Rocky Top Diesel Shootout #5: Fire, A Crash, And More Fire!

Just a few weeks ago, the weather looked determined to ruin the biggest all diesel show in Tennessee. But, as luck would have it, it was one of the most beautiful weekends in diesel drag racing history. We took a ride out to Crossville, Tennessee, to compete and catch the action at the Rocky Top Diesel Shootout. Nearing the end of the Outlaw Diesel Super Series (ODSS) season, things are only getting better from here.

It’s no secret that Tennesse is the home of a large amount of diesel truck enthusiasts and it showed over the weekend. In the fifth installment of RLC Motorsports Rocky Top Diesel Shootout, there were trucks from nearly every corner of the country and event outside of the country there and the stands were filled shoulder to shoulder watching it all unfold.

Crossville Dragway and it’s new renovations push this track over the top. This is by far one of the nicest tracks on the Outlaw Diesel Super Series circuit.

Like any great Outlaw Diesel event, the manufacturer’s midway was filled with vendors from all around offering advice for truck owners with questions and also selling great products that are new for 2018 and also, with event pricing. If you’re needing parts or have questions, what better way to take care of that as well as watching a day of drag racing.

Racing Action

Drivers Andrew Tovernik, Paul Cato, and McCoy Black all looked to hook great out of the hole at Crossville Dragway.

As for the drag racing, it was the normal classes for the ODSS, including the Outlaw 5.90 index class. E.T Sportsman, 7.70 index, 6.70 index, Outlaw 5.90 index, Pro Street, Pro Mod, and Pro Dragster. In an unusual, yet pleasing, weekend, there were nearly more pro trucks in the staging lanes then the E.T Sportsman classes.

Years ago, the event had an astronomical amount of E.T trucks with minimal pro vehicles. Now, the crowd gets their monies worth with 3,000 horsepower or more at one time at the line.

In the E.T. Sportsman class, it was Cody McAnally taking the win over Ken Phillips. Unfortunately for Phillips, he left a click to early resulting in a red light foul ending his day in the final round. Moving on to the 7.70 index class, it was Michael Haye’s taking the win over Devin Ratliff. After just winning the E.T. class at the All Diesel Day in Louisville, Haye’s is in a groove.

As for the 6.70 index class, Susan Soga wins in a double breakout situation. In one of the most anticipated classes, the Outlaw 5.90 index class was won by Rick Fox in his super-light Cummins-powered machine. Fox has been making very wild changes to his truck including a tube chassis to get as light as possible and it shows. After making a few passes to fast, Fox got the truck dialed in with multiple runs right in the 5.90 range.

After a very impressive outing for Fox, all of his hard work is starting to pay off. Fox looks to be a heavy hitter in the class and is a threat to others.

In Pro Street, the Ford Lightning piloted by Dustin Jackson was victorious once again beating out Lavon Miller in the final round. Even after some pre-eliminations problems, Jackson and Co. went back to the pit, fixed breakage, and came out and showed us how it’s done. By just over a truck length, Jackson’s win over Miller should be enough to punch his way back into the points lead over Enrique Gonzalez.

Once again, this little Cummins-powered two-wheel drive is the truck to beat. Dustin Jackson continues to show his dominance with or without problems prior to eliminations.

Like 5.90, the Pro Mod class has been heating up and the field continues to grow. The much anticipated final round, it was Ben Shadday taking the win over Larson Miller and his Save The Racks S-10. The Pro Mod class seemed cursed as there was breakage and a scare. Taylor Overcash suffered a broken shaft in the transmission, Ryan Milliken struggled to get the turbo to spool for an unknown (at this time) reason, and Rawlings Barnes put his super duty into the wall, but luckily made it out unscathed.

Ben Shadday continues to push for the points championship and extends his lead over the other competitors in the class. The little white truck that could is a force to be reckoned with. If you look back years ago, it was unheard of to see a truck in the five-second range. Now, in the Pro Mod class, they are clearly passed that and in the mid-four-second range. What will diesel drag racing be like in the future? Also, Pro Street, a heavier and supposedly slower class, are running 5.00-seconds in the 1/8th mile. We're almost witnessing 4,500-pound trucks run an eighth-mile in four seconds.

Finishing off the weekend, it was Jared Jones taking the win in Pro Dragster. Although he had a lower qualifying time, his quick reaction time put him way out in front in a slower, but winning, finish over Wade Moody. With Jared’s excellent performance, that puts him right back into contention for the championship as we near the end of the season.

Jared, “J-Rod,” Jones cut the tree down enough to outrun the Duramax-powered dragster driven by Wade Moody.

All three drivers shown, Donavan Harris, Brett Marcum, and Jared Delekta are known Ultimate Callout Challenge competitors. For Delekta and Co., this was just another stop as he is constantly looking for events to attend no matter the distance. For Harris, it was a 30-plus hour trip from Canada to the mountains of Tennesse and get a taste of ODSS drag racing where he set a personal best elapsed time. Marcum's trip started out hairy with trailering issues, but after making it to the track, the truck performed better than he expected after a torque converter swap.

Once again, the Rocky Top Diesel Shootout was one of the best events and we are excited to be back in Crossville next year for another great event. For more information about the Outlaw Diesel Super Series and questions, check out their website. Next stop, Scheid Diesel Extravaganza in Terre Haute, Indiana. Stay tuned to Diesel Army!

Article Sources

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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