With burnouts on the drag strip and a charity BBQ dinner featuring smoked meats, the 2019 Truckin’ For Kids Show & Drags was a real smokeshow. This “hot” event was once again held at Irwindale Speedway in Irwindale, CA on September 28-29, and featured truck drag races, a truck beauty competition, industry vendors, food and fun – like it has for the past 39 years. Raising hundreds of thousands of dollars for children’s charities (this year’s main beneficiary was the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation), this event has been a Southern California staple for nearly four decades, and it is always, “A good time for a great cause!”
Preparing for our annual charity dinner on Saturday night, we got an early start that morning setting up our booth and the smoker. It was a cool and gloomy day, with temps in the upper 60s, and there were even a few sprinkles here and there throughout the day. With help from Vince Jenkins and his buddy Chongo, along with my longtime friend Glenn Cassity and John Testa, we lit the fire in the smokers and cooked all day. Special thanks to Vic Caliva who, like in previous years, donated all the meat, and Cheryl and Paul Pangburn, who brought out the second cooker.
Dinner was served at about 6:30 on Saturday evening to about 200 people who paid $10 (or more) for a plate with a pulled pork sandwich, tri-tip, baked beans with bacon and brisket, mac and cheese, green beans with sautéed onions, tomatoes and bacon, and a cold drink. Special thanks go out to the servers including Jean, Shannon, Eric Hill, Tony, Emily, Rick and Terri Nay and Julia Hull. Also, a big “thank you” to our official runner, James Davis, who ran dishes of finished food from the BBQ to the servers. Raising a record $2,100, this money was donated to TFK who in turn donated it to the Lamanna High School Spartans football team in their hometown of Priest River, ID. Thanks to everyone who participated and bought a meal!
Once the BBQ craziness was over, it was time to enjoy the show. After it got dark on Saturday night, the “Lite the Lot” light show and display, sponsored by Truck-Lite, began. Walking around the paved parking lot, there was so much to see, as so many of the trucks were lit up like Christmas trees, and everyone was just relaxing, taking pictures and enjoying all the good company. Sadly, the night was cut short when it started raining at about 9:00 PM.
Come Sunday morning, the rain was gone, and the weather was awesome (temps in the mid-70s all day). Many more trucks rolled in that morning, quickly bringing the total up to about 250 trucks. That amount was down a bit from last year, but 250 of the finest rides from around the country is still a very respectable number of rigs.
In addition to the trucks, there were vendors on-site, as well, including RoadWorks, PDI, Dynaflex, Rick Nay Insurance, Aranda Truck Accessories, Big Strappers Apparel, Grand General, Zephyr and Stay Loaded Apparel. In addition to those vendors, some others were Renegade, Toys 4 Trucks, Truck Club Magazine, Native Daughters of the Golden West, Trux, Double Coin Tires, M & J Truck Sales & Service, Big Rig Tees, Roll On Customs and others.
Over in our area, we debuted a new “patriot-themed” t-shirt and handed out tons of free magazines, posters and truck centerfolds. Next to our bright red pop-up, we set up a memorial table for our co-founder, Erik Sieben, who passed away in August. On the table, along with several pictures printed on aluminum panels by Rockwood, there was also a book people could sign, Erik’s very first camera, a polished and pinstriped water bottle, a pillow someone made in his honor, and a Los Angeles Clippers jersey, complete with the number “10-4” and “Big E” on the back. Just down the aisle from our booth, our friend and past cover trucker Mark Tarascou also had a tribute table set up in honor of Erik. It was really touching. Thanks to Mark and his family for doing that.
Some notable trucks in attendance this year included Ruben Vargas’ slick red aerodynamic Pete, Big Ed Davis’ turquoise hot rod A-model Kenworth (parked next to our booth), our cover truck for October (Tony Huttenstine’s silver and maroon W900L), and Ver Steeg Trucking’s cool dark blue and black Pete transfer with old-style cream boxes. Some other popular rides were the “Tootsie Roll” KW, Old Ironsides, two matching Peterbilts from Henkel & McCoy, the “Autism Awareness” truck (brought out by Mike Manuel who came all the way from Virginia), and a sharp Peterbilt hooked to a matching end dump owned by Ernesto Segovia, which took the Best of Show trophy. A few other rigs that caught our eye were TMT’s two-tone blue W900L, Albert Guzman’s gray Pete with yellow stripes and Pete Lora’s sweet red Peterbilt auto hauler.
