Drag racing has always been a fairly consistent procedure… line up two vehicles side by side, drop the hammer, and the first one across the finish line in either 1/4 or 1/8 of a mile gets a big cardboard check. Our neighbors to the north have been hosting a drag racing event for the past 12 years that adds two extreme twists to the mix.
The “Truck Pulling and Acceleration Competition” was held over Labor Day weekend in the small town of St. Joseph de Beauce in Quebec, Canada. Normally, only about 3,500 folks call this picturesque village home, but during this weekend the population swells to nearly 40,000 racers and fans. Close to 60 of the baddest trucks in Canada converge on the town, hitch up to a 53′ box trailer held down by a payload of 40,000 lbs., and race side-by-side up a 9% grade for 900 feet. In the top dog “A” loaded class, speeds at the top end are knocking on 50 mph, and this year, one truck set a track record of 91 ticks.
Benoit Gagne has been the organizer and race master of this event beginning in 2004, when he was approached by the town with an idea to help put them on the map of extreme truck racing. Benoit is a lifetime resident of the town who owns a local excavation company with a reputation of getting the job done on-time and with top-notch quality. Together with his team, Benoit consistently puts on an impressive action-packed show that wows the fans year after year.
And, if the racing wasn’t enough to fill your truck thirst, Saturday evening featured a parade of 400 trucks, loaded with drivers and family, soaking up the limelight offered by thousands of folks lining the parade route. This year, it took over three hours for the stream to make it through town.
Organizing a great race is one thing, but helping out others is a hallmark of this event, and as of 2014, over $650,000 has been raised and donated to various local charities. Sad news is that the 2015 event is already in the books – the good news is that you have nearly a year to get your passport in order and make arrangements to head north to check out the action for yourself. If you have a bad ass rig, Benoit says, “the more the merrier” and you will be welcome to throw down with Canada’s best. For more details, photos and videos, visit www.bigrigdragracing.com. Thanks to Benoit and his entire posse for all of their hospitality for this and many past years.
#1 – How’s this for some torque and twist? Maxime Lapointe’s Kenworth gets a bit of Michael Jordan hang time jumping ahead of Simon Chaunt’s truck. Maxime was the class “B” bobtail winner.
#2 – As one might expect, when you play this hard, the weakest link is quickly exposed… and destroyed.
#3 – Don’t for a second let the single stack of Sylvian Noel’s KW fool ya, he won the class “A” loaded and bobtail competition. Noel also set a new track bobtail speed record of 91 mph. Congrats Noel!
#4 – A view of the huge crowd through Jacque’s windshield.
#5 – Jacque LaFleur’s nice Detroit-powered Western Star heads up to the finish line.
#6 – Participants in this double wheelstand are Eric Laurendeau on the left squaring off against the “Big Bull Attack” Western Star owned by Dave Benoit on the right.
#7 – The local architecture of St. Joseph de Beauce provides a beautiful backdrop.
#8 – A view from the top, above the finish line, as a truck rapidly approaches.
#9 – Jean-Luc Bosse’s customized red KW stretches for the finish line.