It’s been a long hard year for every single truck and driver throughout this 2018 season. As if the season wasn’t grueling enough to tear through the hard competition this series brings, but the Outlaw Diesel Super Series added another event in Florida that will for sure bring in more heavy hitters. We’ve had absolute dominance in some classes and points championships so close it hurts in others. Let’s discuss how the 2018 Rudy’s Fall Truck Jam concluded.
JAMO Performance Exhaust Sportsman Class
In the E.T Sportsman class, it’s not about having the fastest or the prettiest truck. It’s about consistency and legitimate seat time knowing your truck and knowing what it will run every single pass. On top of having the consistent truck, you must do your part on the front half by cutting a reaction time good enough to give you the most advantage possible.
All year long it has been a battle between these guys, but at the end of the day, there can only be one. Belvidere, Indiana native, Emanuel Yoder, took his 2008 Dodge down Piedmont Dragway’s eighth-mile so many times he found himself in the final round lined up next to an always consistent, Ken Phillips. Phillip’s has been a threat all year in this class as he’s been either almost or actually leading the points all season long.
Fortunately for Yoder, Phillip’s went -.048 red on the reaction automatically giving the victory away. “My truck was on point for this event,” said Phillips. “With multiple oil downs and delays throughout the day, I just got antsy getting late into the day.” Congratulations to Yoder for his class win and a fourth place overall in the points chase.
Although Phillips was defeated in the final round, he left North Carolina with his head held high. Being closely followed by Landon Miller and Ryan Riddle in points, it was up to Phillips to go all the way to win the points championship. Both Miller and Riddle went out first round leaving the door wide open. After a slew of rounds, Phillips was crowned champion.
ATS Diesel Power 7.70 Index
In an equally as competitive, but slightly faster in some cases, 7.70 Index class, Ryan Riddle has been the man to beat. All year long Riddle has poured it on to the competitors and has earned himself the name, “Mr. 7.70”. With great reaction times and a truck that can virtually mimic a perfect run, Riddle seems to have it figured out.
Multiple wins this season has kept him at a safe distance in front of Landon Miller and Nick Morris. Over the weekend, Riddle did was he does and finished off the year strong with a first-place finish over Kamron Burchette. Unfortunately for Burchette, he suffered a red light start against Riddle handing over the win. It seems that the end of year stress is getting to some drivers, but that is a part of the game.
To say Riddle finished strong is honestly an understatement. We have watched him all year earn this 2018 points championship with a lead of 197 points over second place and congratulations to him and his crew on their stellar performance.
Flo~Pro Performance 6.70 Index
Like the other classes, the points championship was the only thing on everyone’s mind and in the 6.70 index class, that was no different. Mike Coleman, driver of the Swamps Diesel 6.4-liter Power Stroke-powered Ford qualified in the number one spot feeling comfortable about the final weekend of competition.
Landon Miller, riding in third place position in points, was hoping to do some damage and make up all of the ground at one event passing Coleman, and myself, driver of our Project DeadSpool truck. Unfortunately for Miller, he was retired during the first round of eliminations basically giving away his chance to win not only the race.
Unfortunately for Team DieselArmy, our truck gave us some issues not allowing us to compete. Coleman, the 2018 points champion, just need to show up and do better than Miller to be crowned. Coleman, with the pressure off, still went on to win the event making it a great comeback story from the issues they suffered just months before this.
After rebuilding an engine and rushing down to Florida to win Hardway Performance‘s event at Emerald Coast Dragway, he continued his success all the way to the end earning himself the championship and an event win over Diesel Performance Converter’s Taylor Wilder. Congratulations to Coleman and the entire Swamps Diesel crew.
Firepunk Diesel Outlaw 5.90 Index
As you may know, this class was built for guys that were too slow for Pro Street but too fast for 6.70 Index. Although that was the idea, after seeing a year of this class unfold, I think some of these trucks could compete in Pro Street. After the class announcement prior to the season opener, it was off to the races for a ton of previous 6.70 index drivers to bump up classes.
Austin Doidge and Rick Fox, to name a few, performed brain, heart, and plastic surgery on their trucks after the 2017 season. From heavily modified street trucks to chromoly chassis’s and full fiberglass bodies, things went haywire. The points chase all year along has been tight and even with a late start due to incomplete trucks, they both tried to make it count where need be.
In the final round, Rick Fox found himself up against newcomer, Josh Scruggs, where he would, unfortunately, be defeated. Due to a late reaction time, Fox was too far behind Scruggs to catch up in time. Congratulations to Scruggs on his first Outlaw Diesel victory on one of the biggest stages in the series.
After Fox’s first 5.90 victory at Crossville, he kept that momentum heading into the rest of the year. Then, after a three-month tear, Paul Cato comes to the scene. With a truck that started life as something that probably had never been over 100-mph to something that’s entirely too fast for the class, like 125-mph too fast.
Heading into Rudy’s, Fox led the points chase by a hair. Although Cato previously won the race down in Florida, a double points race, his additional 106 points wasn’t enough to take the lead. After an awesome turbocharger detonation, Cato was out of the competition in round number one leaving Fox safely at the top. After a long winter of alterations and probably sleepless nights, it’s all paying off for Team Fox knowing they are bringing the cup back to Ohio.
