With rumors swirling that this might be the last Truckin’ for Kids Show & Drags charity event at Irwindale Speedway in Irwindale, California, folks showed up in record numbers to be a part of the excitement and possibly historic weekend. Although it is true that the track has been sold to foreign investors who would like to tear it down and build something else, no plans to do so have been confirmed yet. In fact, no exact date has been set just yet, but the track has already given a verbal (but still unofficial) commitment for next year’s event, which is great news.
With 335 registered vehicles on the lot, this was the largest turnout in Irwindale ever. Held on September 26-27, this 35th annual charity event once again raised money for the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation (JDRF). As of this writing, the amount raised had not been determined, but we are sure it will be a big number! Featuring a light show, drag racing, vendors and some of the sharpest rigs from the west and beyond, this show is always one big, fun, tailgate party.
With no stock car racing being held at the speedway on Saturday night, participants were allowed to bring in their rigs all day on Saturday, which dang-near filled the lot, before the show even officially started. By the time the gate closed on Saturday evening, over 200 trucks were already parked and ready, which made for one heck of a good light show!
As the truckers parked their rigs and then began their cleaning process on Saturday, we at 10-4 Magazine, along with many other vendors, began setting up our booths and displays. With plenty of magazines and posters to hand out, along with a new t-shirt with a 1980’s retro theme featuring Trevor Hardwick’s “old-school” brown and gold Freightliner cabover, there was plenty going on under our bright red party tent. And, as soon as the sun started to set, we hosted a Mexican-food feast for anyone who was hungry. Needless to say, the good grub went fast!
When we arrived back at the speedway on Sunday morning, we were amazed at how many more trucks had come in – we could hardly drive to our booth, and all of the spots we were trying to save for some rigs near our booth were filled with vendors and other trucks. But hey, we would never complain about having too many trucks and/or vendors, after all, this is a charity event, which raises money for sick kids in need, so the more the merrier!
With unusually-humid conditions and temps in the mid-90s, the weather was pretty “sticky” and miserable for Southern California, which does not usually get a lot of humidity. Because of this weird weather, water was the drink of choice this year (we ran out of water twice and never ran out of beer, which is not typically the case for us at this event).
Driving around the lot in our golf cart, there were a lot of vendors and advertisers to visit with, as well as hundreds of truckers and friends. Some of the notable vendors included Dynaflex, Stay Loaded Apparel, Caliva’s Polishing, A & L Truck Supply, Freight Lockers, Trucker Wives, Big Strappers (selling various styles of cool t-shirts), ATA and Big Rig Polishing.
With well over 300 trucks on the lot, there were plenty of targets for our cameras, but it was also a little bit of sensory-overload for our eyes! Some of the “usual suspects” included Chris Hasty of Jetspeed and his stellar jet-fuel-hauling Peterbilt, the Maggini clan and their infamous yellow and green machines, “Lil Ray” Rodriquez and his award-winning lavender and purple rigs, and JDT’s colorful fleet of slammed Peterbilts.
Some other trucks that were standing out included Gasper & Sons’ long and low (and really clean) blue Peterbilt 389, Arlyn Workman’s classic and still hard-working red and black 359 Pete, and a sweet metallic green and black Peterbilt owned by Defrancesco’s Dairy Transport that we had never seen before. A & L Truck Supply brought out a new show truck – a white Pete 379 standup with blue and red stripes, which featured unique lighting and a bunch of other cool stuff. Our friend and past cover trucker Kris Gaare also brought out his brand new all-black 389 Pete, which was lookin’ mighty tight.
Some folks came from a long way, including Mike Horst and Andrew Good, who both came from Pennsylvania. Ernie Coverdell of Katana (this company was featured in our September 2015 issue) came all the way from Iowa, and our good friends from J.D. Specialized brought out four of their trucks from Tulsa, OK!
Another rig that caught our attention was an older T600 Kenworth that is being built by Frank Alarid for one of our past cover truckers, Richy Ruiz of New Jersey. Frank brought out this amazing silver and gray truck, which turned a lot of heads – and it isn’t even finished yet!
