Technology in motorsports has come a long way. From the days of steel bodied stock cars to sheet metal, million-dollar marvels, the change is extremely evident.
Monster trucks have come a long way in that aspect as well. No longer are these the leaf-spring, heavy framed machines like in the 1980s. Now, it's tube-frame technology, nitrogen shocks, and trying to be as light as possible.
Nowhere has the technology and improvements been more evident than in the engines. In the beginning, the trucks made at most 600-700 horsepower with the average add-ons. Now, teams are dishing out thousands of dollars on alcohol motors that are pushing the 2,000-horsepower barrier, and are coupling that with transmissions that can take the abuse of such massive power.
For the most part, these engines are your V8 engines, built from Ford, Chevrolet or Dodge bases. The horsepower of these motors are evident, but now they have a new contender.
In the last decade alone, the diesel industry has boomed with add-ons to create the most power out of the engines, the ones used by the everyday haulers and towers to go to their jobs. The Power Stroke, the Duramax and Cummins industries have seen an increase in usage, buys and also the increase of bolt-on power.
But, the diesel engine has not been seen on the monster truck racing circuit for over two decades, dating back to the late 1980s with the Texas Toy, which had a 568 cu. in. Detroit diesel motor, like what is found in big rigs.
Now, thanks to one driver who has spent the last five years promoting his exhibition diesel monster truck, a diesel-powered machine is returning to the racing circuit.
Dave Radzierez, a Tannersville, PA, native, is going to be running the 4-Wheel Jamboree season in the all-new XDP Ford. This is the third truck Radzierez will have driven with a diesel motor, but it will be the first time he has competed alongside the likes of Bigfoot and Raminator. Last year, Radzierez was behind the wheel of the Star Marshal, which is powered by a V8, alcohol motor. He also was behind the wheel of the Star Marshal the last two years for the indoor Monster Nationals tour.
But, since 2008, Radzierez has been behind the wheel of a unique diesel-powered truck. He debuted his first truck, sponsored by Hushpower, at the 2008 Indy Jamboree, doing a pulling exhibition. The truck was powered by a twin-turbo, Cummins diese.
lHe spent two years in the truck, actually competing in an outdoor event in 2009.
For the 2010 season, an all-new chassis was built for Radzierez from the same company that built his first truck, Team Huffaker of Racesource, based in Texas. The new truck had bypass shocks combined with the coil-over springs.
The twin-turbo engine remained, but now with new body panels. The newer 2010 Dodge Ram body was wrapped with his new sponsor, Air Dog Technology. In 2011, the Air Dog was taken over by Radzierez teammate, Michelle Simpson.
She proved to be a very strong driver, and has since taken over the Chalkboard Chuck machine. Meanwhile, Radzierez lost sponsorship from Air Dog, however long-time sponsor XDP (Xtreme Diesel Performance) stepped up and is the title sponsor of his new truck.
The new machine is a mirror image to his Star Marshal, as everything he had on his V8 Cadillac is in the exact same position in his new truck, which was also built by Patrick Enterprises. But, the engine in this beast is just like the two previous, a twin-turbo, Cummins diesel.
The XDP colors are wrapped around a 2010 Ford Super Duty body, and Radzierez has the truck sitting low and mean.
Radzierez has all the appropriate hookups should the truck roll over, but because a diesel motor has no spark plugs, the R.I.I. is set up to instead cut air and fuel to the motor. This truck is already turning heads since it's debut at the SEMA Show, and it surely going to be one to watch once the jamboree season kicks in.
There won't be a need to plug one's ears when this truck freestyles, as the quiet engine will make it easier on the fans, and more fun to look at thanks to the black smoke pouring from the exhaust.
Radzierez will have the new XDP diesel truck at three of the four jamboree events for 2012. The debut weekend for the machine is next weekend at the O'Reilly Auto Parts Ozark 4-Wheel Jamboree Nationals, held at the Ozark Empire Fairgrounds in Springfield, Missouri.
Two weeks later, Radzierez and team will head north to Lima, Ohio, to run at the Allen County Fairgrounds.
The XDP truck has a few stops following Lima, but will return for it's final jamboree of the year when Radzierez performs in front of his home-state crowd at the 25th Anniversary A&A Auto Stores Summer 4-Wheel Jamboree Nationals at the Bloomsburg Fairgrounds in Bloomsburg, PA.
For more information on the new truck, visit their Facebook page. If you want to see the truck live, visit FamilyEvents.com or 4WheelJamboree.com and get your tickets to the biggest truck show in the country.
Xtreme Diesel Performance can be found on the web at XtremeDiesel.com, where you can find all performance parts for diesel engines as well as information on all the racing vehicles XDP has in their stable.