With all of the different types of racing out there, the no prep and beyond 660′ racing is some of the most exciting. The questionable surfaces make for an “anyone can win” scenario. A lot of times, with huge money on the line, the rules that apply are definitely pushed and the grey areas are reached, but one stands out specifically. 4×4 and AWD (all-wheel-drive) vehicles.
This past weekend at The Thaw Out at Darlington Dragway, the first of many end-of-track no-prep races, they had a pile of both small and big tire entries to race for a large pot. Specifically, the big tire pot was $8,000. When you start getting this amount of money involved, people are going to take things more seriously.
Ethan Patterson, owner, and operator of Wilson Patterson Diesel took his Cummins-powered four-wheel-drive Dodge truck to this and was put into the big tire class. Patterson went round after round and ended up parking his Dodge in the Darlington winner circle holding $8,000 cash and hours later the internet has gone into a frenzy about this argument.
“We had a great time at the event and we were ecstatic that we pulled off the win. I want to thank so many people for being on board and for all of the support,” Patterson said. “My wife for putting up with the long sleepless nights in preparation, my dad for working on this project with me, Andrew Tovornik at Midgets Diesel for loaning us parts to get us by for the race, Luke Simpson for coming down and helping us get ready between rounds and John Gilbert for taking our emergency call on nitrous and tire pressure adjustments.”
Like the title says, this seems to be a controversial win. It seems that the idea of four-wheel-drive trucks and all-wheel drive vehicles being in no prep racing is split. On one side, you have the people that really don’t care who is in the class, they just want to race. On the other side, there are people who seem to think that having four wheels and tires pulling and applying power is an advantage.
There is no controversy on the win. Patterson won the race, there were no close calls, but that is the issue. Even though he’s heavier than everyone else, people are dead set on this four wheel drive thing being the only reason he won.
In a recent video on the DigginZ71 YouTube channel, Dylan Peacock explains his opinion about how four wheel drive trucks and all-wheel-drive vehicles are an approach to racing, not an advantage. He explained that what people don’t understand is the parasitic loss in having four powered wheels, the weight, and the power it takes to overcome this to compete. Check out the full video here.
Congratulations on the win Patterson and nice work on getting the racing world in a frenzy with the diesel truck being a highlight, but what are your guys’ thoughts on this? Should 4×4 trucks and all wheel drive cars be allowed in these classes or should they be put in their own class? Let us know in the comments below.