GRAND BEND, Ont. - Truckers went head-to-head on the 1/4-mile drag strip at Grand Bend Motorplex Sept. 10, reaching speeds in excess of 70 miles per hour. The annual Earl Hardy Big Rig Nationals again...
READ, SET...: Trucks line up to compete at the Earl Hardy Big Rig Nationals.Photo by James Menzies
GRAND BEND, Ont. – Truckers went head-to-head on the 1/4-mile drag strip at Grand Bend Motorplex Sept. 10, reaching speeds in excess of 70 miles per hour. The annual Earl Hardy Big Rig Nationals again drew a solid crowd, despite a brisk morning and threatening rain clouds, which later gave way to clearer skies. Those courageous enough to take their trucks out onto the drag strip competed throughout the afternoon for bragging rights.
The fastest big rig of the day belonged to Rob Bennett of Lucan, Ont. He raced his 2007 Kenworth to top spot achieving a speed of 71.07 mph and reaching the end of the quarter mile strip in just 19.642 seconds.
Runner up was Lance Riley of Cambridge, Ont. His 2001 Pete 379 achieved a top speed of 61.19 mph.
Also on hand was the Smokin’ Gun, owned by Gord Cooper of Calgary, Alta. His times were not measured against those driving their regular working trucks as his truck boasts about 2,000 horsepower and is the fastest diesel-powered big rig in the country.
Nonetheless, Cooper still wowed the crowd with several lengthy burnouts and a few runs down the strip that were over 90 mph.
For those that didn’t want to risk stuffing their $100,000 trucks into the retaining walls, the event also featured a Show’n’Shine.
Frank Bergen took home Best of Show honours. Other winners included: Neil Clayburn, Best Highway Home; Laidlaw Carriers, Best Fleet; Terry McCullough, Wildest Custom; Bergen, Best Interior; Southend Service, Best ‘D’ Truck; Aberfoyle, Best Truck/Trailer; Barry Petteplace, Best Vintage; Terry McLeod, Best Sport Truck; Jason Moesker, Best Day Cab; Kevin Logan, Bad Ass Truck; Les Thompson, Best Western Star; Chris Barrow, Best Peterbilt; Bergen, Best Kenworth; Phil Hardy, Best Freightliner; Petteplace, Best Mack; and Gerard Duiker, Best Volvo.