The Stainless Diesel second-gen is officially the undisputed king of speed in Pro Street, having recently set new ET and trap speed records at the Scheid Diesel Extravaganza. It all started on Thursday after ECM guru, John Gilbert III, spiked the tune-up with a few extra ponies set to come on between the 60-foot and 330-foot marks. Those few strokes of the keyboard proved to be just what the Pine Hill Auto Cummins wanted, and the truck responded with a 3.27-second 330-foot time (vs. the high 3.3’s we had been seeing) in route to a 4.86 at 153 mph—a new personal best ET for driver Johnny Gilbert.
Then, with track prep that was second-to-none and Mother Nature providing some much needed cloud cover on Friday, we were able to capitalize on the racing conditions once more. Trusting in Total VenueConcept’s ability to prep a track and confident that our brand-new Hoosiers wouldn’t break traction, we brought even more power into the mix for the second half of the track. Combined with a more aggressive launch (Johnny left at higher rpm) that yielded a 1.238-second 60-foot, the truck hit the ‘330 in 3.26 seconds this time and back-halved like nobody’s business. The scoreboard confirmed what everyone in the stands had just seen: a record 4.82 at 156.72 mph. This new benchmark is one tenth of a second quicker than our previous best ET, and 1 mph faster than the previous trap speed record we set at the Rocky Top DieselShootout.
But that’s not the end of this story. In the words of Johnny Gilbert himself: “You gotta crack a few eggs to make an omelet.” On our record-setting pass, the battle-tested Cummins came idling up the return road with an audible tick. After pulling the valve cover, we came to the conclusion that we’d either bent or burnt an exhaust valve. Luckily, having earned the number 1 qualifier, we had until the next day to decide what to do. During the night we ran our predicament past Super Stock truck puller, Bob Millican, who led us to believe that head damage would most likely be the extent of the carnage (not pistons, sleeves, or worse), even if we leaned on the engine for a couple more passes. That was all Johnny needed to hear.
Saturday’s eliminations consisted of Johnny outrunning Michael Dalton before meeting Firepunk Diesel’s Josh Scruggs in the final round. Surprisingly, our battle-worn, five-cylinder Cummins had enough life left in it to beat Scruggs to the 330-foot mark. However, at half-track the engine de-fueled—likely due to the ECM seeing excessive heat, a built-in safety precaution designed to keep the engine from melting down—and Scruggs drove around us for the win. The final pass: a 5.01 at 149 mph to a 5.02 at 146 mph.
We didn’t get the W, but we’re back on top in the ODSS points chase, the head will be repaired and reinstalled by the weekend, and we’re now the irrefutable Pro Street record-holder. Better yet, soon we’ll be shooting for 4.70s. Stay tuned!