Ultimate Callout Challenge: Day 3 Finale

Unfortunately, it’s time to end this great event here in Indianapolis, Indiana. The day has finally come where we can crown the king of this year’s Ultimate Callout Challenge. It was Day 3 today, where both UCC Qualifiers and UCC Competitors hooked up to the sled in their final push to get themselves placed as highly as possible.

Lavon Miller of Firepunk Diesel, the back-to-back winner of this event, would come into today’s action on top of the scoreboard needing only a solid hook on the sled to seal the deal. Keeping him honest, Derek Rose was at Miller’s heels heading into the final day only needing a pull nine feet farther than Miller to be crowned victorious.

Luckily for the other competitors, one of the known Pro Pulling League drivers offered to make the first hit of the day to test the pulling surface for the competitors.

On the last day, we knew that there was going to be carnage with the teams putting it all on the line. We saw a few fires erupt, pinions grenade, and even nitrous oxide maliciously backfire. All competitors had at least something go wrong this weekend and that didn’t end today. “This was the second time I had ever done a sled pull,” Todd Welch explained. “It was really fun. I was a little shocked and scared, it was my first pull with six cut tires. Some people told me I was crazy.”

Each driver in both the qualifier and UCC had two chances to pull if they chose to. The early first round of pulls was under the beating sun and a dry pulling surface, but once the afternoon passed the rain began to set in. After a few hours of delay and track prep, the track evolved into an extremely tacky and sticky surface. That being said, the track had no mercy on parts.

The sled was harder on some than others. As you can see, Donovan Harris made two good licks on the sled pulling, whereas Brett Marcum had a difficult time, which led to this scary fire at the end of his pull.

In the end, the top five pulls were as follows:

UCC Competitors

  1. Lavon Miller, Firepunk Diesel: 329.833 feet
  2. Shawn Baca, Industrial Injection: 324.500 feet
  3. Tony Burkhard, Dirty Hooker Diesel: 320.333 feet
  4. Derek Rose, DNR Customs: 301.250 feet
  5. Donovan Harris, Armor Inc./Dynomite Diesel: 293.583 feet

Even with only nine feet needed, the rear differential in the DNR Customs machine had been through enough,.

Everyone made a valiant effort at the sled pulling challenge, but at the end of the day it was, once again, Lavon Miller and Firepunk Diesel capitalizing and finishing as the back-to-back-to-back champions here at the Ultimate Callout Challenge.

“I can’t thank everyone enough,” Miller Said. “I owe it to everyone that pitched in weekends, long hours and time away from their family. It is relentless to find the next level from where we were last year. I never expected to three-peat, but here we are.”

For the second straight year, Derek Rose and his “Blue Ballz” runnered-up in nearly the same fashion as last year. “We came into this year’s sled pulls with high expectations, but we struggled after our first attempt,” said Rose. “We adapted and made the necessary adjustments to hopefully come out the backside with a win.” Unfortunately, it just wasn’t enough, but the DNR Customs crew has nothing to hold their heads down. Their hard work and consistency didn’t go unnoticed.

Shawn Baca and Co. overcame some issues throughout the weekend and still managed to pull out a third place overall finish.

The top five in the standings after the trifecta of events were:

  1. Lavon Miller – 2,585.022 points
  2. Derek Rose – 2,471.896 points
  3. Shawn Baca – 2,448.785  points
  4. Chris Buhidar – 2,373.977 points
  5. Jared Delekta – 2,254.127 points

Trevor Peterson’s trip from the West Coast was made worthwhile as he delivered a great performance all weekend. Peterson will be headed to the 2019 UCC event.

For the UCC Qualifiers, they weren’t competing for money, but they were competing for their spot in next year’s Ultimate Callout Challenge. There were 25 total qualifiers going through the gauntlet, but unfortunately, only four spots are available. Points were tight all weekend for the top two, but the three and four spot was up for grabs at all times.

The four advancing drivers are as follows:

  1. Ryan Phaff – 2,160.841 points
  2. Trevor Peterson – 2,082.020 points
  3. Cory Witteveen – 1,883.400 points
  4. Dylan Grooms – 1,860.153 points

Ryan Phaff will be joining the big dogs next year, as well in the 2019 Ultimate Callout Challenge.

Although Trevor Peterson made an outstanding horsepower and torque number on the dyno, it wasn’t enough to keep Ryan Phaff away from the overall win. Phaff made an 8.87 elapsed time on the dyno, 1,868 horsepower pull on the dyno, and a 266-foot pull on the sled pull, locking his spot down for the 2019 Ultimate Callout Challenge.

The 2018 event may be in the books, but everyone is already looking forward to next year’s event. It’s been said that we will be witnessing two more UCC qualifier events this year in preparation for 2019. More information on the next event will come within the next few months. For more information about the upcoming Ultimate Callout Challenge events, check out the official website.

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About the author

Artie Maupin

Artie Maupin is from Southeast Missouri and has an extreme passion for anything diesel. He loves drag racing of all kinds, as well as sled pulling competitions.
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