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Officially Capable—The Official Truck & Tow Vehicle of NMCA keeps its events on the road

Posted By: Steve Baur
By the FSC staff
Photography courtesy of Chevrolet

 
Just like the competitors in our racing series, NMCA needs tow vehicles to get hardware to the track to make the magic happen. That means hauling a pair of United Trailers filled with six scooters, two golf carts, a massive toolbox for two series’ tech teams, signs, tools, office equipment, and a full inventory of merchandise for the Power Mall on the manufacturer’s midway. Moreover, these vehicles are equipped with a full line of fire and safety equipment that supports our in-house emergency response team.
 
To say that these vehicles are important to the operation of the second-largest sanctioning body in drag racing would be an understatement, so we partnered with Chevrolet to become the Official Truck & Tow Vehicle of NMCA and provide our series with two Chevrolet Silverado 3500HD trucks to handle the herculean task of keeping our events on the road and our racers safe.
 
“Our long-term relationship with Chevrolet is very valuable to NMCA from their deeply engrained performance division and now their lineup of new trucks and tow vehicles. We’re thrilled to showcase these trucks across the country, displaying their capabilities to our racing community and relying on them as key components to fire/safety response in our high-speed sport,” said Rollie Miller, General Manager, and National Event Director of ProMedia Events & Publishing, the parent company to the Red Line Oil NMCA Muscle Car Nationals, Holley NMRA Ford Nationals, and ProMedia Productions.
 
Both series operate events out of two United Trailers loaded with scooters, golf carts, Power Mall merchandise, and all the necessary gear to operate events within the second-largest sanctioning body in drag racing. The Silverado 3500 HD will tow up an impressive 36,000 pounds.
 
Revamped in 2020, the latest Silverado HD trucks deliver the sort of capabilities tailormade for a racer or a sanctioning body. With plenty of towing capacity, a host of onboard technologies, and ample room for safety equipment.
 
“We set out to make the best HD trucks on the market, bar none,” said Jaclyn McQuaid, chief engineer, Silverado HD when its current trucks were revealed for the 2020 model year. “We increased towing capabilities across the line, not just for dually buyers. We added class-leading towing technologies, such as 15 available camera views, to make trailering more convenient, whether pulling a large cargo trailer or a fifth-wheel camper. And we made a host of changes make tasks easier.”
 
With 500 more pounds of towing capacity with the Max Tow Package that includes suspension and wheel upgrades, these trucks will tow up to a whopping 36,000 pounds when configured as a two-wheel-drive, Regular Cab with the 6.6-liter Duramax turbo-diesel engine, dual rear wheels and a gooseneck hitch.
 
To keep the driver and passengers entertained on those racetrack road trips, the latest truck offers optional, wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto smartphone mirroring. However, the in-dash display also makes use of the myriad onboard cameras to make towing easier and safer with Cargo Bed View, Jack-Knife Alert, Rear Trailer View, Trailer Length Indicator, and Rear Side View split screen in reverse.
 
Put into service this season, NMCA’s pair of 2022 Silverado 3500HD trucks have driven all over the country to support in-house and external event productions without a hitch.
 
“I’ve been working with the NMCA for years, but I also have been racing with this organization for a long time. I worked as a fireman for 22 years now. I do understand the need for high-quality equipment. We use these 2022 Chevrolet 3500 HD trucks to haul our various equipment for drag racing, car shows, etc. around the country and they also act as the on-track safety trucks in case of any emergency incidents,” Michael Washington, Racing Operations Manager at Promedia Events, explained. “When we’re dealing with an emergency, we need a truck that’s reliable and that we know will start every time and be able to respond to the accident promptly.”
 
While acting as the safety trucks is a crucial aspect of the events, getting all the necessary equipment and personnel across the country to the various event facilities. This can mean covering great distances and spending a great deal of time in the trucks, which makes comfort and features all the more important.
 
“Being a racer, I’ve done a lot of towing in my career, driving these new 2022 Chevrolet Chevrolet 3500 HD trucks is a dream. A dream cruising down the road from the leather seats, the heated seats the cooled seats, all the towing capability that these trucks come with,” Washington relayed. “They come standard with a gooseneck hitch, heavy-duty brakes, heavy-duty suspension. It drives like a dream floating on air going down the road.”
 

