Friday, May 27, 2011

NSRA Mid-America Street Rod Nationals Touch Down in Springfield, MO

This weekend brings another exciting event to street rod enthusiasts in the Springfield, MO and surrounding areas. The 28th Mid-America Street Rod Nationals event will draw over 1900 specialty vehicles to the Ozark Empire Fairgrounds starting Friday May 27th. This is the perfect event to bring the family to over the Memorial Day weekend, with various attractions and entertainment for people of all ages. Games for kids and adults, Women’s World area, swap meet and much more round out the activities and ensure there is always something to do and see for the whole family.

In addition to the standard NSRA excitement, the 2011 AMSOIL Street Rodder Road Tour will be kicking off from the Mid-America Nationals with the first tour of the season. Jerry Dixey will be leading the pack of road tour participants in a custom-built ’55 Chevy built by Woody’s Hot Rodz.

Over $82,000.00 worth of merchandise and prizes is given away at the NSRA Nationals events, along with three drawings for cash giveaways. All registered participants are eligible to win prizes, with registration remaining open until Saturday at 2:00 PM. Whether you are coming out to view the beautifully restored vehicles, or you have one of your own to show off, don’t miss this exciting event.

What: 28th Annual Mid-America Street Rod Nationals
Where: Ozark Empire Fairgrounds in Springfield, MO
When: May 27-29, 2011

Hours: Friday: 8:30 AM-5:00 PM
Sat: 8:00 AM-5:00 PM
Sun: 8:30 AM-3:00 PM

Cost: Adult: $14.00
Child 6-12: $5.00
5 & Under: Free

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Spotlight: Competitors of the 2011 Top Truck Challenge

The 2011 Top Truck Challenge is just under two weeks away, and anticipation is building among each of the competitors. 10 competitors and 2 alternates have been selected and will descend on Hollister Hills, CA for the week of June 6th to battle it out for the 2011 Top Truck title. The Top Truck Challenge takes no prisoners; the courses are brutal and capable of taking down even the mightiest truck. Hollister is known for its challenging terrain, drawing four wheel and powersports enthusiasts from all over to take on the trails and attempt to make it out with their rides intact. With events like the Frame Twister, Tank Trap and Mud Pit, conquering each of them and making it to the top is a near-impossible feat. The editors at Four Wheeler Magazine are constantly ahead of the curve in keeping the TTC as demanding and twisted as possible, with a no-holds barred approach at making sure they take out as many rigs as they can over the course of the week.

Some of the competitors responded to a Q&A interview with Four Wheeler Magazine editors, each providing some quotes to illustrate where their heads are at as they prepare for the 2011 Top Truck Challenge. The full interviews can be viewed on Four Wheeler Magazine’s official website, but here is a glimpse of what each respondent had to say:

John Retzloff
’77 GMC K15

Q: What made you want to compete in TTC?
A: TTC is like the Olympics of four-wheeling to me and being able to compete at something I truly love (wheeling) is one of the biggest honors for me!
Q: What's one thing people should know about you?
A: I built my truck almost entirely myself, right down to the concept of the doubled 205s and the bodywork. I do have a lot of time in my truck, but not a lot of money, and hopefully I can show that it doesn't necessarily take a lot of money to compete but a lot of ingenuity and a good driver.

Mike Keller
’76 Ford F-350

Q: What made you want to compete in TTC?
A: The thrill of competing and the challenge.
Q: What's one thing people should know about you?
A: Wheeling is my favorite sport in life. I spend the majority of my free time helping to organize events in the Oregon area so that all of my wheeling buddies and the next generation of wheeling kids have places to wheel. Often times, for various reasons, our wheeling sites get shut down, so I try to organize private property, etc., for them to have a good time. I enjoy using my years of wheeling experience to try to help all my friends get their trucks on the right track so that they can do their best. Hopefully I'm making a difference!

Jeff Seely
’69 Chevy Suburban

Q: What made you want to compete in TTC?
A: I have watched many of the past TTC DVDs and have always wanted to tackle the Tank Trap.
Q: What's one thing people should know about you?
A: Ummm, my first word was 'dirt,' 'nuff said.

Brooke Spencer
‘09 FJ40 Buggy

Q: What made you want to compete in TTC?
A: Why not? It looks like it would be a blast so I figured I'd go for it and see what happens.
Q: What's one thing people should know about you?
A: Ready to come down, drive hard, and have a good time.

Josh Hall
Suzuki Samarai Buggy

Q: What made you want to compete in TTC?
A: I've been buying the TTC DVDs for the last eight years and I always find myself saying 'I could have made that' or 'this guy can't drive,' so I want to see how my driving skills and my version of an offroad rig compares to others.
Q: What's one thing people should know about you?
A: Not much to say here. I'll let my right foot do the talkin'.

