their friends and fam­i­lies cheer all the kids on.

The owner of this clas­sic Chevy found out the hard way that diesel trucks are built stronger than gassers.

The Hulk trac­tor made an ex­hi­bi­tion pass to the de­light of all the young and young-at-heart in the au­di­ence.

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