The Dr. Performance Dodge Dakota sure has been burnin' up the track as of late. At the recent ATS Diesels On the Mountain event, the Dakota reset the DHRA track e.t. and mph records with an 8.48-second and 164.23-mph run at Bandimere Speedway.
Driver Charlie Stewart backed up the 8.48 pass with an even quicker 8.312-second run
"Unfortunately, we stuck a piston on the faster pass and weren't able to back up that time," Stewart says. "We have about 100 passes on the engine, and we're amazed that it's lasted this long without a rebuild." Team owner Kenny Laughlin adds, "Our goal for this season is to get an official time in the 7s, and we're right there if you take into account Bandimere's elevation [5,800 feet above sea level]."
"This sport is fairly new, and there are still a lot of things we haven't tried yet," says Dr. Performance Nitro Series driver Charlie Stewart. "We've only been running 40 pounds of boost. Since Houston is the last event of the year, we'll crank it up on each run to see what happens when we run 60, 80, and maybe even 100 pounds. We think we can get in the 7.60s."
A Record Discrepancy Or Simply Semantics?There might be a clash of the diesel titans on the horizon to determine who has the "world's fastest diesel truck." The SPAL Rocket Ranger set a national land speed record by averaging 215.091 mph in the C/Diesel truck class in August. The truck also went as fast as 222 mph at the Bonneville Salt Flats but was unable to back up that particular run due to mechanical malfunctions. The record was recognized by the Southern California Timing Association.
In 2002, Gale Banks' Sidewinder Dodge Dakota set the SCI-SCTA International and FIA record at 217 mph.
Both companies are claiming to have the world's fastest diesel truck. We wonder if Banks will blow the cobwebs off the Sidewinder and meet the Rocket Ranger in Bonneville to settle this deal once and for all. Stay tuned.
Everlasting Tires?Michelin just unveiled the XDA5 tire, a new design for Class 8 big rigs, which features a unique tread compound that regenerates as it wears. As the tread wears, new grooves and tread blocks are revealed, essentially adding to the service life of the tire. This regenerating tread design keeps the tire in service longer before retreading, an impressive 30-percent improvement in tread life over other drive tires that are commercially available.
"Incorporating three-dimensional features into the tire tread that must interact with each other as the tire rolls down the highway required Michelin to develop additional innovations in our manufacturing processes," said Jean-Michel Guillon, chief operating officer, Michelin Americas Truck Tires. "The result is a sophisticated tread design that works to preserve itself as it performs. We are very excited to bring this technology to the marketplace, as it dramatically raises the bar for high-mileage tires."
So far, the technology has only been applied to the commercial side of Michelin's tires. Could a passenger car tire that lasts even longer be on the horizon? We'll keep you posted.
Another Effie For TitoWe're not quite sure why, but Courtney Halowell has a weakness for '57-'60 F-100 pickups. In fact, he has a collection of some of the strangest Ford trucks known to man, including a '42 Ford pickup that everyone calls Kirby. In recent years, he built a burgundy and white '60 F-100 and, in a moment of weakness, traded it off for some other project that he proceeded to sell off. He must have really liked the truck, because he went out and bought another one, but there are two differences between the '59 and the '60: The '59 is a shortbed, and it isn't a Custom Cab. It has spent most of its life as a work truck, so there are dents all over the poor little red pickup.