With everything from drag racing to sled pulling, the Scheid Diesel Extravaganza has just about everything a gearhead could want, but for those participating in the two-day event, it’s all about hanging out with folks they consider family.

Pulling for 'family'

Tribune-Star/Austen LeakeReady to pull: Brad Deeter stands by his Super Stock Diesel 4x4 in the Terre Haute Action Track infield at the Scheid Diesel Extravaganza at the Wabash Valley Fairgrounds on Friday afternoon.

Brad Deeter, owner of Oversize Load and a driver in the Lucas Oil Pro Pulling League’s Super Stock Diesel 4x4 class, loves his truck, loves the sound of his 3,000-plus horsepower machine screaming down the dirt track.

But if weren’t for the other drivers and the competitive, but friendly, atmosphere they’ve created, he wouldn’t likely love it nearly as much.

“The people here are the best,” Deeter said. “My fellow competitors, the people in my class, they make it fun to come out here and do this.

“I liked what I saw on Facebook earlier this week about us being a ‘pulling family.’ And the more I thought about it, they really are, they’re my summertime family. We all probably spend more time with each other over the summer than we do with our actual families.”

So far as how Scheid’s Terre Haute extravaganza stacks up to the rest of the circuit, Deeter, now 11 years into his professional career, said it’s one of the highlights of his year.

Pulling for 'family'

Tribune-Star/Austen LeakeSomething for everyone: Shelby Koch, owner and operator of The Black Cow, is one of several local vendors selling products at the Scheid Diesel Extravaganza at the Wabash Valley Fairgrounds on Friday afternoon.

“This is by far one of the biggest and best events we go to every year,” Deeter said. “We get to see a lot of places and not very many of them can draw the crowds this place does.”

Just around the track from where Deeter’s truck was staged, Jess McDaniel loitered with friends at the extravaganza’s Show-N-Shine truck show.

McDaniel was especially proud of her 2012 Ram 2500 Laramie Limited pickup, complete with 800-plus horsepower, 5463 turbo, Suncoast transmission and 200 horsepower fuel injector set, among other powertrain and cosmetic accoutrement.

“It’s pretty, and pretty fast,” McDaniel said with a smirk. “And I just got new wheels and tires in July to add some purple rims. I just wanted to try something different and it looks way better.”

But more than anything, McDaniel said, she likes hanging out with others from around the country who take pride in their trucks.

Pulling for 'family'

Tribune-Star/Austen LeakeDecorated: Brad Deeter, who has competed in competitions all over the professional circuit, says the Scheid Diesel Extravaganza is one of the best events he competes in all year.

“It’s a lot of fun to get together with all these people, talk about each other’s truck and meet new friends,” McDaniel said. “People come from all over for a show like this and I’ve made a lot of new friends doing it.

“Not many people in Terre Haute have trucks this excessive.”

And when she’s not showing off her truck, McDaniel and her friend Demi Gassaway said Scheid has set up its extravaganza in such a way that each part of the event is easy to get to and enjoy.

“When you go to something like the 4-Wheel Jamboree or some other show like that they’ll have the monster trucks or the show and shine and stuff like that but it’s not sanctioned events,” said Gassaway of Columbus, Indiana.

“But you come to Scheid and you have the Show-N-Shine in its area, the sleds in theirs, the drag trucks down the way, but it’s all set up in a way that you can go and enjoy what you like without it being a big confusing cluster.”

Scheid Diesel Extravaganza concludes today with gates at the Wabash Valley Fairgrounds opening at 8 a.m. Tickets to today’s events are $40 with kids 12 and under admitted for free.

Reporter Alex Modesitt can be reached at 812-231-4232 or at alex.modesitt@tribstar.com. Follow him on Twitter @TribStarAlex.

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