Talking about some Redneck Fun. I would jam some Gears myself in that one.
Eighteen wheelers, semi trucks, tractor trailers… Whatever you want to call them, they’re the massive behemoths rolling down the road that keep the shelves in the grocery store stocked, the warehouses moving, and the mail getting delivered on time. Yet these giants are often overlooked when it comes to the wild world of racing. Should they be? In this video, legendary Michel Tremblay shows off his JDH Peterbilt in some momentous drag races. We’re always fascinated by what tractor trailer drivers are coming up with next in terms of engine mods and mechanics to make their trucks blow past the competition. It’s also a great excuse to take a second look at the world of tractor trailers and see why they strangely make some of the best drag racers.
Now, taking that in perspective – it comes out the gate with two styles of engine: PACCAR MX-13 and the Cummins ISX15. We keep running into Cummins when it comes to heavy duty diesel engines. The reason why is because Cummins builds one of the most fuel efficient and reliable turbo diesels on the market. And when you’re hauling over 40,000 lbs behind you – heavy duty and turbocharged are two words that are requirements. The Cummins ISX15 is built specifically for heavy duty trucks. It pushes out up to 600 hp and 2050 lb-ft of torque. That specifically is why professional drag racing truck drivers take a good long hard look at the Cummins engine line for tractor trailers. It’s also why the ISX15 is a mainstay in the budding racing industry of semi trucks – specifically the COGA.
Drag racing is an extremely expensive sport. With custom engines ranging into the upwards of $100,000, the vehicle alone costs millions to build and millions more to run on the drag circuit. And that’s the biggest thing – with drag racing cars and trucks, every part is practically custom built because no off the line assembly is going to try to be liable for that sort of power being available on the open road. Now, walk right into a Cummins or PACCAR engine shop and their engines begin for a tenth of that price. When dealing with a top of the line 2015 Peterbilt 389 with all the features, it usually only costs less than $200,000 (MSRP). The best part is once custom upgrades are added like twin turbo chargers to the Cummins or PACCAR engine, it’s suddenly become a very viable drag racing vehicle.
And think about the dynamics of drag racing. Short distances, incredible torque and horsepower, and straight lines from start to stop. No one would think about racing tractor trailers down the open road… Would they? We all better hope not. These giant behemoths, whether they be Kenworths, Volvos or Peterbilts all exhibit incredible power in a cost efficient package – making the world of drag racing a semi tractor trailer immediately more accessible in cost than traditional custom dragsters.