December 3, 2023

Brighton Journal

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Watch the twist of semi trucks loaded with torque in uphill drag racing competition

Watch the twist of semi trucks loaded with torque in uphill drag racing competition

These machines put on a strong showing.

Drag racing is all about crossing the finish line first. We love to see 700- and 800-horsepower supercars and 1,000-plus horsepower hypercars unravel in a quarter mile under 10 seconds, but speed isn’t everything. The Big Drag Race is a reminder that high-powered engines don’t always translate into high-speeds.

Kuhnley Motorsports Park In Ohio, it recently held the inaugural Unc’s Semi Stampede, where top competitors across several classes faced off in a grueling Quebec-style drag race. The McLaren 720S shouldn’t have anything to worry about here as these racers rock along. New video documents the action on the track as dozens of belching semi-trailers race to pull loaded trailers across the finish line first.

These beasts make plenty of horsepower, but the torque is the real star of these races—and the copious amounts of black smoke add to the theatrics. The massive, 19-liter V8 diesels in the A-Class field produce so much twist that the force can lift one of the front tires when the engine is unleashing all its power.

The sheer weight of the trailers–over 100,000 pounds–and high-powered engines put the truck under enormous stresses that can be seen in its twisting motion. The track’s slight incline added to the challenge, but the trucks don’t have to travel as far as your typical supercar, competing on 700-foot circuits.

Drag racing on big ramps is nothing new, but it is gaining popularity in the United States. One event has been going on in Quebec, Canada, since 1981 – the Rodeo du Cameon, or a rodeo truck. That’s when dozens of truckers brought some fun to Norte-Dame-du-Nord. The event celebrated its 40th anniversary in 2022, and was postponed due to the pandemic. The event attracts thousands of spectators annually and is a fundraiser for the community. The organization raised $5.6 million between 1986 and 2019 for the region, according to 2019 a report.

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Unc’s Semi Stampede states that Class A competitors have the 19-litre V8 diesel engine. The truck can have a maximum of two turbochargers, one injector per cylinder, and a fire extinguisher. There were also Class B and C competitors at the event with their own regulations, while automatic transmissions were banned in Class A and B.