Those who attend shows remember the trucks, the locations, the atmosphere, and most importantly, the people. This year’s 40th Anniversary Shell Rotella SuperRigs Truck Show was held June 9-11 at the Branson Landing in Branson, MO, but for most of us, Tuesday, June 7 will be a day we never forget because we lost a man we’ll always remember.
I was traveling from Texas to Branson, MO for the SuperRigs Truck Show when I received a phone call that took my breath away. Our friend and trucking legend, Troy Huddleston, had passed away. This year’s show was fun, but also extremely heavy with emotions, because Troy was everyone’s friend, and the loss to us all was very evident.
My husband, Terry, just completed a makeover of his 1996 Peterbilt for the show. Troy had helped with many customization ideas, including the busted glass in the paint and the star shaped windows in the bunk. As with my family, many discussions revolved around Troy that were of sadness, but most of all, memories. This show was for Troy.
You need to experience SuperRigs at least once in your life to appreciate the effort the show puts into finding locations that can be appreciated by the drivers, as well as their families. Scouting for the show location starts well into a year in advance, taking into consideration the need to accommodate plenty of trucks, as well as amenities people want and need, and other ideas for fun. Seeking out a location that was centrally located and would also offer good backdrops for their upcoming calendar photo shoots, Branson, MO was a great choice.
Upon arrival in Branson, some of the trucks were already parked, and it was definitely a cool spot, with the parking lot right next to Lake Taneycomo. The weather was warm and muggy, but that is not out of the ordinary for this time of the year. As it got closer to the show beginning, plenty of trucks were already parked, and drivers were busy wiping down, including my family. The show allowed registrants to choose when they would want to be judged, which was done throughout the show, on the south end of the large parking lot.
Being right on the lake, the fog didn’t roll out until late morning, but once it did, it became a scorcher of a day. Thursday evening the show hosted a dinner for all the registrants at The Paddlewheel Restaurant, and then some rain came in shortly thereafter. But, these days, it wouldn’t be a truck show if there wasn’t rain at some point!
After the rain on Thursday night, trucks were wiped down again on Friday, but at least they were already parked, so it wasn’t so bad. On Friday night the show contestants were invited to convoy through The Landing, in front of the fountains, as long as their stacks were under 13’-6” tall. Drivers and others who didn’t participate in the convoy were very helpful to ensure the trucks safely made it up and down the curb ramps so there was no damage. This parade route made for some incredible pictures, as the trucks made a loop around the Branson Landing and then came back in at the entrance for the show. Not only was the parade cool to see, but the fireworks that followed were even more amazing!
Saturday afternoon the event was wrapped up with awards given out on a stage provided by Bubba Branch’s nice Globe RGN trailer. Everyone at the show gathered around as the award recipients were all named, including those who were chosen as spot holders for the 2023 Shell Rotella SuperRigs Calendar. The 2022 Best of Show winner was a red 1985 Peterbilt 359 called “The Witches Inn” owned by Theresa DeSantis (a past 10-4 Magazine cover truck).
The Branson Landing proved to be a great setting, with plenty to offer everyone, from shopping to restaurants and everything in between. If you arrived early in the mornings or stayed late in the evenings, you would’ve seen the fog rolling in and out, which made for a beautiful background for truck photos. It was wonderful visiting with everyone, seeing the beautiful trucks, and enjoying what Branson has to offer. Memories were made, but we’ll always remember the loss of a true legend in the trucking industry that week, as well.
This year’s winners were:
CLASSIC DIVISION: 1st David Foster; 2nd JR Schleuger; 3rd Trevor Timblin; 4th Gary Tharp; 5th Terry Aslinger.
BOBTAIL DIVISION: 1st Kaleb Hammett; 2nd Kyle Cousins; 3rd Kyle Cousins; 4th Clayton Driskill; 5th Tyler Van Der Zwaag.
COMBO DIVISION: 1st Todd Gribble; 2nd Truett Novosad; 3rd Ben Overton; 4th Jeron Whittmore; 5th Mike Davidson.
BEST INTERIOR: Truett Novosad.
BEST LIGHTS: Randy Victory.
BEST THEME: Theresa DeSantis.
BEST CHROME: Bubba Branch.
BEST ENGINE: Bubba Branch.
BEST OF SHOW: 1st Theresa DeSantis; 2nd Truett Novosad; 3rd Dean DeSantis.