At around noon, the drag racing began. Out on the track, almost 50 registered vehicles, including various pickups and big rigs, dueled it out for the wins. Vic Caliva’s “Pink Thing” made a few impressive runs, as did several custom diesel and gas-powered trucks, blowing black smoke all the way down the strip. Once again, there was a competition featuring junior dragsters, and this year young Haylee Ramos took home the 1st place trophy. In the Big Rig class, Wes Wimmer and his brown Pete 379 finished ahead of David Hernandez, and in the Super Drag Truck class Frank Fierro and his highly-modified blue Pete beat J.R. Nelson in his white KW race truck.
Looking for that one special rig to honor with our Sponsor’s Choice award, we chose Gary Ross and the slick red 389 Peterbilt and curtain van he runs for Joel Olsen Trucking. We must have a good eye, because Gary also ended up getting the coveted “People’s Choice” award, as well. But the big iron went to Phil Miller and his cream and brown Peterbilt and polished livestock trailer. Capping off an incredible year, which included being on our cover (March 2015), Phil took home the Best of Show trophy.
After the show, about 30 of us headed to Chili’s for a great night of food and fun – it was the perfect end to a great weekend. We hope to see you all again (and more) next year. You never know, it might be the last one, and you wouldn’t want to miss that, now, would you?!
‘LIGHT THE LOT’ WINNERS
ANTIQUE: Roger Ghidelli/Maggini & Sons.
BOBTAIL: Frank Alarid/Mikie Boy.
COMBO: Rolando Nava/Primetime
SHOW & SHINE WINNERS
PROFESSIONAL SHOW TRUCK: 1st Chris Hasty/Jetspeed; 2nd Juan Gonzalez/A & L Truck Supply; 3rd Ray Rodriquez/Lil Ray’s Transport.
3-AXLE CONV. 2013-2015: 1st Ernie Coverdell/Katana; 2nd Jesus Perez/Defrancesco’s Dairy Transport; 3rd George Defrancesco/Defrancesco’s Dairy Transport.
3-AXLE CONV. 2010-2012: 1st Allen Taylor/Empire Southwest; 2nd Daniel Flores/AGT; 3rd Garrett Goorsky.
3-AXLE CONV 2005-2009: 1st Chris Hasty/Jetspeed; 2nd Phil Miller/Phil Miller Livestock; 3rd Darrick Divine/RAM Transportation.
3-AXLE CONV 2004-2000: 1st Eric Castro/U.S. Allied Logistics; 2nd Jeremy Smith/RAM Transportation; 3rd Brandon Smith/B & B.
3-AXLE CONV 1991-1999: 1st Juan Gonzalez/A & L Truck Supply; Marciano Sandoval/Lil Ray’s Transport; 3rd Chris Governo/South Side Tow.
2-AXLE CONV 2010-2015: 1st Ronald Lanting/Lanting Hay Co; 2nd Noe Gonzales; 3rd Daniel Flores/AGT.
2-AXLE CONV 2000-2009: 1st Richard Hettinga/Rich’s Hay Connection; 2nd Eddie Orozco; 3rd Scott Sakugawa/Macedo Hay Co.
2-AXLE CONV 1991-1999: 1st Mike Maggini/Maggini & Sons; 2nd Mike Salinas/Salinas Trkg.
CABOVER: 1st Billy Belvin/JBT; 2nd Caleb Hollingshed/Hettinga Trans; 3rd Marty Miles/H & M Express.
WORKING ANTIQUE 1969-1990: 1st Arlyn Workman; 2nd Rob Abbott/Truck Concepts; 3rd Joe Arias/D.J. Arias & Sons.
WORKING ANTIQUE 1946-1968: 1st Mike Green/RV World; 2nd Steven Carbett/American Heavy Moving.
NON-WORKING ANTIQUE: 1st Juan Gonzalez/A & L Truck Supply; 2nd Rob McLeod/Hal Hays Construction; 3rd Roger Ghidelli/Maggini & Sons.
LOCAL DELIVERY: 1st James Davis/JDT; 2nd James Amell/Green Thumb Produce; 3rd Colton Pounds/Central Valley Transport.
