It’s been said if you don’t like the weather in Illinois, just wait five minutes. Well, on a recent trip to the Top Gun Largecar Shootout in Rantoul, Illinois, we found out first-hand that there is a lot truth in that old saying. With ever-changing weather conditions all weekend, we never knew what to expect – but that did not keep us (or anyone else) from having a great time.
Held on July 25-27 at the Rantoul National Aviation Center, which is part small airport and part decommissioned giant air force base, there is always plenty of room to stretch out in Rantoul. With ample amounts of concrete tarmac it was easy for everyone to get around in their cars and golf carts, yet the trucks were all parked neatly on the grass around the edges, which makes for nice pictures (and even nicer tailgating). And with great food, live music, a DJ, a beer garden, a Parade of Lights through town, a kiddie pedal-car pull, and a hot rod and classic car show, there was plenty to see and do all weekend.
Friday was basically a setup day – a day for vendors to get their displays up and truckers to get their rigs parked and cleaned. Setting up our booth next to our friends Fernando and Edgar of Stay Loaded Apparel, we had a great spot in the grass. Nearby were some of our other friends and vendors, including Mike from RoadWorks, Josh of Lincoln Chrome (along with a surprise visit from our old friend Darren Parker who left Lincoln a few months back), Cory from Dynaflex, and John from Bad Ass Customs. It is always fun when we get to hang out with our old friends like Josh Rietveld (thanks for bringing the cooler), Cy King, Mickey & Tyler Gwillim, Jed DeBardeleben, Jason Schmidt and Steve Moss, but we also made new friends, too, including Holly at Country Supply and Amber Furry, who is currently rebuilding her dad’s old Peterbilt 359 – and we can’t wait to see how it turns out when she is finished with it!
Friday’s weather was pretty nice all day, but Saturday was a different story. With big storms predicted to roll in sometime after noon, the skies did not look good for most of the day. Although it came in later than expected, at around 4:00 p.m. the DJ announced that 60 mph winds, hail and lightening was about 20 minutes away. On that note, many folks called it a day and headed out, but not us. Strapping our pop-ups to our golf carts so they wouldn’t blow away and then parking trailers in front and behind them to help block the wind, about 16 of us hunkered down and rode it out. It wasn’t so bad – we had a radio and a cooler! And after about 30 exciting minutes of wind and rain, the clouds went away and the sun came out for a brief time before it got dark.
After leaving the show, a group of us went to the Hickory River Smokehouse in Urbana for some authentic Texas BBQ – and it was pretty dang good! We ate ribs, brisket, pulled pork, beans, cornbread, smoked chicken wings and bunch more! After that, it was time to crash.
Sunday morning had patchy clouds and some sun, but boy was it humid! After the awards were passed out, everyone fired up their rigs and began rolling out, while the remaining vendors (us and Stay Loaded) tore down our displays.
There were some really incredible rigs at this show, and many of them received the trophies to prove it. One of our favorites, which took home two 1st place awards and Best of Show in the Limited Mileage Bobtail class, was a silver and orange 1977 Kenworth A-Model owned by Scott McDaniel that was recently-restored by Pickett Custom Trucks. Another truck that did very well was our current cover truck, owned by Ken & Barb Fisher. Their mocha pearl and green Pete and matching flatbed also earned two 1st place trophies and Best of Show in the Working Combo class. Other big winners included Corey McCord and his cream and orange 2007 Pete (two 1st place trophies and Best of Show in the Working Bobtail class), Sandy Herman and her 1977 black Kenworth W900A and hopper trailer (Best of Show Limited Mileage Combo), and Troy & Lisa Pentland and their red 1990 Peterbilt with suicide doors (People’s Choice).
Some other noteworthy rigs included Steve Moss’ gray and maroon 2013 Pete 389 glider kit combo, Paul Rissler’s green and white Pete and matching polished reefer, Tyler Gwillim’s red 1970 “little window” Pete, Craig Betcher’s dark blue and white 1965 Pete 351A, Clay Snider’s red and cream T600, and Craig DeReu’s red and cream W900 KW and Wilson livestock trailer.
