For the past 18 years, Scheid Diesel has thrown an annual event. The event name: Scheid Diesel Extravaganza. This event is one of the larger diesel sled pulling events in the country that features some action packed drag racing and amazing custom trucks in the show and shine.
Since 2000, the Scheid Diesel Extravaganza has been held in Terre Haute, Indiana at the Wabash Valley Fairgrounds. The advantage of holding the event at the fairgrounds is that everything is self-contained. There is a huge area for camping, lots of parking, large covered area for the show and shine, plenty of room for vendors (both indoor and outdoor), covered bleachers, large pit area, and a good drag strip connected to the facility–the list could go on and on.
This year, it is estimated that over 15,000 people attended the three day show. As with years in the past, the Friday events started great and there was a lot of energy surrounding the fairgrounds. Traditionally, it’s the after hours festivities that can get really rowdy.
According to WTHITV (Terre Haute’s local news), there were 100 people cited or charged between Friday and Saturday for the late night activities. This has been a big trend recently and there are a lot of people within Terre Haute that want this event shut down. Hopefully, their pressure on the city council and Wabash fairgrounds doesn’t cause this event to end.
This year was a little worse due to the weather shutting down the event early on Saturday. Around 4 o’clock, the storm clouds came in and the rain came down with a fury. After about 30 minutes of hard rain, it started to lighten up and by 6:00 p.m. it was all but gone. Unfortunately, the sled track was too muddy to hold the evening’s events and the drag strip was shut down, ending Saturday’s competition early. But, before all of that happened there was a lot of great action!
A few years ago, Scheid Diesel partnered with the Lucas Pro Pulling League (PPL). Since then, the sled pulling portion of the event is held by the PPL and it is governed by their rules and regulations. In addition, this is an event where the pullers can win points for the championship.
There were two tractor classes; Super Farm Tractors and Protect The Harvest Pro Stock Tractors. There were also three truck classes; Scheid Diesel 2.6, Airdog 3.0 and ARP Super Stock Diesel Trucks.
As in years past, there were so many entries in the 2.6 class that participants had to pull earlier in the day to qualify to enter the evening’s events. The primary points leaders in the 2.6 class were automatically entered in the main show, but the 63 other pullers would have to battle it out to get into the Friday night showdown.
The Extravaganza is a large enough event to dictate two tracks. So, the field was split into two and the top nine from each track qualified to pull that night. The top three qualifiers on the “orange” track were Richard Lowry with Trailer Trendz (319.64), Cory Acker in Domestic Disturbance (319.01) and Will Dalenberg driving Ditch Digger (315.11). On the “green” track, it was Alan Blackburn in Joker (321.01), Jeremy Urey with Urey Brothers Pulling (320.67), and Corey Omps in Real Deal (319.58) that earned the top spots.
When the qualifying pulling was completed, the sun was blistering hot. If the pullers didn’t have to work on their trucks, they headed for shade. The ones that did have to stay and work on their trucks were hating life. Hot trucks, high temperatures, and high humidity aren’t fun to deal with, but the pulling community is close and lots of people were around to offer a helping hand to those in need. In addition to the help, most people had awnings and lots of water in the pits.
The night started off with the Scheid Diesel 2.6 in one lane and the Super Farm in the other. Chase Eller with Burley X Press started the evening off with a pull of 307.99. Eller had pulled earlier in the day and placed 9th. So, this was a good gauge for the rest of the drivers on what to expect. Next up was Adam Hallien in Wrecker pulling a whopping 321.63 feet. After a few more pullers it was Rob Wright in AllAttitude who raised the bar higher than anyone else could reach with a whopping pull of 324.61 feet. Also on the podium were Matt Holderly with Most Hated (322.98 feet) and Nathan Bryd’s Ice Farms truck (321.67) who just squeeked past Hallien for third place. Kyle Clamme’s All Nite Long put on a heck of a show as he pulled 320.92 feet before his truck broke.
When the night was through, it was quite evident that the mighty six cylinder is still the major player in the 2.6 class as nine of the top 10 trucks were powered by a Cummins. The only Duramax to enter the top 10 was Kyle Ehrich’s Dirty Hooker with a pull of 317.92.
Burley X Press
All Nite Long
Urey Brothers Pulling
The Real Deal
The Dirt Gobbler
Smokin Diesel Performance
Super Farm Tractors
If you aren’t familiar with tractor pulling, then you may not know much about the differences in classes. The Super Farm class is much like the 2.6 truck class. It is designed to be the first step up from “stock.” These tractors are limited to 9,300lbs, single turbocharger and 640 cubic-inches. While that may seem like a lot, in the tractor world, these guys are the low horsepower guys. But, don’t let that fool you. This class is extremely competitive and generally only inches separate the top places on the podium.
