There are lots of different Land Speed Record categories, and each year one or two of them fall to new challengers.
So it's not surprising that new records for production diesel and biodiesel trucks were set this weekend at the Bonneville Salt Flats in Utah.
What is surprising is the vehicle that was used: a relatively stock 2011 Ford F-250 SuperDuty pickup truck, and the speeds it reached: 171 mph on standard diesel fuel, and 182 mph on soy-based B20 biodiesel.
Frankly, the very idea of traveling 180 mph in any more-or-less stock pickup truck--especially one as large as an F-250 SuperDuty, which has the aerodynamics of a small community hospital--fills us with awe.
2011 Ford F-250 SuperDuty pickup truck Land Speed Record contender, Bonneville Salt Flats, Utah
The truck was mostly stock, with a modified fuel pump to increase the fuel flow, and changes to the 6.7-liter PowerStroke V-8 diesel engine's compression ratio, fuel injectors, and turbochargers.
A full roll cage and five-point safety harness were also fitted, and we'd guess that the truck was also lowered. An air deflector can be seen below the bumper in the photos.
The records were broken by the Hajek Motorsports team; owner Brent Hajek is an Oklahoma corn and soybean farmer. The team worked with engineers from Ford Motor Co. to modify the truck for its record run.