We would like to thank Tom & DaVeda Reitz, along with their entire crew, for putting together such a great show. It seems to get better every year – regardless of the weird weather. If you missed it this year, we hope to see you in 2015! And the winners for the 2014 show were:
BOBTAIL (2008-2015): 1st Chad Henson, Sadorus, IL – 2013 Peterbilt 384; 2nd Herbie Jenkins, Rantoul, IL – 2014 Peterbilt 389.
BOBTAIL (2007): 1st Corey McCord, Anderson, IN – 2007 Peterbilt 379; 2nd (tie) Matt McCord, Alexandria, IN – 2007 Peterbilt 379 AND David Marti, Forrest, IL – 2007 Peterbilt 379; 3rd Greg Shephard, Shelbyvile, IN – 2007 Peterbilt 379.
BOBTAIL (2000-2006): 1st Jason Markley, Farina, IL – 2001 Peterbilt 379; 2nd Colt Vickery, Golconda, IL – 2003 Peterbilt 379; 3rd Roger Coers, Elizabethtown, IN – 2006 Peterbilt 379.
BOBTAIL (1996-1999): 1st Randy & Missy Victory, Keiser, AR – 1999 Peterbilt 379; 2nd Scott Lynch, Witt, IL – 1998 Mack CH 613; 3rd Keith Inks, Mishawaka, IN – 1999 Kenworth W900L.
BOBTAIL (1980-1995): 1st Troy Huddleston, Yale, IL – 1991 Freightliner Classic; 2nd Troy and Lisa Pentland, Indianapolis, IN – 1990 Peterbilt 379; 3rd Jason Grove, Sr., Manteno, IL – 1984 Peterbilt.
BOBTAIL (1970-1979): 1st Tyler Gwillim, Carlinville, IL – 1970 Peterbilt 359; 2nd Gary Greer, Barnhart, MO – 1974 Kenworth W900.
BOBTAIL (LIMITED MILES): 1st Scott McDaniel, Terre Haute, IN – 1977 Kenworth W900A; 2nd Craig Betcher, Annawan, IL – 1965 Peterbilt 351A; 3rd Gerry Davis, Glenarm, IL – 1982 Peterbilt 359.
COMBO (2013): 1st Scott Shipp, Omaha, IL – 2013 Peterbilt 389 & 2008 Wilson Hopper; 2nd Frank Simpson, Owensville, IN – 2013 Peterbilt 389 & 2013 Wilson Step-deck; 3rd Chad Rust, Loda, IL – 2013 Peterbilt 379 & 2014 Polar.
COMBO (2008-2011): 1st Brian Dabney, Minier, IL – 2010 Kenworth W900L & 2005 Mac Dump; 2nd Dustin Bridge, Emden, IL – 2011 Kenworth T800 & 2014 Western Belt; 3rd Craig DeReu, Annawan, IL – 2009 Kenworth W900 & 2013 Wilson Livestock.
COMBO (2006-2007): 1st Clay Snider, Queen City, MO – 2007 Kenworth T600 & 2012 Western Flat Curtainside; 2nd Jeff Peterson, Wenona, IL – 2007 Kenworth W900 & 2006 Fontaine Flatbed; 3rd Butch Riedeman, Greensburg, IN – 2007 Peterbilt 379 & 2011 Timpte Hopper.
COMBO (2005): 1st Rick Wann, Farina, IL – 2005 Peterbilt 379 & 2006 Reitnouer Big Bubba; 2nd Josh Kopmann, Gifford, IL – 2005 Peterbilt 379 & 2014 Timpte Hopper; 3rd Luke Hesterbert, Rankin, IL – 2005 Peterbilt 379 & 2014 Timpte Hopper.
COMBO (2002-2004): 1st Steve Vermillion, Gifford, IL – 2002 Peterbilt & 2014 Timpte Hopper; 2nd Mark Keeney, VanBuren, MO – 2004 Peterbilt 379 & 2006 Fontaine Flat; 3rd Doug Bishop, Toulon, IL – 2004 Kenworth W900 & 2005 Ravens Flatbed.
