Diesel motorsports pioneer Greg Hogue will enter the Professional Drag Racers Association Top Dragster competition in 2015 with his unique diesel-powered dragster.
For the last decade Hogue has been a leader in the rapidly expanding diesel motorsports arena as an engine builder and components manufacturer, as well as a highly successful racer. He was the first to push a diesel-powered truck through both the 9- and 8-second barriers, and also the first to compete with a diesel-powered vehicle in NHRA’s Super Street, Super Gas, and Super Comp categories.
“I’ve been racing for 30 years, in everything from Competition Eliminator to Stock Eliminator and most everything in between,” said the 54-year-old retired fire department lieutenant from Aledo, Texas. “I’ve always liked to run unusual combinations, and I ran a V6-powered dragster in Comp, for example.
“I actually got into diesel by accident,” Hogue explained. “I ran out of motor program when I ran Comp and just wasn’t all that competitive. A guy hauled an old Pro Stock Truck into my shop about ten years ago and had me drop in a Cummins diesel engine. I eventually went racing with the truck and over the years I was the first to go into the nines in a diesel truck and later I was the first to run in the eights, too. I love a challenge and this was a challenge to me. We made it work and I’ve been running diesel power ever since.
“The car that we’re taking to PDRA next season has been in the works for four years, and we’re pretty sure it will be competitive,” Hogue said. “We ran 4.71 at 141 recently with a little hit of nitrous, and I know there’s a lot more there. Once we go with a full load of nitrous we’ll be making the equivalent of 4,000 horsepower in a gas-fueled Pro Mod car. The motor likes a lot of nitrous, but you have to remember that it’s not the same as a gas motor. We know it will take a 4.20 to get in the PDRA field and we are confident we can get to that level of competition once we get the tune-up and gearing the way we want it for the eighth-mile.”
Hogue’s “clean diesel” car, which is sponsored by GM Racing and Industrial Injection, is a 255-inch slip-joint car from the Charlie Stewart Race Cars shop, and is one of the first dragsters built specifically for a diesel application. Power will come from a tricked-out 389-cubic-inch Chevy Duramax diesel engine that burns synthetic diesel fuel made from natural gas. According to Hogue, the engine will turn 6,200 rpm and generate 1,500 horsepower.
If everything goes according to plan Scottsdale, Arizona’s Valerie Thompson will also be taking a turn behind the wheel. Thompson is a seven-time land speed record holder and has tackled everything from the Bonneville Salt Flats to NHRA Pro Stock Motorcycle racing.
“Valerie can do it all, and when I was hurt on the job last year she jumped in the car and did a fantastic job,” Hogue said. “On her first pass she had an .032 light, and it was the first time she had ever sat in a dragster. Everything depends on her schedule for next season, of course, but we hope to get her into the car as often as possible.” (photo courtesy Robert Grice/Extreme Motorsports)