Event Recap: Wagler Gas Versus Diesel Competition 2018

The crew at Wagler Competition Products has many irons in many different fires. By that we mean they have involved themselves in both diesel performance as well as some gasoline performance, which includes involvement with Discovery’s hit TV show, Street Outlaws. With that being said, it makes sense why Wagler showed interest in building this growing event – Wagler Gas Vs. Diesel Competition.

At this event, there was plenty of action on tap for the weekend, including sled pulling, drag racing, and an onsite dyno for spectators and competitors to use. The drag racing portion was set up to test the power of some of the industry’s fastest diesel-powered vehicles against the gasoline-powered cars and trucks.

From Carmi, Illinois, Koby Kisner brought his Dodge pickup truck to try his luck in the 7.70 Street Fighter class. After some minor launching and tire pressure adjustments, Kisner has this truck on target for success.

Racing was split into five different classes: Big Tire No-Time, Small Tire No-Time, Outlaw 5.90, 6.70 Index, and 7.70 Street Fighter Class. For the sled pulling, it was Outlaw Truck, OVTPA Hot Farm Tractor, Limited Pro Stock Diesel Truck, Work Stock Diesel Truck, and Street Stock Diesel Truck. During these events, the dyno would also be set up for whoever wanted to try their luck on the lie detector.

Upon our arrival, the pits began to fill up with what seemed to be a one-sided war. By that we mean the diesel-powered vehicles were definitely outnumbered. Out of all of the cars and trucks that were entered into the race, there were only 11 powered by a diesel engine. As we already know, the gas engine is far more dominant when it comes to speed. Although it was a tall order to compete in the faster heads-up classes, the diesels showed they were willing to fight.

Just to be safe, Jeremy Wagler and the Wagler Competition crew decided to let a handful of trucks make test hooks on Friday evening. Considering the stakes for the Saturday night pulls were winner-take-all, it made sense to ensure the track was in 100-percent working condition.

After a blazing hot day of qualifying, the ladders were set for the next day’s elimination rounds. Unfortunately, the weather had different plans for the usual process of elimination in the event. Before it did rain us out, the available time left was used for one last round of qualifying and testing for the classes, as well as a few rounds of eliminations. The weather eventually cooled off; the cars and trucks were starting to perform really well, and the track just kept getting better.

Although the war zone was one-sided, the diesel trucks held their own. The trucks delivered much faster passes in some cases, but at the end of the day, the index racing is about dialing it in.

In the first round of eliminations for the 5.90 Index class, driver Seth Higgins, a new addition to the Outlaw 5.90, played his luck against much more proven cars. In this first round, Seth was up against the number one qualifier and knew he would have to bring his A-game.

Something that we found interesting at this event is the fact that turbos were on the majority of the competing vehicles.

With the assumption that the car driver thought he would easily beat the truck, he laid off the reaction time. Higgins’ better reaction than the car led to his leading the car down the entire track and beating him to the finish line. But, unfortunately, Higgins ran faster than the index allowed, resulting in a loss and free trip home. It would have been a huge win for the diesel guys, but to even be competitive with this level of committed drivers and consistent cars is saying something.

Mr. Higgins has continued to test this truck and it is really starting to show. With his bettering reaction times and dialing in right near the 5.90 Index, this truck is on the front lines of a championship contender.

Our first experience with the Wagler Diesel Competition was a great one. It didn’t end the way we wanted it to, but overall, it was a great event that we think will continue to grow bigger and bigger every year. For more information on the upcoming events held at Wagler Motorsports Park, check out their Facebook page. What do you think about gas engines competing with diesel engines? Let us know in the comments below.

Although it was only a handful of test hooks, it was still a great time watching some of the area's best sled pulling units drag the sled down 300 feet of fun.

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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