Oklahoma has a lot of wide-open spaces, and I love that. Leaving Georgia on Wednesday morning, May 12th, I made a beeline to Eastern Missouri by way of all the craziness that Atlanta, Chattanooga and Nashville have to offer. I arrived at the Aslinger residence to get a little visiting in and prepare for the last leg of the trip, which would take me through lots of those wide-open spaces and on to Woodward, OK for the first annual Red Dirt Showdown.
On Thursday, me and my friend and fellow 10-4 contributor Kasey Aslinger (I was following her in my vehicle) made our way to Oklahoma after she finished a photo shoot with a truck. We were running the clock on daylight, hoping to make it there before dark. I’ve ran this area before, but not west of I-35, and I have to say, there was some beautiful scenery out that way. I will admit, it was so nice, that Kasey and I had to stop around Gloss Mountain State Park off of Highway 412 to grab some pictures. We finally made it to Woodward just as the sun went down.
Some trucks had already been parked on Thursday evening, but plenty more came rolling in on Friday, including longtime friend Colton Chase, driving his aero truck while his popular 379 “American Outlaw” was getting some TLC. His wife Lauren came later in the day with their son Truett, so we all got to visit, which was great! The show offered an indoor and outdoor parking option, and almost all the trucks parked inside. There were two buildings to park in, and when all the trucks were finally parked, there wasn’t much space left inside those two buildings.
Food vendors were on-site including Rickie’s Sweets & Eats, Scissortails (for those who needed coffee), and Gorditas Doña Kathy (for those looking for some awesome street tacos). Also going on during the show, across the road that goes around the fairgrounds, was the Crystal Beach Arena Barrel Race, which was a three-day horse-riding contest. I wish there would have been more time and I would have known sooner, as I would have gladly stopped by the arena to watch some barrel racing action. The day ended with dinner with some of my trucking friends and then the band Trench Monkey played at 9:00 pm.
Saturday morning a group of us went to breakfast in town while it rained outside, but by noon, the skies had cleared, making for a nice afternoon. Around 2:00 pm, the crowd was able to enjoy some fast-paced drag racing action provided by high-powered semi-trucks. Those who participated in the races were Justin Clifton in a black Pete, Chillidog Martinez in a pink Kenworth, Tyler Fountain in a red and black Peterbilt, Ron Clifton in a gray and orange Pete, and Mike Clifton in his cabover. Also, making runs down the straightaway, was Remington “Rooster” Davis in his WeePete (a go cart mini Pete) and Matt McReynolds in his 1967 El Camino.
Sunday rounded out the show with a mid-morning awards ceremony. It was pretty cool to see who all received awards and trophies. Morgan Pryor was present and handed out the awards to all the recipients. For those who don’t know Kaleb Hammett, he is a good ol’ boy from Texas, and although he won Best of Show, with a huge trophy to boot, he passed his trophy onto Remington “Rooster” Davis, which was pretty cool to witness. I’m not sure if Rooster really understood the capacity of that gesture, but if he doesn’t now as a young kid, he will understand when he gets older.
A newcomer on the show scene was Greg Merlo of Fleenor Bros. out of Carthage, MO who brought in his black 2021 Kenworth W900 with a Cummins X15, 18-speed transmission, 3:36 rears, and a 295-inch wheelbase. By reading the specs, you may not think much of the truck, but the pride this young man takes in his ride causes one to look twice. I was able to meet him and talk to him briefly, including asking if I could take a picture of him by his truck with his awards. I also photographed Kaleb in front of his truck “Hoss” and Terry Aslinger in front of his patriotic-themed truck. Finishing out the awards ceremony, there was a moment when Jacob Bonham came up to collect his third place “Best of Show” award carrying a super tall trophy, which he presented to Justin Allison as a thank you for putting on the show, courtesy of the Hatermade Mafia.
Special thanks from Justin Allison Trucking, who put on the Red Dirt Showdown, to Morgan Pryor of Morgan Pryor Polishing & Detailing for helping to sponsor the trophies, PDI, Lincoln Chrome, Big Rig Tees, Big Strappers Apparel, Dynaflex, H&R Diesel out of Chickasha, OK, Lifetime Nut Covers, Hogebuilt, Valley Chrome, Bells & Whistles Chrome Shop in Oklahoma City, OK, Wilkins Oklahoma Truck Supply out of Tonkawa, OK, Lucas Oil, Chippewa’s Fragrant Zone, Chemical Guys, Zephyr Polishes, Stacks N Racks Calendar, SPC Office Products out of Woodward, OK, Bunker Trailer Systems, Magnet Trucking out of Woodward, OK, D & S Shine & Detail, Okie Shine Detailing and Polishes, WooTown Detail and Car Wash, R Movers of Woodward, OK, Badass Mommas Boutique out of Woodward, OK, Whiskey River out of Woodward, OK, Squire Customs, and to everyone who brought a truck, attended the event, or volunteered to make this first annual show such a success.
2021 has and is a year for new shows starting as a cause of barely any shows in 2020. Truck shows aren’t easy to get off the ground, but with knowledge of truck shows, a great location, people willing to help, donate and sponsor, the success rate is pretty high. That was the case with the Red Dirt Showdown, with a total of 78 trucks and lots of spectators, for a show of support. The small-town atmosphere of Woodward is surrounded by wide-open spaces as far as the eye can see and, if you are like me, you can definitely appreciate that kind of scenery. As always, to all the drivers out there doing the deal, truck safe.