Corey Timson
’10 Blue Torch Fabworks YJ Buggy

Q: What made you want to compete in TTC?
A: It's just plain cool. Great chance to be part of something much bigger than the norm.
Q: What's one thing people should know about you?
A: Once I want something I make sure I get it or do it!
Alex Sanders
’08 Chevy Buggy
Q: What made you want to compete in TTC?
A: I have seen it on videos and in Four Wheeler and thought it would be awesome to be able to compete in one of the toughest off-road competitions.
Q: What's one thing people should know about you?
A: I'm that guy that even if you have never met will stay as long as it takes to get you mobile again or get you out of the trails even if I break my own rig in the process. I will help no matter what and will never ask for anything in return. I just enjoy getting to go play in my rig and have the most possible fun I can have while doing it. Who cares if the rig gets beat up or broke, that's what it was built for. If it wasn't then why you do you take it out to play?

Check back on the AMSOIL Events Blog, Facebook and Twitter during the week of June 6th for live updates straight from the 2011 Top Truck Challenge, where you can also see what went down in the aftermath of this grueling challenge.

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

First Look at the 2011 AMSOIL Street Rodder Road Tour Vehicle

The AMSOIL Street Rodder Road Tour kicks off at the end of this month, and final preparations are being hammered down now. The much anticipated unveiling of the tour’s lead vehicle took place on May 2nd at the Street Rodder Tech Center in Irvine, California. Powersports Technical Product Manager Len Groom was on the scene to help unveil the 55 Chevy that will be carrying Street Rodder Magazine editor Jerry Dixey around the country this summer. Excitement around the tour is definitely growing, and the reveal of the 2011 Road Tour vehicle signals the final stretch before the tour officially starts May 27th.

This year’s car was built by Chris Sondles, owner of Woody’s Hot Rodz. Featuring a complete Morrison chassis and Ron Shaver-built stroked & bored 409 motor, AMSOIL fluids are installed completely throughout to ensure the engine is well-prepared for the thousands of miles ahead of it. AMSOIL took this opportunity to launch a brand new product specific to the Hot Rod market. The new AMSOIL Z-ROD Synthetic Motor oil will be the oil of choice for this year’s tour. Designed for hot rods and classic cars with performance engines that require high levels of zinc to protect flat tappet camshafts and lifters, a key feature is its ability to provide superior rust and corrosion protection in storage conditions. The 2011 Street Rodder Road Tour is the perfect proving ground for AMSOIL Z-ROD Synthetic Motor Oil, now available in 10W-30 and 20W-50 viscosities.

Testing was conducted last Tuesday at the track where the car was subject to a slalom course, skid pad, and 60-0 braking. The results were interesting, to say the least. Stay tuned to the pages of Street Rodder Magazine for details on how the car performed during testing, with full coverage on the 2011 Street Rodder Road Tour provided in upcoming issues. There is still time to register for any of the tours this summer, see our previous blog here for details on how to join in on the trip of a lifetime.

Friday, May 6, 2011

Diesel Power Challenge: King of the Hill

The three events of day two were conducted at the Bandimere Speedway which is tucked into the picturesque ridges of Western Denver. At the beginning of the day there were nine trucks left after the loss of one on the dyno. By the third morning four more will have been eliminated.

The first challenge was the 1/4-mile drag racing. Trucks could take as many passes as they desired to best one another and here is how they finished.

1. Joel Saunders - 11.267 @ 125.62mph
2. Newly Tolf - 11.417 @ 125.41mph
3. Dmitri Millard -11.621 @ 117.77mph
4. Rocky Horn - 11.775 @ 112.18mph
5. Fidel Valasquez - 11.864 @ 116.87mph
6. Andy Parker - 12.026 @ 114.26mph
7. Dustin West - 12.450 @ 112.87mph
8. Shone Patel - 13.869 @ 69.31mph
9. Scott Lindsey - 14.524 @ 61.86mph

After a lunch break a five-ton trailer laden with a Bobcat was brought out onto the track. More drag racing ensued, but this new variable did create problems for some and when all was said and done we only had seven trucks left. Here's how they finished on this second challenge of the day:

1. Rocky Horn - 10.244 @ 72.38mph
2. Joel Saunders - 10.627 @ 73.34mph
3. Andy Parker - 11.014 @ 69.14mph
4. Dustin West - 11.525 @ 65.54mph
5. Fidel Velasquez - 11.611 @ 67.54mph
6. Newly Tolf - 12.676 @ 62.01mph
7. Scott Lindsey - 17.028 @ 60.63mph

The third challenge at Bandimere was conducted up in the parking lot above the raceway. In this event the trucks had to demonstrate speed and skill at executing a course while pulling the Bobcat trailer. The course involved tight turns and several places where backing up was required. Points would be deducted for knocking over cones which lined the various facets of the course.

Thursday morning broke sunny with clear blue skies as the last five trucks went to fill up their tanks for the 150 mile ride to test these vehicles for fuel economy. Yes, the challenge includes verifying that these behemoths are also roadworthy. The fuel economy results would be used for breaking any tie in the scoring, and it did indeed become a factor.

The afternoon challenge, the sled pull, was held out at Keenesburg Fairgrounds north of Denver along Highway 76. Each of the five remaining diesels gave it their best shot pulling a 50,000 pound sled donated by the NSPA, courtesy Ron Greene, Clint Cannon and Michael Sulley. When the dust had cleared, literally, the final points were calculated and the drivers were assembled for the awarding of trophies for the top three.