Starting the group off was Mark Colberg with his Minneapolis-Moline tractor called Pro Pain! The Minneapolis-Moline tractors are a little different in that they are naturally aspirated. Even so, Colberg put on a good show with a 295.56 foot pull and a huge flame at the end! Clay Darnell with Maximum Overdrive was next on the course and he chose a similar line to Colberg and pulled a similar distance (294.20). Eventually, the best line was found and Jason Viney in All Cranked Up pulled out the victory with a 309.65 foot pull, with Nick Skaar in Screamin Norwegian only 0.34 feet behind him and then Don Slama with Fast & Furious with a pull of 308.15 feet.
As predicted, the top finishers were extremely close and there was a pretty even distribution between the International Tractors and John Deere tractors within the field. No one brand seemed to dominate (unlike the trucks).
As the pulling season is winding down, there are only a few hooks left to gain points. In the Protect The Harvest Pro Stock class, Brad Moss driving the TS Performance Young Buck has been on fire this year with five wins. He is currently sitting 54 points ahead of the Lucas Oil Green Streak John Deere driven by Greg Boyd. John Sharp’s Under New Management is sitting two points behind Boyd and Mickey Shorter’s Buck Eater two points behind him. Rounding out the top five, there is the one and only non-John Deere owned by Cody Shay. It’s a Farmall called Red Edge Pro. Shay has accumulated 559 points so far this season.
Starting the night off was Shorter’s Buck Eater who managed to drag the sled 291.58 feet. 291 feet didn’t stand very long as Travis Domann’s Hurricane Allis 3 finished at 298.82. It seemed like the track was getting better and better as each tractor seemed to pull just a couple of feet better than the last.
When the smoke cleared and the dust settled, it was Sharp taking the victory with a pull of 323.41 feet, but Moss was right behind with a pull of 322.28 feet. Boyd ended up finishing 4th with a pull of 315.05. That means that Sharp earned 3 more points than Boyd, resulting in him taking over 2nd place in the points race!
Moss has such a commanding lead that he just needs to have decent finishes at the remaining pulls to earn the crown for 2014! Shorter finished 20th and ended up getting 16 points less than Shorter making a third place battle very difficult (24 points behind 3rd now). With 1 point separating 2nd and 3rd, this will be a race that goes all the way down to the final pull.
After the Scheid Diesel 2.6 class finished, the Air Dog 3.0’s were up. Wesley Kusilek’s Cummins Killer which debuted in 2013 has proven to be a top truck in this class. Their unique Duramax has been proving that a V8 can indeed output or at least go “hand in hand” with the mighty six cylinder Cummins. Leading Tyler Dillard’s Smokin in the points race by 16 (566 to 550) these guys could easily change places in a pull or two. There were thirty nine 3.0 trucks this year and many of the heaviest hitters in the US were here to play. Rounding out the podium is Curt Haisley’s Off Constantly and Tyson Dillard’s Smokin II both with 532 points. Both of them are still in the chase, but 34 points back. They would need the stars to align to really make up the difference this year.
Doug Mueller with Six Shooter started the evening off with a 308.00 foot pull. Liking that, he kept it. The next few pulls all ended up right around the 300 foot mark, but it was Kevin Glover in his HighTiming II that brought the house down with his 333.52 foot pull.
Glover showed everyone what line to take and puller after puller just started to bring it. The sled was constantly being drug past the 320 foot mark. Finally, it was Carey Clark driving Off Constantly who out-pulled everyone with a distance of 342.96 feet. Almost 10 feet behind was Andrew Kinsley’s Ranch Hand, while Glover finished 3rd.
Kusilek suffered a broken oil pump right off the line and shut the truck down. He ended up with 2.62 feet and last place. With a field of 39, there was a huge possibility for some people to make up some room and really close the gap. Unfortunately for Dillard, he broke his rear gears, twisted his driveshaft and broke it into three pieces at the 200 foot mark. He finally rolled to a stop at 205.98, but that was only good enough for 34th position. That resulted in him only getting five points more than Kusilek. The stars had indeed aligned for Haisley as Clark’s 1st place victory gave him 38 more points more than Kusiley. Resulting in a huge change up in the points standings.
For Tyson Dillard, he finished 7th with a pull of 321.05. That allowed him to close in on his brother (Tyler) by 17 points; putting the siblings one point apart.
One of the more exciting classes to watch is the ARP Super Stock Diesel class. These insane trucks are powered with 2,500 plus horsepower engines that actually produce more power than the tires can handle. As a result, they aren’t full throttle until mid-way into their pull and even then, sometimes you hear the engine rev up and they actually don’t go any faster or maybe even a little slower as they just over power the truck’s tires and the track. This class has really become all about the drivers.
Heading into Friday, Matt Clemons’ Alter Ego was two points ahead of Van Haisley’s Rock Hard Ram (316 to 314) and Kent Crowder’s Scheid Diesel was sitting in third with 304 points. With 11 trucks running at this event, there could certainly be some movement.
As soon as the Protect The Harvest Pro Stocks were finished, the ARP Super Stocks took to the track. Erik Stacey’ Smokinya was the first to hook and the red flag raised when he was at 310.30 feet. The next puller was Van Haisley in his Rock Hard Ram. He quickly raised the bar to 323.45 feet, which looked like it might hold for the victory, as the following pullers were close to 10 feet short. Ultimately, it was Van’s son Curt driving Wild Diesel who won with a pull of 325.32 feet. He was followed by Carl Atley’s Lethal Weapon (323.59).
