Interest in diesel motorsports is growing at a fever pace, and “lighting up” may well refer to the actions of hundreds of diesel pickup owners at dragstrips all across the country. I had the opportunity to be a guest of the National Association of Diesel Motorsports at the NADM?Diesel East Coast Nationals at Numidia Dragway in Numidia, PA, a few weeks ago, and the downright “wow” factor aside I was impressed with business opportunities that exist in this market.
Nearly 170 trucks competed in drag racing and sled pulling for more than $25,000 in cash purses and giveaways. Almost 5,000 fans spent Saturday watching 12-second passes from trucks that on Friday had likely been hauling landscaping or home improvement materials.
Ron Knoch, president of the NADM, says weekends like this are increasingly common and should be a signal to engine builders of potential business profits. “The used truck market is unbelievable right now. 2007 and older diesel pickups in particular are running hundreds of thousands of miles and are still worth almost as much as new trucks!”
Knoch says people like the older trucks because they have all the comforts of the newer models without all the engine electronics. They’re just easier to work on.
“That being said, however, enthusiasts are finding they really need an engine builder who understands what they’re dealing with,”?says Knoch. “When you start adding performance parts, when things go wrong they can go wrong big.”
Need incentive to think about building performance diesel engines??Knoch throws around numbers like a Wall Street insider: “Some of the bigger, well-known motorsports engine builders are charging upwards of $70,000 for an engine. I?know other guys undercutting THEM by selling motors for more than $20,000 each. When a Cummins longblock costs $10,000, you can put a lot of performance parts on them and still make some money.”
You owe it to yourself to think about joining Engine Builder and the APRA in Las Vegas for the Big R Show this October. A series of diesel engine builder seminars, including one on the future of diesel motorsports presented by Knoch and the NADM, will be held on Saturday, October 30. The seminars and the Big R Trade Show are free to engine builders.
Light ’em up!