Dan Grant, a senior sales representative at Pacific Performance Engineering (PPE) Diesel, doesn't just help market diesel performance upgrades, he enjoys a little truck modding himself. His 2005 Chevrolet Silverado Duramax is a testament that he doesn't just talk the talk, he seriously walks the walk. He began tweaking his truck to feed his appetite for racing. Although the truck isn't exactly street legal, on the track, it's certainly a force to be reckoned with. In fact, the capabilities of his Duramax were put to the test when he went toe to toe, or tire to tire with a 2005 Kawasaki ZX-10R on the track on the MAVTV.com internet show, Won & Done. The story is too insane to be true, but it certainly happened, and it will certainly be one story for the ages.
Grant has always had a thing for racing. Being professionally involved in the performance industry helped fuel his desire for things that go fast. For many diesel enthusiasts, performance begins slowly and eventually climbs to higher levels of power. For Grant, however, he knew that when he began modding his 2005 Chevy 2500 Duramax, he wanted to beef it up for the track. So when the build began, the idea of taking it around town for a drive was tossed out the window and instead, massive amounts of power were immediately poured into the truck for the sole purpose of creating a high horsepower race truck.
Grant took pleasure in pushing the limits of the Chevy. The feel of speed, the excitement of winning and the adrenaline from the power of being pushed back into your seat with the pedal in the floor were the name of the game, and Grant would frequent the dirt track to enjoy one race after another. That is, of course, until a representative of MAVTV was on the hunt for any vehicle built for speed and found him and his pickup.
“I was out on the track and a guy from MAVTV asked if I wanted to join up in a race for an online show that they had,” says Grant. “I wasn't sure what I was getting into, but I agreed and got myself prepared for whatever they were going to throw at me.”
Grant knew the ins and outs of racing, but what came next was something of a shock. When it came down to the event, he would be pitted against a vehicle he never thought he would compete with.
MAVTV.com is an online television program that represents a myriad of different lifestyle shows that reach a wide range of audiences. One show in particular was something of a novelty. Won & Done: a niche program for race junkies. The show itself, created and hosted by Rich Christensen, is not unlike other racing programs that can be found simply by flipping through a couple of channels. The races aren’t car versus car, or bike versus bike, bur rather it's anything goes. The rules are pretty clear and simple, but exciting and original. The team at Won & Done selects two vehicles of any make, model and style, and pits them against one another on a straight track. These vehicles could be anything, so you could see two classic street rods going pound for pound, or, in Grant's case, a 2005 Chevrolet Duramax against a Kawasaki ZX-10R.
“When you get up to the starting line, that's when you see what you're racing, and even then you don't know anything about it,” recalls Grant. “All I knew was that I was going up against a motorcycle. It was crazy.”
When the vehicles are picked, they're chosen at random. There doesn't need to be any similarities between each racer's vehicle. The racers come together and begin to negotiate the terms of the race. In which case, both drivers will discuss the nature of their vehicle, make a unanimous decision about where the vehicles start on the track, who gets to go first and the overall aspect of how the race will be performed.
The winner of the race is awarded $500 and a chance to race again. If the winner succeeds in winning 10 consecutive races, a grand prize of $50,000 is awarded and the driver is given all the bragging rights he wants. The loser, however, isn't so lucky. Before the race begins, the driver’s name and vehicle identification number are written down. At the end of the race, the losing driver and his vehicle are banned from Won & Done forever. No grudge match, no racing at a later date: they're done. There's quite a bit of incentive to win in this competition. Another key point to make about this particular race is that everything is based off of honesty. During negotiations, the owners discuss key details about their vehicles, so each driver knows what he’s up against. Since they could virtually be racing anything, telling each other what to expect from the other is a great way to negotiate how the race with be coordinated. After negotiations are made and the drivers about-face and head toward their ride, it's down to the track and on with the race.
During negotiations, Grant and his opponent agreed that, to be fair, Grant's truck would have to have some serious head-start on the light-as-a-feather Kawasaki street bike. Weighing in at close to 5 tons, the Chevy was not only larger than the motorcycle in length, but outweighed it by nearly 4 and 1/2 tons. Within a matter of minutes, the heated negotiations ended, giving Grant six full lengths of his Duramax ahead of the bike, the left lane (which he favored), start on the move and a total racing distance of 660 feet. Grant and his opponent took up their positions and seconds later, both crossed the finish line. In a flash the race was over, but upon initial review, it was too close to call.
It wasn't until both teams, along side the Won & Done crew, reviewed the frame by frame last moments of the race that Christensen was able to determine that Grant and his coal-rolling Duramax came out ahead by mere inches. The truck won, the bike was done.
Needless to say, this was a clear victory, not just for Grant, but for diesel drivers all over the country who know of the potential that can be under the hood of a diesel pickup. With that out of the way, Grant was handed his reward, and got the opportunity to go back to his colleagues at PPE to tell them all about the incredible challenge he faced on the track and the true power potential of a diesel.