Jess Hardessen founded Husker Diesel in 2007 “dead broke in my rental town house garage.” Close to 11 years later, Husker Diesel boasts one of the most advanced diesel pickup repair, performance, and diagnostic facilities in the country. Jess is a two-time UCC competitor, with more than eight years of sled pulling and drag racing experience. Jess has been in the drag racing scene since 2009 and had an LBZ-powered superstreet truck that he eventually sold so he could focus on sled pulling. Ever since 2009 he’s had a dedicated pulling truck, which started with a regular cab 2001 3500 Chevy. Another truck, a 2007 Chevy pulling truck, was finished up last year before SDX and went out and qualified for 5th place both days and did great in the main event. The first year of the UCC treated them well, but in last year’s contest they were plagued by some major engine problems that torpedoed Husker’s chances to remain competitive. Never one to let that get him down, Jess is back with a brand new truck to take on the 2018 competition. Husker has had great success with their Duramax program, but this year they’re ready to try something completely different.
Jess purchased the truck, a 2016 Chevy 2500HD, in October and plans to have it ready for the dyno before the end of December. It was a wrecked HVAC service truck from California that had 14,000 miles on it. They got rid of its factory 6.0 gas powertrain and dropped a Cummins engine and transmission into it. The engine comes courtesy of Industrial Injection and Randy’s Transmission provided a 48RE that’s equipped to handle everything Husker could throw at it. Ben Shadday from Done Right Diesel is taking care of the chassis setup and tuning calibrations, while “our team will handle the rest, no sweat!”
All of the fabrication, design, wiring, and chassis work was done in house. Other additions to the truck include nitrous and water injection, as well as Cobra Series fuel injectors fed from II XP injection pumps that will make the power they need to take the truck down the drag strip into 8-second territory. The turbo setup is still up in the air, but they have high hopes.
In the 2016 UCC, Husker placed at 9th overall, with a horsepower number of 1867.6 and torque at 2706.8, a 9.468 on the drag strip, and a sled pull of 235.25 feet. Last year’s engine problems meant they only posted numbers for the drag, a solid 9.628 seconds, which was good enough for 5th place for the day. This year they’re hoping to beat those numbers and take home the top spot. According to Jess, “This might be a new truck and a new powerplant platform for us, but make no mistake – we will do what it takes to win!” We don’t know whether they will come out on top or not, but we certainly look forward to finding out when the rubber hits the track, rollers and dirt May 4th-6th 2018 at the third annual Ultimate Callout Challenge!