After taking some time away from hosting truck shows, Brian Bourke and Tommy Fitzgerald of Fitzgerald Peterbilt decided that 2021 would be a great opportunity to bring back their Semi Casual Truck Show. In the past, Semi Casual has had a few venue changes. Originally held at their location in Crossville, Tennessee, the guys later relocated the show to Bristol Motor Speedway to accommodate the growth of the show. With the state of the country over the recent past, a break from shows was decided. Recognizing the signs that our country is in a better place, Brian and Tommy decided to hold Semi Casual 2021 at their Crossville location, where it all began, once again.
The weekend of June 18-19 came fast, and trucks immediately began filing into the facility. A methodical parking design, different from previous years, proved to be a great change. Inside the massive shop, the RoadWorks demo truck and trailer was parked with Gary Jones and his “Not Daddy’s Money” Peterbilt alongside. All the other vendors were set up either in the shop or directly outside. Hogebuilt and Fitzgerald held spots inside the shop with RoadWorks, while Diesel Life, Dynaflex, Renegade, Bottomley Enterprises, Almost Chrome and assorted insurance agencies tended to the outside foot traffic.
Late into the afternoon on Friday, Dynaflex Products sponsored the catered BBQ dinner held inside the annex shop across the parking lot. As dinner was winding down, Tommy took to the mic to explain the events scheduled for the rest of the evening. The open bar was also sponsored by Dynaflex, featuring popular beers, as well as local craft brewed IPAs. Tommy also explained the rules for anyone wanting to participate in their Driver’s Casino Night (courtesy of RoadWorks) – which they called “Nash Vegas” – in which gaming tables were set up and dealers worked the tables. With play bucks being wagered, while various door prizes were called out to the lucky ticket holders, the fun went late into the evening. People also got to enjoy the impressive light display, just outside, coming from the show trucks.
Day two of Semi Casual arrived with more trucks showing up to join the fun. Every few hours, a motorcycle stunt team put on a show, performing wheelies and other tricks, for the people to enjoy. Throughout the day, masses of spectators flowed around the grounds. Eventually, chairs were set up in the large shop in preparation of the awards ceremony. Once everyone took a seat, it was still standing room only.
Brian and Tommy started out by giving away some additional raffle prizes before moving on to the trophies. The trophies were beautifully machined out of aluminum and extremely unique. But, before any trophies were handed out, Tommy wanted to hand out a special award of appreciation of thanks for the hard work behind the scenes ensuring a successful show occurred without any hiccups. With proud words, Tommy called upon his mother, Lisa, to come accept her award, as cheers from the crowd rang out.
Moving on to the truck awards, the top ten trucks were called. These were voted on by peers, who also had trucks in the show. The Top 10 included Dill McKinney, Charles Hale, Don Wood, Jacob Bonham, Darrel Estes, Mike Manuel, Bill Rethwisch, James Hodges, Jay Hawthorne and Matt Benusces. The three remaining trophies were the most anticipated. Best Interior went to Jay Hawthorne of Grand Mound, Iowa; Best Paint went to Don Wood of Denmark, Wisconsin; and Best Engine went to Mitchell Bottomley of Mt. Airy, North Carolina. Congrats to all the winners!
Semi Casual was just that – casual and laid back – with tons of laughs, plenty of entertainment, lots of great food, support from the local community, and an impressive array of eye candy (trucks) coming from hundreds of miles away to spend their weekend, followed by a huge fireworks display. Brian and Tommy nailed it, and with the driving force of Lisa and her assistants, Semi Casual is going to be just as great or even better next year!