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Diesel Brothers exclusive: The battle of diesel versus methanol fuel in racing

Tonight on Discovery series Diesel Brothers, we learn the intricacies of just what type of fuel gives a racer the necessary edge to win a race.

Speaking to a group of racers inside their garage in Utah, Heavy D (Dave Sparks) says: “So this is it, this is it man…the battle of the fuels.”

The guys are shown a standard Monster Jam engine with about 540 cubic inches all built in-house and equipped with 1,400 horsepower and about 1,300 ft-lb of torque.

On the other side of the garage is a different story. The tall twin-turbo LBZ z has about 700 horsepower but it has 2,200 ft-lb of torque. Which ignites Heavy D’s theory about diesel versus methanol.

Heavy D, Diesel Dave
The nuance of fuel can either win or lose a race along with the driver’s skills, according to Heavy D

He says: “My theory is that, eventually, diesel will be able to outperform methanol in Monster Jam competitions.

“Diesel has the potential to create more torque, which is the most important factor here because torque is basically the power to make things rotate…and we’re gonna need a lot of power to make things rotate [like] threading a 12,000-pound Monster Jam truck through an arena, crushing cars, doing jumps, doing wheelies and all the other stuff.”

Racing fuels are always being tweaked by racers and grease monkeys alike. The new blends and formulas are constantly tested and the existing ones are tinkered with too for some improvement. Then some fuels just disappear, either because of obsolescence or environmental pollution concerns. Heavy D and Diesel Dave explain this as they talk to some racers about the potential for more torque.

Methanol fuel is used by Champ Cars and, back in the day, Indy Cars. Methanol is mainly derived from the steam reforming of natural gas. Diesel fuel is made from crude oil and is often found in race cars that compete in endurance racing and vehicles raced for land-speed records, along with supercar style racing.

The series Diesel Brothers is a day in the life of Heavy D, Diesel Dave, and the Dieselsellerz crew who excel in over-the-top truck builds.

At the young age of 21, Heavy D enrolled in college for one semester, bowed out and began operating heavy equipment for his uncle’s construction business.

This turned into his own small excavation business building custom rock walls, waterfalls, and landscaping. Then back in 2008, he hired his best friend “Diesel Dave” Kiley, to help him run the gear. They went on to create and are now Discovery’s latest working-class hero stars.

Their custom builds exceed so many racers’ dreams and the guys are known to think creatively on the fly as their creative masterpieces wow their clients at the Sparks Motors Garage located in Woods Cross, Utah.

Watch tonight as Heavy D and the guys turn ordinary rigs into souped-up diesel trucks.

Diesel Brothers airs Mondays at 10 PM ET/PT on Discovery

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