Once finished, the points championship looked pretty close to the same. The only movement was by Rock Hard Ram who took the lead by four over Alter Ego who had finished 7th with a pull of 312.59.
Rock Hard Ram
Runnin In The Red
Super Stock Diesel Tractors
After almost five hours of action packed sled pulling, the last class lined up. Super Stock Diesels is a wild class with tractors featuring 4 turbochargers (3 stages) and a whole lot of fuel. These high horsepower tractors can put on quite a show and there were two of them at the event.
Last Minute Hooker was first to hook and put on a good show pulling the sled 317.10 feet. It was really Kent Payne’s Super Rooster who stole the show. He was still running hard when the flagman finally waved him down at the 334.36 foot mark. The tractor didn’t even look like it was going to slow down!
That ended the action for Friday night!
During all three days of the Scheid Diesel Extravaganza there was drag racing with Saturday and Sunday being the main days. While racing was cut short Saturday, there were quite a few close races and the competition was fierce. Heading into Sunday, we had high hopes.
The ET class was an interesting class to watch. Our eyes were on Trey Sikes in his 2010 Volkswagen TDI. Over the last few years, he has continuously proven that consistency beats power any day of the week. So, when Brandon Hodge knocked Sikes out in the second round we were amazed. How did he do it? Well, his reaction was a 0.0268 and he ran a 10.0083 on a 10.00 dial in. That type of pass will win almost anywhere, every time!
So, when Hodge made his way to the finals with consistent reaction times like that, we figured he had this one in the bag. But it was Adam Price who took the victory running 0.0140 over his dial in (9.7940) to Hodge’s 0.2561.
Diesel guys love power and it is awesome to see some semi trucks on the track. While these truck may not be tearing up the strip like the lighter trucks, it is always a good time to see them line up side by side and rip through some gears. At this year’s event, there were six of them ready to drop the hammer down.
All day, Robby Patterson in his Peterbilt was the fastest and quickest down the track. In the finals, he managed to run a 12.91 at 57.45 mph. That is smokin for a rig that weighs around 20,000 lbs!
In the 7.70 ET class, the man to watch was Stainless Diesel’s Johnny Gilbert. He was the only person who entered the 7.70 and 6.60 ET classes and is the defending champion in both. He was well on his way to winning both classes on Saturday before the rain cancelled everything. So, coming into Sunday, we had our eye’s on Gilbert.
Indeed Gilbert looked strong in the 7.70 class as he knocked person after person out on his march to the podium. In the finals, he was lined up against longtime friend Jim Layden. Layden had a 0.0501 reaction time and jumped out to an early lead. That caused Gilbert to push his truck just a tad too hard and he broke out running a 7.64 to Layden’s 7.76.
There will be two time 7.70 and 6.60 victories for Gilbert, but he did still have the ability to win the 6.60.
As we mentioned earlier, Johnny Gilbert is a strong contender in the 6.60 class. So too were Derek Rose and Daniel Pierce. This class could go a number of different ways. It was Rose with DNR Customs who took home the win running a 6.71 at 96.16 mph against Bruce Block.
“What an awesome finish to SDX. [I] Blew the second gear band, broke a head stud, ran with 25 studs all weekend, blew the head gasket Sunday morning and still managed to take the win in 6.6 index class against some stiff competition,” exclaimed Rose. With all of that going on, he sure did put on a great show and was extremely consistent all weekend.
The pro street class is the quickest and fastest class at the Scheid Diesel Extravaganza. The favorite to win this class was Brett Deutsch in his C10. It wasn’t going to be an easy task as Micah Sullivan, Ben Shaddy, and Phil Taylor were all bidding for the victory.
Unfortunately for Shaddy, he jumped the gun in the first round and put himself on the trailer home. Taylor had mechanical issues and couldn’t make the third round where he was up against Deutsch. So, that meant the final round of Pro Street, Deutsch and Sullivan would face off. Sullivan cut a 0.055 light to Deutsch’s 0.329 and never looked back. He won with a 6.178 at 117.49mph to Deutsch’s 5.93 at 120.36.
Sometimes it is hard to understand how things work. The Extravaganza is known for the rowdy after hours activities where very large groups of people will come together and burn rubber for hours on end (well, until the cops break it up). So, when there is a $500 cash prize for the best burnout, we would expect to see a long line of people willing to shred their tires. Instead, there were three people willing to do a burnout.
Ultimately, it was Steve Scank who let it all hang out as he completely immersed the crowd in white smoke. It was pretty clear by the sound of the crowd that Scank won the $500.
When everything is said and done, the Scheid Diesel Extravaganza was a blast and an extremely successful event. Even with the rain canceling the events Saturday, there was plenty of action to see and a ton of really cool custom trucks. We certainly look forward to next year’s event!