When you’ve been wrenching on your drag build for months, the first time out often brings some nerves. You’re hoping that everything you’ve installed holds together and allows you to safely make a pass. For Derek Rose, that was his weekend this weekend. Derek took the 2021 season off coming up with a plan of attack for his truck and in August of 2021, the revamp began.
Knowing that he wanted to shed some weight and do some serious upgrades, this would take time and money. After months of work and thousands of dollars invested, the time had finally come. It was time to test out all of these new parts.
I spoke with Derek just a few days before the Outlaw Diesel Super Series season opener and what actually happened wasn’t what it sounded like via our conversation. “I don’t expect to run fours. It is our first time out with a bunch of new parts. We need to get with Ryan (Milliken) and collectively put together a baseline tuneup in it and just see where that puts us,” Rose said. “We’ll see how this testing goes, but as for UCC, we are up in the air.”
Jokingly, I asked Derek, 4.60’s or bust, right? Laughing, Derek responded, “BUST!”. If only he knew what was actually going to happen. A few days went by and we made the trip up to Wagler Motorsports Park where the Wagler Spring Nationals would kick off. The Wednesday and Thursday before the event started, Derek and his team were already there getting in some passes, learning the new setup, and let’s just say things went much better than we all anticipated. “I worked all day on Wednesday with Ryan learning this new MoTec platform and we put together a great baseline file to run with,” Derek explained.
After multiple four-second passes, the best of testing was a 4.77 at 153-mph. Not only was this a personal best for Derek but this was also breaking the record for the fastest four-wheel-drive diesel truck ever. “All of the hard work, money spent, late nights, and grey hairs, this truck finally just paid off. We currently (Thursday) have the fastest 4×4 diesel pickup on the planet,” he said. “The best part is, we are just getting started learning what it likes and dislikes.”
Then, Friday rolls around. More testing. First pass out, just about noon, Derek put a little more sauce in it just to see if it would take it and it did. 1.17 60-foot, 3.098 330-foot, and stopped the clocks at 4.694 at 147.07-mph. Tickled pink, these guys couldn’t be happier. From a live feed from the event on Friday afternoon, I believe it was Derek that said he would be happy with anything near a 4.70 by the end of the year. Well, congratulations. You did it on your fourth pass off the trailer.
Seems like the track will take it, let’s give it more. This time, though, it was a 1.159 60-foot, 3.050 330-foot, and tripped the beams at 4.588-seconds at 159.42-mph. This, once again, broke the 4×4 diesel truck record by a lot. Remember, the last 4×4 diesel truck record was a 4.801. For the first rip out of the year and breaking the record by over two-tenths of a second, that’s impressive.
Moving into Saturday, it was eliminations day. Rose’s Ram was paired up with a few heavy hitters including Firepunk Diesel‘s Cummins-powered S-10 and Ben Shadday’s Cummins-powered Corvette. Because of a breakage, Firepunk’s S-10 and their #1 qualifier earned them a bye-run into the final round to face the winner of Ben Shadday and Derek Rose.
It isn’t every day that you see a Pro Mod Corvette on the line lined up next to a 4,100-pound diesel truck but we did. Honestly, I think they could care less what happened because they’ve surpassed their expectations already but a win overall wouldn’t be so bad, would it? Both Shadday and Rose left somewhat close with their .103 (Shadday) and .151 (Rose) reaction times, but if you look at the slip, Rose started to catch up.
Shadday’s ‘Vette went 1.133 to the 60-foot while Derek followed with a 1.171. At the 330-foot mark, it was Derek taking back the quicker time of 3.005 over Shadday’s 3.205. Watching this live and in person was exhilarating. It looked like Rose was going to pull this off and sure enough, he did. “BlueBallz” nabbed a win light and went on to further the record even more stopping the clocks at 4.44-seconds at 171.77-mph. This was only two and some change miles per hour slower than Firepunk’s 3-second capable S-10. At 4,100-pounds.
As much as I wish Derek Rose and his team could’ve ended their weekend with a cinderella story win over Firepunk in the final, it didn’t happen that way. Firepunk managed to hold him off in the final round and earned their first win of the season but it is safe to say that everyone at DNR Customs put people on notice that trucks can fly. The sky is the limit for this truck now once it starts competing against some Street Outlaw cars as it has before.
Derek did note that this wasn’t as easy and seamless as it may seem. It was due to the weeks spent throughout the winter working alongside Freedom Racing Engines. “We spent countless hours on the engine dyno at Freedom and because of that, this weekend looked easy,” he said. Needless to say, Freedom Racing Engines has been a huge part of this whole process.
The last comments I have from Derek are as follows:
“I’m at a loss for words, honestly. We did things the last couple of days that we never even thought of with a four-wheel-drive diesel truck. We ran pro mod today just to have some fun and made it to the finals. I made the first mistake all weekend but it didn’t even matter. We’ve accomplished more in three days than I’d ever imagined. Ryan Milliken and Andre Dusek set me up well with the MoTec system and gave me great confidence moving forward to press my own buttons. Everyone in our corner and all the support/love we have received have been overwhelming. I can’t wait to continue to learn and improve for the rest of the year. Thanks, everyone for the support!”
I can’t wait to see what comes out of this camp in the months to come. If you haven’t already purchased your tickets to the 2022 Ultimate Callout Challenge, you need to do it now. See history as it happens, you won’t want to miss it.