They came in everything from bone-stock Duramaxes to mildly massaged Power Strokes to mentally modified Cummins 4x4s. For the second year running, insane diesel power descended on the greater Salt Lake City area for one weekend in August. Weekend on the Edge 2004, hosted by diesel-technology performance guru Edge Products, featured Friday diesel drags and a Saturday dyno competition. The event attracted 87 racers and 51 dyno competitors from all over the southwestern and mountain states.
Heat and Altitude
Racing conditions were oppressive at best. Afternoon temperatures reached 105 degrees F, even though Rocky Mountain Raceway is located at 4,225 feet above sea level. Turbodiesels are less affected by these conditions than normally aspirated engines because their wastegates regulate incoming air pressure.
The Edge diesel drags were broken into two classes: Single Turbo and the anything-goes Open class. When the smoke cleared for the final time at 10:00 p.m. Friday, Chad Simper of Vernal, Utah, claimed Open honors. His 7,100-pound Duramax is built with an aFe intake, MagnaFlow exhaust, Sun Coast-prepped Allison trans, and "stacked" Edge and Van Aken engine modules.
Simper consistently came closest to his dial-in, running a fastest time of 14.100. Revving the engine as high as 2,400 rpm, Chad spools the turbo as high as 28-30 pounds of boost before launching. His personal best is a 12.8 at sea level. Simper feels that low 12s are the Duramax's realistic stock-turbo limit: Black tailpipe smoke indicates that the engine is getting enough fuel. Chad's ultimate goal is to get into the high 11s; he hasn't run his nitrous system yet. The Open-class runner-up was Wade Humphries of Magna, Utah, in a bone-stock '02 Ram 2500.
The Single Turbo class was also hotly contested. Winner Scott Peterson of Belle Fourche, South Dakota, was faster than many of the Open-class drivers in a Power Stroked F-350. His impressive 4WD launches yielded a best time of 14.927.
Some competitors, however, didn't care about bracket trophies -- they were out to conquer the quarter-mile as quickly as possible. Diesel-drag-racing legend Richard "Mad Dog" Madsen turned in the quickest non-exhibition time of the day: an uncorrected 11.5 seconds -- faster than a McLaren F1. Applying sea-level correction, this would be a 10.877, making Madsen nose out a stock Ferrari Enzo and unmodified Saleen S7.
Committing Blue Oval blasphemy, Mad Dog swapped a highly modified twin-turbo Cummins into his '95 F-250, retaining the E4OD trans. The truck has run a best quarter-mile of 11.24 at 120 mph.
Weekend on the Edge 2004 culminated with a Dyno Day and Open House at the Edge Products HQ in Ogden, Utah. The company wanted to show customers and associates its new R&D facilities. Here, diesel owners who were confident that their trucks put out at least 350 rear-wheel horsepower were staged outside Edge's SuperFlow dyno bay. Closer-to-stock trucks were tested on Edge's Mustang rear-wheel dyno.
Clint Cannon of ATS Diesel in Wheat Ridge, Colorado, made the most power in his nitrous-fed Duramax: 572.5 hp/1014.8 lb-ft. The top Diesel Only truck (and also the most powerful Cummins) went to Dee Rawson of Roy, Utah, whose dual-turbo '97 Dodge turned out 503 hp/860.4 lb-ft. Lance Croft drove out from Las Vegas and returned home with Single Turbo accolades: 456.7 hp/807.1 lb-ft in an '04 Cummins. Ken Russell of Boise, Idaho, took the Stock-class title. His '03 Duramax put out 284/501 at the rear wheels. The best performance by a Power Stroke was Lil' John Jensen's 6.0L F-350 at 380.3/670.5.
Edge customers, visiting media, top distributors, and other guests were treated to a barbecue during the dyno competition. Top-dyno and raffle prizes were supplied by B&M, FilterMAG, Justice Brothers, and K&N.
Building the World's Fastest/Most Powerful Diesel Pickup
In January's News column, we showed a glimpse of a wild new Dodge drag truck introduced by Edge Products at Weekend on the Edge 2004. To bring everyone up to speed, two years ago one of those only-in-Vegas conversations took place between employees of Edge Products and subsidiary Diesel Dynamics. What started as a wacky Sin City idea soon became an obsession: building the world's quickest diesel-powered pickup.
In its third-ever test session, the Edge Wolverine (also a Bickel tube-frame creation) ran a 9.77 in a part-throttle pass at Las Vegas Motor Speedway. "We made too much torque all at once," says Edge CEO Paul Lehman. Driver Keith Lockliear shut down the truck at the 1/8-mile mark and coasted through the traps.
So far, everyone involved in the project is tight-lipped about engine modifications. Dual turbos, nitrous oxide, and Edge engine-management electronics are a few of the admitted-to parts in the power combination that produces an estimated 1,100 hp and more than 2,500 lb-ft of torque.
Although the diesel redlines at 5,000 rpm, its launches are truly violent: Its best 60-foot time so far is 1.22 seconds. Building more than 50 pounds of boost before the Christmas tree turns green, every Wolverine run is controlled chaos to a certain degree. At Weekend on the Edge, an overabundance of torque actually caused the turbo to rotate on its flange, blowing off the intake hose. Still, it wowed the Salt Lake crowd with an 11.03 part-throttle run.
Smokestacks can be fashionable...
Smokestacks can be fashionable and functional: Normal tailpipe clouds can be dense enough to block the start-line timing beam, causing inaccurate quarter-mile times.
Bracket-style side-by-side racing maximizes the drama. The starter often can't see the action.
This Edge-prepped Duramax...
This Edge-prepped Duramax prepares to school a stock Chevy diesel.
Famous wheelstand car builder...
Famous wheelstand car builder and Monster Garage guest, Richard Schroeder, flogged a Power Stroke-powered Harley F-250.
Edge accommodated 51 Dyno...
Edge accommodated 51 Dyno Day participants in its two dyno bays.
The Wolverine was on display...
The Wolverine was on display in the SuperFlow dyno bay.
Hard launch: best 0-60 time...
Hard launch: best 0-60 time so far is 1.22 seconds.
The Wolverine's interior was...
The Wolverine's interior was ergonomically molded to driver Keith Lockliear.
Cooler night air helped the...
Cooler night air helped the Wolverine's EGTs stay below 1,400 degrees F.
Diesel drag racing in black...
Diesel drag racing in black and white: white tire smoke, black exhaust soot.