Mike Ryan and his Freightliner Cascadia. Race Truck Domination.
Updated September 20, 2012
In the United States we as car guys, drivers, and Gearheads understand that there are many forms and styles of racing. There’s NASCAR, the GRC (Global Rally Championship), there’s Sprint Cup Races, and there’s even Bar Stool racing. (Don’t ask.) But what of the other styles of extreme driving? What of those people who dare to push the envelope way past the point of tearing, so much so that they have simply obliterated it all together. Well there’s one man named Mike Ryan, and he owns a truck that has pushed that same envelope past the point of no return.
Mike Ryan is a driver of extreme dimensions, and that’s putting it lightly. His racing career began oddly enough as a stunt man at the young age of 18, under the tutelage of some well known Southern Stunt Drivers, and coordinators. As the years passed by Mike literally got bored with crashing, and flipping cars, and found his way into trucks, and when I say “trucks”, I mean Big Rig trucks. He took his all natural talent and passion for extreme driving into the world of racing. Soon his ideals were that of a man possessed with making a truck basically out perform a car on the race track. We all this is physically impossible, but physics didn’t stop Mike. His unrelenting motivation pushed him to not only race trucks in Europe where the sport is legal, and sanctioned, but also help find his way to the world famous Pikes Peak Hill Climb, and of course he did it in a truck. His custom built Freightliner race truck that is.
Mike’s race truck has carried him to many victories during his career, and for good reason. His Freightliner Cascadia is set up for pure domination of any road it sits on. The Freightliner has a one-off lightened steering system, non-split, single rear axle, a Detroit Diesel Series 60 engine that cranks out a massive 1,995hp. Combine that with a custom short throw shifter, that’s linked to one of a kind ultra custom, bullet proof six(6) speed sequential transmission, and your torque numbers automatically grow to the range of 3400+ foot pounds of tire shredding, dirt spitting torque. Mike’s reputation had preceded him, and allowed for a deal to be struck with Michelin, and they have become his sole providers of all of his custom Michelin X-1 racing tires. Mike Ryan has been setting records in this rig for quite a few years now and he really has no plans of stopping. Besides multiple records set, and held at Pikes Peak, Mount Washington, and the Land’s End Hill Climbs, Mike has pushed this 9,995pd beast to speeds upward of 225mph, at the Bonneville Salt Flats.
Mike Ryan drives his Freightliner Cascadia as if his life depended on it. Few drivers like Ken Block, and Tanner Foust can match his prowess behind the wheel, but yet not quite clinch his overall driving mentality. In recent months, as a promotional stunt Mike took his Cascadia to an area much like Ken Block did for his first Gymkhana, and showed the world how to drift a Big Rig Truck, and make it look effortless. After the video completed, it was then uploaded to Youtube where since it has received over 3000 views in just a few months. To this date, no one has stepped up to challenge Mike in a true Drift Truck race. It takes someone with balls the size of southern grown watermelons to do what he does for a living. Or it just takes someone who has taken his passion for everything that is driving, and or racing to put it to good use, and then make a serious living out of it.
Categories: Gear Grinding