DUMP TRUCK: 1st Miro Dragich/Quality Materials Transport; 2nd Walter Baro/Baro’s; 3rd Alberto Rubalcava/Blue Diamond.
SERVICE TRUCKS: 1st John Murray/M & J Transportation; 2nd Mike Fletcher/Fletcher’s Diesel; 3rd David Castro/Richard’s Tire Service.
SPECIALTY: 1st Steve Carbett/American Heavy Moving; 2nd Pete Lora/Pete’s Auto; 3rd Joe Arias/D.J. Arias & Sons.
HOBBY TRUCK: 1st Travis Vermeer/S & C Services; 2nd Todd Lemke; 3rd Mark Tarascou/Tarascou Trucking.
ROCKWOOD INTERIOR: 1st Chris Hasty/Jetspeed; 2nd Phil Miller/Phil Miller Livestock; 3rd James Davis/JDT.
SMALL FLEET: 1st Hettinga Trans; 2nd JDT; 3rd Defrancesco’s Dairy Transport.
LARGE FLEET: 1st Nestle/Arrowhead; 2nd Oldenkamp Trucking.
SPECIALTY TRAILER: 1st Phil Miller/Phil Miller Livestock; 2nd Steve Hettinga/Hettinga Trans; 3rd Daniel Flores/AGT.
FLATBED: 1st Mike Maggini/Maggini & Sons; 2nd Marciano Sandoval/Lil Ray’s Transport; 3rd James Davis/JDT.
HEAVY HAUL: 1st Steve Hettinga/Hettinga Trans; Carlos Castillo/C.G. Castillo Transport; 3rd Vincent Jenkins/After Midnight Trucking.
END DUMP: 1st Ray Valenzuela/Valenzuela Trucking; 2nd Imer Baro/Baro’s; 3rd Justin Grantham/KLM Engineering.
TRANSFER DUMPS: 1st Sean Westover/R.W. Burkett Trucking; 2nd Mike Green/RV World; 3rd Miro Dragich/Quality Materials Transport.
TANKER – STAINLESS: 1st Oriel Paramo/Double E Trucking; 2nd Jake Defrancesco/Defrancesco’s Dairy Transport; 3rd Mike Salcedo/Arrowhead.
TANKER – ALUMINUM: 1st Chris Hasty/Jetspeed; 2nd Jimmy Rickart/Goetz Trucking; 3rd Jake Defrancesco/Defrancesco’s Dairy Transport.
OVER-THE-ROAD: 1st Phil Miller/Phil Miller Livestock; 2nd Mike Horst; 3rd Ernie Coverdell/Katana.
DRAG RACING WINNERS
JUNIOR DRAGSTERS: 1st Haylee Ramos; 2nd Tyler Smith.
PICKUPS WITH STREET TIRES: 1st Danny Marquez.
PICKUPS WITH SLICKS: 1st Edgar Reyes; 2nd Joe Portillo.
DIESEL PU’S: 1st Dan Grant; 2nd Troy Horry.
BIG RIGS: 1st Wes Wimmer; 2nd David Hernandez.
SUPER DRAG TRUCKS: 1st Frank Fierro; 2nd J.R Nelson.
QUICKEST TRUCK: Frank Fierro.
QUICKEST PICKUP: Edgar Reyes.
BEST PAINT: Frank Alarid/Mikie Boy.
BEST ENGINE: Chris Hasty/Jetspeed.
BEST INTERIOR: Mike Horst.
BEST SLEEPER: Long Haul Trucking.
LONGEST TOW: Andrew Good/Lanita (PA)
SPONSOR’S CHOICE: Gary Ross/Joel Olsen.
KING OF THE HILL: American Heavy Haul.
BEST FREIGHTLINER: Arrowhead.
BEST KENWORTH: Charlie Tadema.
BEST PETERBILT: John Gardner.
BEST INTERNATIONAL: Golden State Foods.
BEST SHINE: American Hay & Merchantile.
PEOPLE’S CHOICE: Gary Ross/Joel Olsen.
BEST OF SHOW: Phil Miller/Phil Miller Livestock.