While Eric Merchant will be a rookie at the 2018 Ultimate Callout Challenge, he certainly is no rookie in the world of diesel performance and diesel motorsports. Merchant is especially well known to Duramax enthusiasts who turn to his shop Merchant Automotive for maintenance and performance items for their trucks. He is widely accepted as an expert when it comes to the ins and outs of the Duramax engine and Allison transmission.
He has been involved in diesel motorsports since 2005. Ten years ago, back in 2007 Merchant built the first Duramax truck to break the 1,000 horsepower barrier on a chassis dyno. That was also the year that he began to sled pull with his diesel truck. The shop also campaigns a Duramax powered sand drag buggy that has competed in numerous events across the country including the 2017 Schuss Mountain Snow Challenge where it won the SuperMod Championship.
Merchant’s truck named “Ol Blue” was purchased new in 2002 and started him on his course of Duramax and Allison knowledge. Ol Blue has seen many revisions through the years going from a stock truck to an 800 HP daily driver before it turned into a dedicated sled puller and captured the 2013 MTTP points championship in the highly competitive Hot Diesel class.
Once again Merchant is about to put Ol Blue under the knife to undergo another drastic transformation into a UCC fighting machine capable of running with the top trucks in the country on the chassis dyno, drag strip and its home the pull track. He will be depending on his hard working team at Merchant Automotive as well as assistance from the fuel delivery experts at S&S Diesel Motorsport to turn up the wick on his bright blue Duramax powered machine.
Will the 1st time UCC competitor be able to challenge the established UCC elite? What setup will he be running on the Duramax and how much power can the team wring out of it? Will he actually run an Allison transmission behind a full-bore competition Duramax in all three phases of the UCC and will it live? We all want answers to those questions but to find out we will have to be there on May 4th-6th 2018 at the third annual Ultimate Callout Challenge to find out where Merchant and his 2003 GMC Ol Blue will finish!