As it turned out, Newly Tolf and Andy Parker tied for fourth, but Andy had a better score in the fuel economy run, so Newly was bumped to fifth overall. Impressive in light of the competition coming into this thing. Third place, and a trophy, went to Joel Saunders in his 2006 Dodge Ram 2500.

Second place was captured by Dustin West of Godley, Texas in a red 2005 Dodge Ram 2500. These young 'uns showed they were definitely up to the challenge this week, and appeared to have a lot of fun throughout.

After all was said and done, our new champion turned out to be Rocky Horn with his 1997 Ford F-350 powered by a Cummins engine. This was not the first rodeo for the quiet but affable Horn who has taken second place two consecutive years in the NSPA Super Street Diesel Class. For his efforts he'll receive well deserved recognition in Diesel Power magazine this fall and a $500 shopping spree from AMSOIL.

David Kennedy noted that the competition is ratcheting higher every year. "The worst dyno score in 2011 was better than the best horsepower numbers five years ago," he said. Next year we'll undoubtedly see even more.

In the meantime, look for plenty of coverage in upcoming issues of Diesel Power, and in the DVD being produced for this event. Congratulations, Rocky!

Pictured: Winner Rocky Horn with Mark Nyholm, Technical Manager from AMSOIL.

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Diesel Power Challenge: Day One in the Record Books

Day one at the 2011 Diesel Power Challenge is in the record books. Ten trucks and thirteen hours in the dyno booth at ATS Diesel made for one long day, but with some serious excitement along the way. The last to take a run, Dmitri Millard, was first when all was said and done, but there were a lot of trucks pulling some serious horsepower and torque numbers.

Shone Patel of Olive Branch, Mississippi filled the second slot with his 2008 Ford F-350 Super-Duty. Owen Horst pulled great numbers for third in his 2006 GMC 2500 but blew up in the process as the oil pressure fired the oil fill cap like a mortar shot and a geyser of oil painted an abstract design on the hood. Horst, a Tennessee builder, is out for the rest of the competition.

The first hour today is an open drag strip with the nine trucks taking turns pushing the limits. These guys are pulling some serious numbers in Colorado's thin mountain air. Currently Joel Saunders holds the fastest time with an 11.276 on the quarter mile. Dmitri Millard, after a few runs in the 12.3 area has now taken second away from the superquick Fidel Velasquez with an 11.621. Newly Tolf of Las Vegas, in a Silverado, also cracked the 12 second barrier, an impressive feat in these big trucks.

Bandimere Speedway, nestled in the western ridges of Denver, is an idyllic location for Day Two of this year's competition. Blue skies, decorated with a handful of scattered clouds, make for a perfect day here at the track.

Newly Tolf has now pulled a 11.496 to bump Millard down a notch, so we're seeing Dmitri screeching through several more attempts to regain a higher score. Here's an 11.71, again leaving him short.

Rocky Horn has leaped in front of Fidel with and 11.775 and time is running out to best Saunders in his Dodge Ram, the only black truck in the field. And the ten minute call has just been given. Five or six passes later and time runs out on the field. The first segment of the day is finished. They'll break for lunch and then do the 10,000 lb. trailer pulling drags.

Stay tuned!

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

A Mile High and Rarin' To Go

Here we are at ATS Performance on Day One of the 2011 Diesel Power Challenge. Yesterday evening the Diesel Power staff hosted a hospitality room for early registrants as they came rolling into Denver from all points of the compass. Editor David Kennedy called Dmitri Millard, last year's winner, to see where he was and he was still ten hours away and apparently planning to pull an all nighter. The longest drive, though, was by Joel Saunders from New Hampshire. By mid-morning today the trucks were glistening in the sun, numbered and bedecked with decals. After a photo shoot prelude, the event was underway.

ATS Diesel Performance has been serving the diesel truck market for nearly two decades, designing and manufacturing hundreds of products for the diesel truck market. Specializing in power and performance, they have made their dyno facilities available for today's competition.

ATS has a very classy facility with engines, turbos and other performance apparatus displayed all about the showroom. At the center of the room is a billiard table which was actually incorporated into the competition in the following manner. Each of the drivers was given a chance to lag for position on the dyno. That is, whoever had the best lag could select when to do their dyno run. Naturally everyone wants to be last so they see what numbers they have to pull to finish best.

Owen Horst from Clarkrange, TN, arrived in his white 2006 GMC and though he'd love to be top dog, he's really "just here to have fun." In preparation, Horst said, "I think it’s just a quest for more horsepower all the time. This year we built the motor again, put heads, cam and twin turbos and a little bit of everything. Last year we were running pretty much stock so now we’re pretty much modified."

David Kennedy, editor of Diesel Power magazine, clearly gets jazzed about this event. We asked how he came to be a truck guy and he said, "I think for me the truck world comes from needing trucks, from growing up in inclement weather and mud in a rural area. Always wanting to go places no matter what it was like outside. So a car, two wheel drive really wouldn’t work for me. A diesel truck gives you the power and versatility to do whatever you want, so its perfect for guys like me."

And for guys like the ten competitors in this year's Diesel Power Challenge. To follow along this week, visit