This year, the drag racing was hot and heavy, with tons of trucks running down the track all day. Unfortunately, due to some technical difficulties with the tower personnel and other human errors, there were no winners or losers (except the Super Drag Truck winner, which was Harry Cleeland). But the racing was still fun to watch, even though it wasn’t the right trucks racing against the right trucks! The TFK crew was deeply apologetic for this mistake and will see to it that it never happens again.
Once the racing was done, it was time to hand out the awards. During the ceremony, many nice things were said about our co-founder, who was also my business partner and friend of over 25 years. Thank you to everyone that spoke in his honor. This year, we dedicated our “Sponsor’s Choice” trophy to him, naming it the Erik Sieben Memorial Award, and giving it to our friend Ed Davis for his stellar A-model. We all miss Erik and it isn’t the same without him, but we will press on and continue to make 10-4 Magazine the “Best of the Best” – for many years to come!
The TFK “smokeshow” ended at 6:00 PM and everyone quickly packed up their stuff and headed out to either home or back to the road. It is always amazing how fast it all comes to an end, and it is always bittersweet, too.
Next year (2020) will mark the 40th anniversary of the show, and rumor has it that the event producers, Frank & Diana Pangburn, will be retiring after it ends, making it the final Truckin’ For Kids show (for reals this time). If that is the case, you won’t want to miss it, as this will be the end of an era! As always, stay tuned to 10-4 Magazine for updates and future developments. And the 2019 winners were:
PROFESSIONAL SHOW TRUCK: 1st Ed Davis; 2nd Shawn McClintic of Nestle/Arrowhead; 3rd Michael Manuel of Michael Manuel Trucking.
3-AXLE CONV. (2018-2019): 1st Jason Jackman of Paradise Trucking; 2nd Gary Van Leeuwen of DDT; 3rd Keith Mundt of TMT Industries.
3-AXLE CONV. (2014-2017): 1st Ernesto Segovia of Segovia Trucking; 2nd Ron Beer of Deluxe Distribution; 3rd Jesus Perez of DDT.
3-AXLE CONV. (2009-2013): 1st Shawn McClintic of Nestle/Arrowhead; 2nd Jose Ruben Vargas of R & E Trucking; 3rd Terry Norris of Norris Transportation.
3-AXLE CONV. (2002-2008): 1st Shawn Fisher of Nestle/Arrowhead; 2nd Chris Andler of Select 1; 3rd Louis Pinion of Nestle/Arrowhead.
3-AXLE CONV. (1995-2001): 1st John Jaikes & Kim Grimm of Precision Transportation; 2nd Mark Pounds of CVT; 3rd Jason Setterberg of JDT.
2-AXLE CONV. 2007-2012: 1st Jim Foster of Foster Trucking; 2nd Ron Lanting of Lanting Hay; 3rd Charlie Cunningham of Cunningham Bros.
2-AXLE CONV. (2007-2012): 1st James Kirk of Enterprise Transport; 2nd Eberardo Lopez of Lopez Trucking; 3rd Adrian Covarrubias of Gardner.
2-AXLE CONV. (1993-2006): 1st Mike Puente of R. Puente Trucking; 2nd Ryan Pounds of CVT; 3rd Richard Hettinga of Rich’s Hay.
CABOVER: 1st Charlie Cunningham; 2nd Brian Governo of Southside BBQ; 3rd Tom Lanting of Lanting Hay.
WORKING ANTIQUE: 1st Ron Kelsey of Kelsey’s Trucking; 2nd David Castro of Richard’s Tire; 3rd Tyler Swapp of Tyler Swapp Trucking.
NON-WORKING ANTIQUE: 1st Roger Ghidelli of Maggini & Sons; 2nd Terry Norris of Norris Transportation; 3rd Roel Hofstee of Hofstee Farms.
LOCAL DELIVERY: 1st Michael Gutierrez; 2nd Mark Pounds of CVT; 3rd Colton Pounds of CVT.
