The Proving Ground

Why we're so attracted to dyno events

July 2013 Feature Brady L. Kay

Dyno competitions and high-performance diesel trucks. It's like the Ford Pinto and exploding gas tanks; you really can't talk about one without mentioning the other. Pick just about any summer weekend and chances are good you'll find a dyno event going on that is within a reasonable driving distance from you. Of course "reasonable driving distance" is up for debate, but the point is, these events happen a lot and they continue to attract diesel enthusiasts for obvious reasons. Where else can you surround yourself with people that not only share your passion, but who can also appreciate your success?

In order to experience the highest of highs you sometimes have to experience some lows and nothing can humble you quicker than a sub-par showing at one of these events. But when it all comes together and you've got your truck running at peak performance, there's not a better feeling-or place to be-than surrounded by other diesel owners at a dyno competition.

All the major manufacturers and distributors host some type of dyno event each year and these must-attend weekend gatherings always produce quality entertainment and blood-pumping excitement. If you're able to attend one of these larger national events, you really should. It's worth your time and even if you don't have what you feel is a dyno-worthy truck, just being in the crowd will give you a whole different appreciation for what some truck owners and shop techs are able to do to a diesel engine.

But you don't have to travel hundreds of miles to get a good feel for what a dyno competition is all about. While the larger events tend to attract more trucks, more sponsors and larger crowds, there's something about the local dyno runs that can be a lot of fun too.

Last June, Diesel Tech stopped by the Adrenaline Challenge in Shelley, Idaho, to attend this local shop's first dyno event. Adrenaline Performance relocated to a larger shop last fall and what better way to celebrate than with a dyno event. The dyno competition was sponsored by Powerlabs and Adrenaline Performance with prizes and trophies up for grabs.

The event was well supported with nearly 60 vehicles participating, including over 40 diesel trucks. People came from miles around just to be a part of the action and they didn't leave disappointed. The show-stopper turned out to be James Brendle's 2001 Chevy in the Diesel Pure Adrenaline class that recorded a high of 1396.6hp and 1872.3 ft/lbs. of torque. If you weren't holding up your camera phone to shoot video for that one you might have been the only one who wasn't.  
In the Diesel Stock class, Heath Buckland in his 2008 Ford (657.4hp and 1671.6 ft/lbs. of torque) took first while Ben Pancheri in his 2008 Ford (630.6hp and 1276.7 ft/lbs. of torque) came in a close second. In the Diesel Single Turbo class, Dirk Mortensen in his 2006 Dodge (778.0hp and 1174.9 ft/lbs. of torque) took first. And things really heated up in the Compound class with Al Babneau in his 2004 Dodge at 963.8hp and 1401.4 ft/lbs. of torque.

If you missed out on the fun, don't worry. Adrenaline plans on making this an annual event and besides, if you look around in your own area, there's probably a dyno event coming up where you can test your truck on the battle ground.

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