Have you ever seen a turbodiesel pickup roll onto a dyno and put down 3,311 ft-lbs of torque?
Yeah, right. Impossible.
Au contraire, my friend. Shawn Baca did just that at this year’s Ultimate Callout Challenge, which took place last month outside Indianapolis.
How about an 8.63-second ¼-mile rip down the drag strip?
Tell that to Lavon Miller, who laid down the fastest time at the strip. Believe it or not, I’ve seen him go faster.
It’s hard to imagine that today’s turbodiesel pickup platform can start with 400 hp and 800 ft-lbs of torque, but with enough time and money, you can completely change its attitude and capability to what was on display at this year’s Ultimate Callout Challenge. Truly inspiring to the guys who follow diesel.
What is this event you speak of?
Its called the Ultimate Callout Challenge (UCC) for those who didn’t catch my reference above. It’s a competition between the best of the best for those who live and play in this industry. In short, it gathers guys who own performance shops and who have grown up with turbodiesel trucks. They live, eat and breath diesel every day. These are no longer street-legal trucks. These babies are born to run.
UCC started in 2016. Though just in its second year, the event has grown remarkably.
It’s not to be confused with Diesel Power Challenge. That’s another event that I’m sure you are aware of due to its legacy. Diesel Power Challenge involves regular people who likely don’t own a race shop, have much smaller budgets and who likely use their modified truck in their daily life or business to make money.
For those of you who didn’t have the opportunity to attend UCC in Indiana, check out the website for race results and some pics and video.
If that isn’t enough, search UCC on YouTube and I’m sure you can spend countless hours watching these trucks get punished. I’ll promise you this: if you love diesel, no matter if it’s the fuel-miser Chevy Cruze or the massive rigs on the pro pulling circuit, this event is right up your alley.
So, what did I learn?
I’ve attended a lot of these events, and I’ve gotten to know quite a few of these teams over the years. Some of them have competed in the Diesel Power Challenge or were crew members for their team. I’ll tell you one thing – I’ve never met a more down-to-earth, respectable and cordial bunch of guys in my life. Look up “class” in the dictionary, and I bet you’ll see pictures of guys like Lavon Miller, Derek Rose or Donavan Harris. These boys truly know what it takes to win.
But winning isn’t everything – those are my words, perhaps not theirs. Watch these guys at an event like this, and their teamwork will inspire you. Everyone has a roll in this game and they move flawlessly to accomplish their goals. They also know that family is a huge aspect to their racing lives, and they realize at times they trade time away from home for their passion. Lest you not forget, though, their families are always top-of-mind. We all should take a page from their playbook when it comes to balancing work and family.
Here’s the inside scoop, ladies and gentlemen. I hear attendance was so good this year that race officials are already making plans for 2018.
I also hear a little rumor it will be back in Indiana. So, keep your eyes and ears open for news about this growing event. You won’t be disappointed by what you see. Plus, you will have all the attention of over 110 vendors that provide aftermarket performance and are more than willing to chat it up and pass along some good deals.
I can already hear the most popular question coming back at me: So, how does UCC compare to other events, like TS, Scheids, Rudy’s Truck Jam, etc? Well, that’s up to you and what you value. I believe in trying everything at least once and making your own decision. My opinion is that if you travel to similar events over the summer, UCC will make your list of those to hit each year.
Hope to see you next year at UCC! Until then, check out some of the UCC 2017 action.