If you think diesels are slow, try telling that to Brent Hajek. That’s because Brent just set some land speed records at The Bonneville Salt Flats in a diesel-powered car. Sorry, let me amend that: He just set some land speed records at The Bonneville Salt Flats in a diesel-powered TRUCK. Specifically, a Ford F-250 Super Duty set two records, one for straight-up dino-diesel and another for bio-diesel. Impressive, no?
Land speed records are cool in and of themselves, and the fact that he did it with fuel normally found in the tanks of 18-wheelers just sort of adds to the cool factor. But y’know, that’s the LSR game at the sacred grounds of The Bonneville Salt Flats. The people who run Bonneville Speed Weeks, The Southern California Timing Association (don’t ask me how a bunch of hot-rodders from SoCal got to head this shebang up, it’s a very long story) really don’t care what the hell you bring out to The Salt. Just as long as it’s safe (or at least passes their safety checks) and fits into one of their umpteen categories, they seem to be fine with it. You want to see if you’ve got the fastest all-stock 65 VW Beetle in the world? Bring her out, and let’s see what she’ll do.
So during any given August Speed Weeks out there in the middle of nowhere, you can expect to see production cars, motorcycles, purpose-built streamliners, and, in the case of Brent Hajek, a Ford F-250 Super Duty running on diesel fuel.
Brent’s outfit, Hajek Motorsports, decided to roll out a fully prepped 2011 Ford F-250 Super Duty for high-speed runs down the “track.” But for all the (highly justifiable safety) prep put into the truck, the plant was surprisingly nearly stock turbocharged 6.7-liter Power Stroke V8. Sure, Hajek Motorsports swapped out the fuel injectors and fuel pump, but at the velocities, you can reach with that much room, LSR cars drink fuel the way a freshman at a liberal arts college drinks beer. Hajek Motorsports also swapped out the stock turbo.
On the inside, they added a roll cage and five-point harness for safety (no doubt to keep Mom Hajek a little quieter), and they also added a set of spun aluminum Lakester hubcaps to smooth out the airflow. Nice touch going with the flat discs … rodders have been doing that back since the Muroc days, they work, and they’re stylish!
And that, pretty much, was the extent of the mods Hajek Motorsports did to the F-250. It’s described as being ” … a run-of-the-mill production vehicle that can run on standard diesel or B20 biodiesel.” Damn. Ballsy move, no? The technical moves completed, testicle related or no, were enough to up the horsepower and torque up by 50 percent over the stock engine’s 400 horsepower and 800 pound-feet of pull.
The bottom line on the SCTA’s timing slips turned out to be a new B Production Diesel Truck record of 171.123 miles per hour. Which is damn impressive for an F-250. I mean, just look at the thing; it’s got all the aerodynamics of the shipping crate it came in. Impressive! And that 171.123 miles per hour (always out to the third decimal point when it comes to the SCTA) beat the old record of 166.850 mph held by a Duramax-powered GMC pickup, in case any of you are interested.
That was on normal diesel fuel, by the by. But when the Hajek team also filled the truck with B20 biodiesel, they set another new record of 182 miles per hour, which squished the previous record of 130.614 mph like a grape. Yeah, you read that right; they went faster on Bio-D than on normal diesel. Now, normally it’s the other way around, at least in my experience (bio-diesel means less power), so I would be interested in knowing the whys and wherefores of how Hajek did it … but I’ll wait until I run into him in a bar in Wendover. Wendover, Nevada, of course, not Wendover, Utah … I’m pretty sure there aren’t any bars in Wendover, Utah.