To achieve the full, 36,000-pound towing capacity, these trucks were configured with the 6.6-liter diesel engine, which makes use of a unique air induction system and a variable-geometry turbocharger. It churns out 445 horsepower and 910 lb-ft torque through an Allison 10-speed automatic transmission. 
 
The driveability is certainly nice, but the Silverado 3500 HD dually pickups have delivered when it comes to hauling those two United Trailers loaded with everything needed to run a national event in style.
 
“I’ve been touring across the country over 1,000s of miles pulling a 53-foot gooseneck trailer. The Duramax engine gives me more than enough horsepower and torque to merge onto the highway safely,” Washington said. “We’ve had the truck for six months, and I’ve logged more than 30 hours in it over 1000s of miles. We just drove the truck to Texas which was a 20-hour trek in his truck. It was just amazing. Everything was comfortable. I don't even think I was driving a truck at some point. Cruising down the road to my favorite SiriusXM station on the radio, I was just happy as a clam. I don't even know I’m in a truck anymore. It feels like I’m driving in a luxury SUV.” 
 
For the 2022 models, Chevrolet made the EZ Lift tailgate standard across the Silverado HD range. This feature makes working with the tailgate easier when lowering or lifting it, as a rotary damper allows the tailgate to gradually lower, while an integrated torsion-bar arrangement gives an assist with raising or lowering the ’gate. The truck’s automatic-locking rear differential is standard and delivers consistent traction.

Hauling that kind of weight effortlessly makes traveling to the events less stressful and safer because the driver can concentrate on seeing the journey through. And, when it’s time to slow down, keeping the full rig under control is always a concern. However, thanks to the technology onboard the Silverado 3500 HD dually, this is a drama-free experience.
 
“These trucks have an integrated brake controller that I’ve never had before,” Washington explained. “Stepping on the brake, there’s no surge, there’s no jumping, and it just stops and it stops on a dime.”
 
Upon arrival or departure from an event, the truck’s onboard cameras and technology make it easy to navigate with the trailer in the pits and hitch it up when it is time to head for the next event.
 
When cruising down the highway with a full payload, the 3500 HD tames a United Trailer loaded with all the gear necessary to run a national event. It does so using StabiliTrak Electronic Stability Control System with Trailer Sway Control; Tow/Haul Mode; Auto Grade Braking, and optional Digital Variable Steering Assist.

“There are multiple cameras in this truck. I can see every vantage point going down the road from the back of the trailer, to the front of the trailer. When I’m backing up to the trailer, I have a backup camera that puts me right onto the hitch. Hooking it up as a dream,” Washington said. “They’re just a great truck to drive down the road. You don't even know that the trailer is back there. If I didn't have the mirrors and the 15 cameras I can honestly say I wouldn’t even know the trailer is back there.”
 
With several cameras and multiple views, the Silverado 3500 HD enables some features that will make a long tow safer and more relaxing. Its Trailer Length Indicator will display twice the length of a compatible trailer when the turn signal is engaged to ensure changing lanes is safe. Plus, its Jack-Knife Alert tracks trailer position and warns the driver if such an event is imminent. The Rear Trailer View paired with a Trailer-Angle Indicator displays the interrelation between truck and trailer to make backing into your spot even easier. Further easing that experience, is the Rear Side View, which was upgraded to provide its split-screen while in reverse as well. 
 
Even with the trailer parked and the cargo unloaded, the trucks still serve to transfer personnel to and from the track. 
 
“To put on these races, it takes a staff of many with the crew cab dually I can fit five people comfortably and safely in the cabin to put on an arms race that takes a staff of many the 2022 Chevrolet 3500 HD and has room for five and everybody's comfortable,” Washington added. 
 
Of course, before they went into duty, the trucks were upgraded with some aftermarket accessories to improve their functionality, as well as the aforementioned suite of fire and safety equipment. We’ll detail those upgrades in the future, but rest assured these trucks are officially capable of keeping national events on the road and operating at a high level.

For duty at events, NMCA’s two Silverado 3500 HD pickups are upfit with a full complement of fire and safety equipment. They are also adorned with Official Tow Vehicle graphics. We’ll cover the safety and other upgrades performed on these trucks in upcoming issues.

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