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May of 2014 marked the tenth hosting of Diesel Power Challenge, an event that has become the premier test of might in the diesel performance industry. Each year, 10 of the nations most powerful, street-driven diesel trucks are selected by readers to compete in a seven-event torture test that includes a dyno shootout, quarter-mile drag race, eighth-mile trailer tow, trailer obstacle course, ride and drive, fuel economy test, and sled pull. As history has proven, the last truck standing usually takes the win. So whether its Ford vs. GM vs. Ram, or more importantly Power Stroke vs. Duramax vs. Cummins, DPC-X is sure to up the ante and deliver on the promise of faster trucks and higher horsepower than ever before.
To encourage innovation, Diesel Power put as few restrictions on the trucks as possible. Diesel Power Challenge is a run-what-you-brung event. While the competitors can modify and repair their trucks as time permits, they have to run at the same weight and with the same tires throughout the event.
Day One starts off with these trucks being strapped to a chassis dyno to find out just how much horsepower and torque each powertrain produces. These two numbers are added together for an overall power number used for scoring. On Day Two, we hit the drag strip for three scored events: a Class A-style trailer obstacle course, a 10,000-pound trailer acceleration test over 1/8th of a mile, and finally a Quick-8-format drag race. The third and final day starts with a grueling 140-mile drive through the scenic Rocky Mountains-during which fuel economy is measured-followed by a sled pull.
At the end of the three-day ordeal, the truck that ends up with the highest number of points will be crowned our Diesel Power Challenge champion and have bragging rights for all of 2014, earning an automatic invite to defend the title at Diesel Power Challenge 2015.
Our annual event has always featured some of the biggest power numbers around. A true test of mechanical limits and competitors nerves, the dyno competition shows us what trucks can hold up when pushed to the limits!
In the dragstrip portion of the test, our 10 competitors screamed down the 1320' as fast as they could.
Eighth-Mile Trailer Tow:
Perhaps one of the most feared competitions in Diesel Power Challenge is the eighth-mile trailer tow drag race. Here, good transmission tuning and broad powerbands are rewarded.
Trailer Obstacle Course:
Theres nothing that tests the streetability of these trucks, or the drivers skills, like our trailer obstacle course. This is an event in which youre rewarded for keeping your towing mirrors and having a brake controller on your Diesel Power Challenge truck!
Ride and Drive:
Diesel Power Challenge is about street-legal vehicles, so we came up with the ultimate test: a 140-mile drive up and over the Continental Divide, which reaches a staggering 11,158 feet. At the top of the crest is the 1.7-mile-long Eisenhower Tunnel, one of the highest vehicular tunnels in the world. We would also be testing fuel economy, which would be a tiebreaker event in case any trucks finished with the same overall point totals.
The Sled Pull:
After three days of pain and suffering for both the vehicles and the drivers, the trucks that are still running will then hook up to a 30,000-pound sled to see who can tug it the farthest.
The competitor that scores the most points from all the events will then be crowned the winner of 2014 Diesel Power Challenge!
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