COMBO (2000-2001): 1st Jason Schmidt, Colgate, WI – 2001 Peterbilt 379 & 2012 Reitnouer Flat Curtainside; 2nd Joe Sanders, Kingman, IN – 2000 Peterbilt 379 & 2013 Polar Tank; 3rd Larry Sanders & Brandon Poole, Kingman, IN – 2001 Peterbilt 362 & 2014 Timpte Hopper.
COMBO (1997-1999): 1st Kenneth Fisher, Muscoda, WI – 1997 Peterbilt 379 & 2007 East Flatbed; 2nd Hayden Eady, Danville, AL – 1999 Kenworth W900 & 1995 Featherlite; 3rd Dave Wood, Kankakee, IL – 1998 Peterbilt 379 & 2000 Kentucky Drop Van.
COMBO (1970-1996): 1st Paul Rissler, California, MO – 1996 Peterbilt 379 & 2008 Great Dane Reefer; 2nd John & Kerry Dunnigan, Bloomsdale, MO – 1994 Kenworth W900L & 2013 Mac Flatbed; 3rd Mark Marcotte, Grant Park, IL – 1995 Peterbilt 379 & 2010 Timpte Hopper.
COMBO (LIMITED MILES): 1st Sandy Herman, Hoopeston, IL – 1977 Kenworth W900A & 1983 Chamberlin Hopper; 2nd Chris Henderson, Toulon, IL – 1977 Peterbilt 379 & 1992 Great Dane Dry Van; 3nd Aaron Huls, Hoopeston, IL – 1983 Kenworth K100C & 1983 Wilson Cattle.
LIGHTS (BOBTAIL): 1st David Marti, Forrest, IL – 2007 Peterbilt 379; 2nd Troy Huddleston, Yale, IL – 1991 Freightliner Classic; 3rd Randy & Missy Victory, Keiser, AR – 1999 Peterbilt 379.
LIGHTS (COMBO): 1st Kenneth Fisher, Muscoda, WI – 1997 Peterbilt 379 & 2007 East Flatbed; 2nd Brian Dabney, Minier, IL – 2010 Kenworth W900L & 2005 Mac Dump; 3rd Josh Kopmann, Gifford, IL – 2005 Peterbilt 379 & 2014 Timpte Hopper.
INTERIOR (BOBTAIL): 1st Corey McCord, Anderson, IN – 2007 Peterbilt 379; 2nd Matt McCord, Alexandria, IN – 2007 Peterbilt 379; 3rd David Marti, Forrest, IL – 2007 Peterbilt 379.
INTERIOR (COMBO): 1st Jason Schmidt, Colgate, WI – 2001 Peterbilt 379 & 2012 Reitnouer Flat Curtainside; 2nd Brian Dabney, Minier, IL – 2010 Kenworth W900 & 2005 Mac Dump; 3rd Paul Rissler, California, MO – 1996 Peterbilt 379 & 2008 Great Dane Reefer.
INTERIOR (LIMITED MILES): 1st Scott McDaniel, Terre Haute, IN – 1977 Kenworth W900A.
BEST FLEET: 1st Marcotte Farms, Momence, IL; 2nd Herman Trucking, Hoopeston, IL;
3rd Ard Farms.
TRUCKS CHOSEN FOR EVENT SHIRTS: Larry Sanders & Brandon Poole, Martin Farms, Kingman, IN – 2001 Peterbilt 379 & 2014 Timpte AND Steve Moss & Jack Moss, Colgate, WI – 2013 Peterbilt 389 & 2009 Reitnouer.
BEST OF SHOW (LIMITED MILES BOBTAIL): Scott McDaniel, Terre Haute, IN – 1977 Silver and Orange Kenworth W900A.
BEST OF SHOW (LIMITED MILES COMBO): Sandy Herman, Hoopeston, IL – 1977 Black Kenworth W900A & 1983 Chamberlin Hopper.
BEST OF SHOW (BOBTAIL): Corey McCord, Anderson, IN – 2007 Orange and Cream Peterbilt 379.
BEST OF SHOW (COMBO): Kenneth & Barb Fisher, Muscoda, WI – 1997 Mocha Pearl and Green Peterbilt 379 & 2007 East Flatbed.
PEOPLE’S CHOICE: Troy & Lisa Pentland, Indianapolis, IN – 1990 Red Peterbilt 379.