DUMP TRUCK: 1st Nick Nefroney of M & Sons Trucking; 2nd Joshua Arroyo of J. Arroyo Trucking; 3rd Nick Lloyd of Nick Lloyd Grading.
WRECKER/ROLL BACK: 1st Miguel Martinez of Today’s Towing; 2nd Alex Guerrero of Henkels & McCoy; 3rd Jose Luis Soto of Twinz Towing.
SERVICE TRUCK: 1st David Castro of Richard’s Tire; 2nd Todd Lemke of FJ Willert; 3rd Michael Mayes of Toolshed Equipment Rentals.
SPECIALTY: 1st Michael Manuel of Michael Manuel Trucking; 2nd Pete Lora of Pete’s Auto Transport; 3rd Don Gilbert of Lagomarsino Transport & Towing.
HOBBY TRUCK: 1st Jairo Bayardo of Badass Transport; 2nd Todd Lemke of Lemke Speed & Marine; 3rd Steve Merritt.
ROCKWOOD INTERIOR: 1st Shawn McClintic of Nestle/Arrowhead; 2nd Michael Manuel of Michael Manuel Trucking; 3rd Alex Gomez of Skikos.
SMALL FLEET: 1st Nestle/Arrowhead; 2nd R.W. Burkett; 3rd Direct Transport.
LARGE FLEET: 1st JDT; 2nd Harbor Logistics; 3rd DDT.
SPECIALTY TRAILER: 1st C.G. Soza of Soza Trucking; 2nd John Torras of Advantage Directional Drilling; 3rd Jim Kline of Francis Transportation.
FLATBED: 1st Jason Setterberg of JDT; 2nd Jesus Perez of DDT; 3rd Terry Norris of Norris Transportation.
HEAVY EQUIPMENT/LOW BED: 1st Mark Pounds of CVT; 2nd Domteter of Alliance Diversified; 3rd Dane Nelson of Henkels & McCoy.
END DUMP: 1st Ernesto Segovia of Segovia Trucking; 2nd Jairo Bayardo of Badass Transport; 3rd Cory Atkins of Dan Courville Trucking.
TRANSFER DUMP: 1st Chris Sotelo of Ver Steeg Trucking; 2nd Evan Courville of Jason Courville Trucking; 3rd Dave of Tarascou Trucking.
STEEL TANKER: 1st Gary Van Leeuwen of DDT; 2nd Shawn Fisher of Nestle/Arrowhead; 3rd Arturo Guardado of DDT.
ALUMINUM TANKER: 1st Colton Pounds of CVT; 2nd Grant Miller of Thompson & Harvey.
OVER-THE-ROAD: 1st John Jaikes & Kim Grimm of Precision Transport; 2nd Jim Kline of Francis Transportation; 3rd Chris Andler of Select 1.
LIGHTS (BOBTAIL): Colton Pounds.
LIGHTS (COMBO): Lanting Hay.
LIGHTS (ANTIQUE): Joe Adivari.
LONGEST TOW: Mike Bradley of Michael Manuel Trucking (Virginia).
UGLIEST TRUCK: Juan Torres of Torres Trucking.
SUPER DRAG TRUCK WINNER: Harry Cleeland.
BEST ART & GRAPHICS: Michael Manuel of Michael Manuel Trucking.
BEST ENGINE: Ed Davis.
BEST INTERIOR: Jose Ruben Vargas of R & E Trucking.
BEST SLEEPER: Chris Andler of Select 1.
BEST METAL SHINE: Grant Miller of Thompson & Harvey.
BEST KENWORTH: Tony Huttenstine of Long Haul Trucking.
BEST INTERNATIONAL: Mark Tarascou of Tarascou Trucking.
BEST FREIGHTLINER: Paul Anker.
BEST PETERBILT: Roel Hofstee of Hofstee Farms.
10-4 MAGAZINE’S CHOICE (Erik Sieben Memorial Award): Ed Davis.
PEOPLE’S CHOICE: Shawn McClintic of Nestle/Arrowhead.
BEST OF SHOW: Ernesto Segovia of Segovia Trucking.