Fire on the Mountain

December 8th, 2011

Text and Photos by Matt Emery

It’s a Hot Time at Diesels on the Mountain 2011

If there is such a thing as the Olympics of diesel performance, then the “Diesels on the Mountain” weekend seems to come closest to it. There are three separate events (sled pull, dyno and drags) held at three separate venues that encompass three different disciplines. All have a winner and a bunch of also-rans.

While not all competitors attended each event, they could have, and many did. There were guys flogging their diesel-powered trucks at the sled pulls and tripping the lights at the drags. In between, they were strapping them to the ATS dyno and wringing out every last bit of horsepower they could.

Because the event was held in the beautiful state of Colorado, getting the engines to produce power when the air is thin isn’t easy. It’s even harder when that thin air was so hot. It was hot at all three events, with weather forecasters saying that the temperatures were coming within a few degrees of it being the hottest ever in Denver for early August. We know that we felt it.

The weekend got under way on Friday, August 5, with the National Sled Pulling Association (NSPA) event, held at the Adams County Fair Grounds in Brighton. The diesel classes were based on the turbo size (Work Stock, 2.6-inch/66mm, 3.0-inch/76mm and 3.8-inch/96.5mm). There were so many entrants in the Work Stock class that they had to run qualifying rounds earlier in the day. The diesel enthusiasts were out in force; the grandstands were packed. And the pulling competition was fierce.

Forty trucks ran in the final event, where the overall winner was 3.8/Super Street Jeff Broady, with a pull of 318.10 feet. Other class winners were Colter Hess (Work Stock, 293.09), Rowdy Bydalek (2.6/Street Stock, 312.08) and Todd Cooper (3.0/Street Stock, 294.00). Hess also came up just short in the big rig class and had to settle for second place behind Dustin Sweetman’s 1991 Kenworth.

Dustin Sweetman put his 1991 Kenworth into the winner’s circle with a run of 312.03.

Saturday morning dawned bright and hot for the ATS Dyno Day BBQ. ATS, the driving force behind the Diesels on the Mountain weekend, pulled out all the stops to welcome everyone who wanted to put their diesel to the test on the dyno to its Arvada, Colorado, headquarters. In fact, there were two dynos: the ATS unit inside the ATS facility and another mobile version, supplied by Haller’s Repair. The ATS Mustang dual load-cell dyno was for vehicles producing 900-plus hp, while the Haller unit was for those under the 900hp mark.

ATS had payouts and certificate prizes for first-, second- and third-place winners in the 900-plus hp category. Other under-900hp trucks were allowed to run on the inside dyno to test on a load dyno, instead of an inertia-style mobile unit’s dyno. Some sponsors were set up outside, including Nitto Tire (title sponsor), Airaid Filters, Xtreme Diesel, Burandt’s Backcountry Adventure and Shocker Energy Drink.

DW-1112-ATS-PIX-8 Thanks to the chance to pit their diesels against Haller’s Repair mobile dyno, a big crowd descended upon the ATS facility. There was also a good BBQ—thanks to the ATS guys.

There were many sponsors/vendors at the event, including Airaid and Nitto, among others. We have to thank the guys at Airaid for keeping us full of cold water throughout the weekend.

If it was hot on Saturday, then Sunday was a scorcher. It was also just in time for the hottest competition event of the weekend, as the Cummins Rocky Mountain Truck Fest was held at the famous Bandimere Speedway in Morrison, Colorado.

Events began at 8:00 a.m. on Sunday and included 525 participants, although not all of them were diesel-powered. The Diesel Eliminator and Pro Diesel Classes included 67 of the quickest trucks in the country. “Misery” (built by B&G Electric/Performance Diesel, of Pampa, Texas) had the fastest quarter-mile run of 10.46 seconds at 132.93 mph.

One of the largest classes of the day was the big rig class. There seemed to be a hundred of them, and the truckers seemed to be having the best time. While many of the diesel-powered pickup trucks were serious, the truckers were serious, too—serious about having fun. Many of them wore out their air horns during their runs and blasts, and laughter could be heard emanating from the staging lanes.

While the “Bandimere Steps” nearly took us out (for those who don’t know, there are steps bordering the grandstand that go from the track surface to the upper level, where the pits and vendor areas are located. Imagine the Alps with concrete steps!), attending a race at the historic NHRA track was a special event for us and for most of those in attendance.

The crew at Bandimere Raceway did a great job with the usual problems associated with drag racing (oil downs, broken parts that strand trucks in the middle of the track), and the racing was intense.
We could have done without the high temperatures, but the weekend was great. We want to thank ATS and everyone associated with Diesels on the Mountain for a great time.

The competition was fierce and drew the best diesel racers from many surrounding states.

Sponsors of the 2011 Diesels On The Mountain Weekend

Nitto Tire

AIRAID Air Filters

Amsoil Oils

B&G Electric /Performance Diesel

Burandt’s Backcountry Adventure (snowmobiling expeditions)

Edge Products

H&S Performance

Hallers Repair

Next Level Riding Clinics (snowmobiling clinic)

TS Performance

Xtreme Diesel

This is in the December issue of Diesel World.

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