The 2016 Diesel Power Challenge has come and gone, and new champion Charlie Keeter is enjoying the rush of out-besting the best diesels in the nation. In his first-ever appearance at the Diesel Power Challenge, Charlie edged out the competition to earn his final position atop the leaderboard. We caught up with the newly-minted 2016 DPC champion to gain a little insight as to how he became a force to be reckoned with among the diesel power elite.
What is it about diesel power that draws you to owning and modifying trucks?
I just enjoy making power and having fun.
Is this your first modified diesel?
Yes, first diesel truck I’ve owned. I’ve had it 4 years now.
Tell us about your truck
2004 F250 6.0 liter Powerstroke with a fully built motor, transmission and triple turbo set up. On the chassis dyno, the truck made 1397 hp & 2201 ft-lb-corrected.
What do you do for work?
I am a chemical plant operator.
How did you get started in diesel competitions?
A love and passion for drag racing.
Do you use this truck for work as well as competition?
No, not anymore, it was a family ride at one point. Now it’s a weekend cruiser and competition vehicle, but still a street driven truck.
Who were some of the people that mentored you or supported your passion for building a truck like this?
My wife has been very supportive, along with a couple of my close friends, Drew and Henry.
What are some of the keys to making this kind of power, and not breaking the bank?
Having a pretty tough bank! And, doing all work possible in the garage at home.
What are some of the engine/transmission components that you worry about when pushing this kind of power in a competition like this?
Mainly transmission shafts.
What does it feel like to win in an event like this?
It’s a mind blowing experience and an awesome opportunity. I’m blessed to be able to participate in an event like this…and to actually win is pretty crazy!
Have you participated in any other diesel challenges or events?
Yes, I run the 670 index class that the Outlaw Diesel Super Series (ODSS) hosts.
Any future plans for a second diesel project?
I do own another F250 6.0 liter diesel that has a few things done to it, but it will remain close to stock.
Tell us your future mod plans with your $1,500 performance upgrade check.
It will go towards a transmission, torque converter, and injector freshen up/upgrade.
What do you do when you aren’t working on the truck?
Love spending time with family, hunting and fishing.
If you could have any truck in the world to modify to your specs, what would it be?
I would probably build another 6.0 Powerstroke, very similar to what I have motor/transmission-wise now. It would just be a purpose-built single cab, tube chassis, drag truck. Lightweight and made for racing. My current crew cab weighs roughly 7000-lbs race weight and is just too heavy to be competitive in the pro-street class I’d love to compete in.
Photos courtesy of Anthony Soos, TEN Media