Hot Shot’s Secret Pro Street Class
In the Pro Street class, the rules require all trucks entered to weigh no less than 4,500 pounds. Obviously, that’s a lot lighter than your average street truck but at the same time, they are still racing tanks. In years past, we never expected the class to advance as fast as it has. But, now, the class is fast enough the SFI is struggling to allow these trucks to go any faster.
It’s been a battle between the Firepunk Diesel Dodge and the Air Dog / Dynomite Diesel-backed Ford Lightning driven by Dustin Jackson for a few years now, but it hasn’t been easy in 2018. Trucks from all areas of the country have traveled to the ODSS events in hopes to get their name on the podium including Johnny Gilbert, Taylor Overcash, and Jared Delekta.
Jackson found himself up against Delekta in his Industrial Injection-backed Chevrolet in the final round where he would go on to take the victory. With the help of his wife, Mindy, and their friend Daniel Pierce, this little Ford Lightning is and will continue to be, one of the winningest Pro Street trucks to ever race.
Gilbert, trying new things, like a TH400 transmission and a new engine, has still seen some success at the end of the year placing second place overall in the points. All the way from Utah, Delekta and Team Industrial Injection have started to enjoy the atmosphere at these ODSS events and has definitely done some damage as well as set personal best elapsed times.
For the last few years, Dustin Jackson and Lavon Miller have been going back and forth on round wins, event wins, and even records. At Rudy’s season closer, they both left winners. Jackson leaves North Carolina with an event win and a points championship. For Miller and Team Firepunk, they leave with a new Pro Street record. 4.97 at 151-mph to be exact.
Suncoast Diesel Transmission Pro Mod Class
A class that you never want to miss when attending these events is the Pro Mod Class. These are the fastest trucks and cars in attendance with the exception of Pro Dragster and even then, some of the Pro Mods are keeping up with dragster times. Event host Rudy’s Diesel was in attendance with their two-wheel-drive Ford driven by Rawlings Barnes in hopes to succeed after a scary crash in Crossville.
After a new wrap design reveal at the No Mercy 9 event in Valdosta, Georgia, Barnes was ready to party heading into Rudy’s event. There was only a 63 point difference between Done Right Diesel‘s Ben Shadday, Firepunk Diesel’s Larson Miller, and Rudy’s Rawlings Barnes. With a points race that close and only one event remaining, it was anybody’s championship.
Unfortunately, Shadday’s blistering-fast wheel-standing Ram crashed about half track taking him out of the competition. Luckily, Shadday was okay and the truck suffered what looks like only cosmetic damage. Miller, with the door wide open, struck the tires in eliminations resulting in a loss which ended their season still behind Shadday in points.
For Barnes, after tallying up the rounds left and points remaining for the lead, they realized there weren’t enough rounds remaining to take the lead away from Done Right Diesel or catch up with Miller. But, even though the points championship was out of reach, Barnes still wanted to come back strong after the crash and put on a show for the hometown crowd.
In the final round, up against the Steve Royalty in the mechanical Dodge Dakota, it seemed as if Barnes suffered an engine failure. As Team Rudy’s dissected the issue, Royalty and Co. were suffering from problems of their own. Barnes recognized it, after already waiting for Royalty in the water box for some time, and staged his truck. Once the timer ran out, the lights fell and Barnes was crowned the winner.
Although this wasn’t the most exciting round of racing in the weekend, a win is a win. Congratulations to Barnes and Rudy’s Diesel on their victory and congratulations to Ben Shadday and Done Right Diesel on their 2018 points championship.
Industrial Injection Pro Dragster Class
In the Pro Dragster Class, there are only four drivers brave enough to strap into these rocket ships so far meaning it’s tight all season long. Wade Moody, Jared Jones, Michael Cordova, and Aaron Reynolds have all won at least one event this year which is a feat in itself. Although there aren’t a pile of dragsters or altered cars, this class is ridiculously fast.
Moody started this season as the points leader with a season opener victory followed by another victory at the Scheid Diesel Extravaganza. Just behind him was Jones and Reynolds with their victories, but with the Hardway Performance race in Florida a double points race, Cordova and Team Kingspeed hoped to get their first ever event win and some serious points.
Cordova went on to win down in Florida giving them 82 points and brought them up to second place in points from last. Those 82 points brought Cordova within 42 points of Moody and the points lead. With only Rudy’s event left, Cordova needed Moody to lose first round and then go on to win the event to win the championship.
Moody did lose first round, but after some issues, Cordova couldn’t make the final round call giving Jones the event victory. Moody left with a round one loss but a points championship over the other drives separated by only 21 points. Congratulations to Jones and Scheid Diesel on their victory and congratulations to Moody and Co. for their 2018 Championship.
This means the 2018 season is over with and it has been a wild ride. From close points races, crashes, new builds, engine explosions, fires, and crazy fast records, this series has everything to offer. If you’re a fan of diesel trucks and drag racing, you’re not going to want to miss this series in 2019. For more information about the Outlaw Diesel Super Series, stay tuned to their website. Stay tuned to DieselArmy for upcoming events in 2019.