The kind of high-performance vehicles you typically see running on the Texas Mile in Beeville, Texas, are sports cars, like Corvettes, Mustangs, and Ferraris. This one-mile stretch of airport runway used for top-speed testing is a mecca for automotive enthusiasts from all over North America.
However, a few weeks ago, as you can see in the videos above and below, the Texas Mile became the showcase for Nick Priegnitz, owner of Duramax Tuner, a part of his company Calibrated Power Solutions that modifies and calibrates diesel engines and transmissions. When Priegnitz arrived at the “Mile,” he and his crew brought out a heavily modified 2001 Chevy Silverado.
The idea was to beat the fastest diesel pickup record–167 mph–set at the Texas Mile. The truck sported a Duramax modified with compound turbos, dual cp3s, an altered transmission, and an ice-water intercooler system meant to prevent the engine from overheating. Priegnitz said, “I wouldn’t say I was confident. I knew we had a good chance to do well, but hurdles are everywhere,” he said. “We were a long way from home.”
Owen Powell, a lead diesel tech at Duramax Tuner and driver of the modified Silverado, seemed satisfied after the truck ran straight without reaching the record speed of 167 mph. On another pass, Powell best the fastest diesel pickup record, reaching 169 mph. However, the team knew the truck had more in it. Powell later reached 172.2 mph with the modified Silverado, beating the original diesel record by roughly 5 mph.
“A big part of making that truck live at the Texas Mile was achieved through our engine and transmission calibrations, the way we tune the truck,” Priegnitz said. “Going fast is not difficult. Going fast and coming home in one piece is difficult.”