The World’s Fastest Jet Trucks: 60,000 Horsepower of Pure Power

Only one word can accurately describe the spectacle of two wondrously powerful jet trucks facing off against each other at the same time on a drag strip: badass. Just to be in the presence of the two extreme machines is an experience that makes even the rowdiest of rock concerts look tame, with plenty of thunderous noise and pyrotechnics to go along with the show. Back in August of 2013 just such an event was held as part of the International Hot Rod Association Northern Nitro Jam in Martin, Michigan. The annual gathering usually sees some extreme vehicles show up, but the spectacle of the jet trucks squaring off against each other was so unique, it definitely stole the show.


The race was staged at the 131 drag strip, supposedly the fastest drag strip in the entire state. That fact alone contributed to the promise of an event that was not to be missed, because it no doubt would be packed with plenty of excitement, creating long-lasting memories for everyone in attendance. It’s not every day that jet truck racers actually compete side-by-side, making the race that much more unusual.

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In normal circumstances, such a competition would be set up so the jet-powered vehicles would make quarter mile runs one at a time. While it’s fun and interesting to watch one jet truck make an ultra-fast run on a track, it is more than twice as interesting to watch two go up against each other simultaneously. In fact, two jet trucks have raced next to each other in only under a dozen occasions, making the showdown in Michigan actually considerably rare. The combined output of the two jet trucks launching off the line is actually enough to technically be classified as an earthquake in the immediate area.

Neal Darnell piloted the first of the jet-powered trucks, named Shockwave. Having considerable experience driving drag racers with jet engines, Darnell also sets up racing events and has driven jet trucks at airshows for well over ten years. Darnell even set an Airshow Speed Record at 375 mph while attending an event that was held at Tyndall AFB in the state of Florida. That record is still standing today, even though it was set back in 2005, demonstrating just how impressive of an accomplishment it is.
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  • guth

    What a waste of natural resources!!!

    • Timothy

      You sir are obviously not a fan of drag racing!!!

      • Terry Phillips

        I was just thinking there must be a liberal some where losing their mind. Lol.

    • SamJS

      Which natural resource would that be that he’s wasting? What use do you have for the fuel he’s using?

    • http://facebook david

      since when is jet fuel a natural resource???

    • RTJ

      You are so right. So why did you post this?

    • ken

      I bet these things are a bitch to get past emissions at mvd.

  • William

    Just to be clear, this is an 1/8 mile track. They will reach 200+ MPH at a 1/4 mile track.

  • mac

    I used to have a Pinto that looked just like that from the backside !!!

  • Bob simpson

    Old stuff for me. I used to work on aircraft. “Trimming” all eight engines to Max performance on a B52 is an awesome experience, nothing like it. Very difficult to remain composed and focused due to noise and vibration.

  • http://google Mark

    I love drags, always have. Now i am older and see total waste in the sport. The money spent on such things, especially fuel consumption is pathetic in the world today. The spent on race night alone would feed and clothe homeless children who could really use it. Not to mention the 300,000 to build it would help the desperate. stick to old schoole mussle, not as a personal preference, but to give instead of take for the glory of a trophy..This is not drag racing. This is see me, seeeeee meeeeee…See what I can do. All testoserone at its finest while we starve. and freeze. Stupid in my opinion..

  • mb

    i’m assuming they needed to resurface the tarmac at the start line 😀

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