• Racing the Truck at the NASCAR UAW-Dodge 400

A certain package delivery company that’s known for having brown trucks has been threatening to “race the truck,” but it turns out that someone else has beaten them to it.

A real race truck will be circling the track during the national anthem at the Sprint Cup UAW-Dodge 400 this coming Sunday at the Las Vegas Motor Speedway.

No, it won’t be one of those dinky NASCAR truck series vehicles.

Racing the Truck at the NASCAR UAW-Dodge 400
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Think a bit bigger.

As in a Freightliner.

The #77 Century Class S/T Freightliner with driver Mike Ryan at the wheel, to be specific.

(more after the jump)

Now, here’s an image to contemplate:

With Ryan at the wheel, this truck set both the qualifying and course records for its class at the Pike’s Peak International Hill Climb in 2006. Ryan’s winning time was 12:43.67. The course is 12.42 miles long, a series of twists and turns with an average grade of 7%. The lower half of the course is blacktop and the upper half of the course is gravel.

The 2006 records still stand. If they’re broken, though, it’ll probably be by Ryan in this truck. He’s won the class at Pike’s Peak nine times, and broken the class record six times.

The Freightliner was specifically designed for the Pike’s Peak course – the twisting mountain road from the base to the top of the mountain, featuring sheer drop-offs at almost every turn. The race runs from an elevation of 9,390 feet to the summit at 14,110 feet.

Freightliner is part of Chrysler, LLC now that the company has been shorn from Daimler, but this truck was given a major upgrade in 2005. Consequently, this racing truck has a 501 cu. in. Mercedes-Benz twin-turbo V-6 engine – with 1,250 hp and 2,700 ft-lbs of torque driving through a ZF 5 speed electronically controlled transmission. The truck itself weighs about 8,000 lbs.

Ralph Kalal
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