As the sun rose over the peaceful rural town of Great Meadows, New Jersey, things were about to get loud on a typically-quiet Sunday morning in June for the 2nd Annual “Spooling Up” truck drags and show. Flashing back a week, the event was supposed to be held on May 31, but with rain in the forecast, it was postponed to June 7, which turned out to be definitely for the better.
Island Dragway, yet again, was the location for the event, which was presented by SuperShowRigs.com. This year, Elizabeth Truck Center also came on-board as a major sponsor for the event, which was awesome. This show was the 4th event that I’ve put together with the Island Dragway crew, and it was one for the record books, for sure.
As the morning progressed, the trucks lined up down Island Road, waiting for the gates to open. Once they did, the trucks and spectators poured in all day. A major “thank you” goes out to the parking staff, as well as Bob Abbot, who found good, trustworthy helpers. The steady flow of spectators and participants was controlled and organized, and, by the afternoon, there were over 200 trucks on the track grounds and the show was trucking along on all cylinders.
Once everyone got parked and the racers got tech inspected, the racing began. Diesel pickups and big rigs lined the staging lanes of the track, ready to race. While the racers were getting ready, the trucks in the pits in the “Show and Shine” were polished and waxed to perfection, allowing everyone walking around to enjoy them. And, if you wanted to get away from the racing and noise, there were several vendors on the grounds, selling everything from t-shirts, tools and diesel additives, to chrome, LED lights and custom stereo equipment.
Walking through the show area you could see trucks of all types and ages. Some of the standouts included Chris Osborne’s brand new 2015 Kenworth W900L tri-axle dump truck, as well as several trucks from the H&S Enterprises’ fleet and Hackettstown Oil, which were all lookin’ good. Matt Rossi of A&D Transport had both of his Peterbilts and his fully-custom Ford pickup (called “Money Shot”), which also took Best of Show in the Pickup classes. Show sponsor Ken Nagy Jr. Trucking brought out most of his fleet of clean, working, Mack dump trucks, as well as his heavy-haul Superliner. Also, Abreu Truck Services brought their Scania race trucks, too, for a taste of the European-style rigs.
The diesel-powered pickup scene was also well-represented at the show. Walking through the pickup area there was everything from brand new Fords, Chevys and Dodges, along with many older ones, all shined up to show and ready to roll some smoke down the track. This included some first-generation Dodge Rams, such as the clean orange dump truck owned by SMY Landscape Services, to the newer trucks, such as George Weiss’ bad ass 900 hp daily driver Dodge Ram.
The action on the track is where the fun went to the next level. The day began with an open test and tune, where anyone who wished to go out and make passes down the track for fun, could. Unfortunately, due to a mechanical failure of one of the big rigs, the track was oiled down early and there was a lengthy intermission in the racing. Once the track was cleaned, the racing began again.
The test and tune session ended with the Quick Pass Shootout, which is to see who has the fastest truck for just one single pass, and win a trophy. Rich Reddick in his crazy-fast Kenworth W900L won the trophy in the big rig class, while Michael Corsilli and his dark blue Ford F350 took home the trophy in the pickup class, narrowly beating George Weiss by a few thousandths of a second.
The most important part of the day for everyone came next – the bracket racing for the money. The big rig class had a $1,000 cash purse for the winner, while the pickups had a $500 purse (the runner-ups also walked away with some winnings, as well).
After all of the time trials were held and the drivers chose their dial-in times, the races began. When it was all said and done, Cory Cornell walked away with the $1,000 purse for winning the big rig brackets, while David Currais of Abreu Services was the runner-up. The pickup bracket class was interesting, as Brett Olsen took home the $500 purse and his brother, Keith Olsen, took the runner-up position. For those willing to open up their wallets, the big rig class offered an additional buy-in “High Roller” bracket race. This race required drivers to buy their way into the event, and that money was totaled together for the purse. Yet again, Cory Cornell in his yellow Peterbilt 379 won, while 17-year-old Michael Fratesi Jr. took home the runner-up position, in yet another Peterbilt.
As the day slowly came to an end, a huge “thank you” needed to be given to many of the show sponsors. And even though the event needed to be postponed due to the weather, it was still extremely successful. The following companies deserve recognition for helping out: Elizabeth Truck Center, Hogebuilt, Ken Nagy Jr. Trucking, Abreu Truck Services, Hot Rig Apparel, Legend Warehouse and Trucking, A.H. Cornell and Sons Trucking, The Weld Shop, NJDRP, Flemington Masonry Supply, Horns Outdoor Center, and Victory Gardens, Inc.
I also want to say “thanks” to everyone who came out to the event and helped get the word out. I sincerely hope that this show will continue to grow each and every year. I would like to extend a “thank you” to my personal staff including Danielle, Padraig, Peggy, Bob and his crew, Aaron, Brenda, Kayla and Kaitlyn, Doug and Chapa. Also, to the Island Dragway staff, and, of course, the biggest “thank you” goes out to Melissa Milano, the track’s general manager.
With over 200 trucks and almost 1,000 spectators, this spring show was a huge success – and the biggest event at Island Dragway, so far. But, with that said, be ready for the fall event – the 3rd Annual “Shine & Smoke” show, on Saturday, September 26, 2015 at Island Dragway. If anyone would be interested in being a sponsor or a vendor, or would like more information, contact me at SuperShowRigs@yahoo.com. I hope to see everyone at the fall show. Stay tuned to the SuperShowRigs website (www.supershowrigs.com) and Facebook page for any and all upcoming details.
SHOW & SHINE WINNERS
PICKUP: Matt Rossi
DAYCAB: Seahorse Trans. (Jeff Benvenuto)
SLEEPER: AD Transport (Doug Howell)
TRI-AXLE: BDS Trucking (Billy Suchoski)
TOW TRUCK: Superior Towing
STRAIGHT TRUCK: Hackettstown Oil
ANTIQUE TRUCK: Brent Mayer
SPECIALTY TRUCK: A.H. Cornell Trucking
BEST FLEET: H&S Enterprises
DRAG RACING WINNERS
BIG RIG BRACKET: Winner: Cory Cornell; Runner Up: David Currais.
PICKUP BRACKET: Winner: Brett Olsen; Runner Up: Keith Olsen.
BIG RIG SHOOTOUT: 1st Rich Reddick; 2nd Jason Faber; 3rd Brian Blair.
PICKUP SHOOTOUT: 1st Michael Corsilli; 2nd George Weiss; 3rd Martin Marquess.