Alberta Hosts First Big Rig Weekend

by James Menzies

EDMONTON, Alta. – It was a show’n’shine with attitude.

The first annual Alberta Big Rig Weekend was held Sept. 20 at Budweiser Motorsports Park in Edmonton, but unlike other shows, this one had an added element of competition.

Once the judges were done evaluating the finely polished trucks in the show’n’shine, a number of owner/operators then took their trucks over to the nearby drag strips to settle a few scores and go head to head with each other on the quarter-mile strip.

After several qualifying runs, Dave Windis of Roberge Transport clocked the fastest time with a street legal tandem tractor. He ran the quarter-mile in 20.193 seconds in his 1999 Freightliner Classic. Kevin Boyer posted the fastest time among street legal single-axle tractors, with a best run of 22.334.

Not bad for your everyday working trucks, but the real crowd-pleasers were the trio of modified drag racers that made the trek to Edmonton. Gord Cooper’s Smokin’ Gun was one of them, and he was joined by two U.S. dragsters as well – Joe Maser’s Cornfield Corvette, and Washington state driver Pat Kyle.

Despite cool conditions, the drag racing trucks made some blistering runs, the fastest being Cooper’s time of 13.608 with his 1968 Kenworth.

Maser wasn’t far behind, with a run of 14.506 in his 1974 4300 International (this truck would have taken the award for ugliness hands down, had there been one to win).

For a first-time event, there was a strong turnout for the show’n’shine.

Trucks from as far away as Arbug, Man. were entered in the show.

That’s a haul of 1,600 kms.

Taking the top honors as Best in Show (working) was Jody York with his 1998 Pete 379.

The Best in Show (non-working) award went to Verne Schneider’s 1958 Mack and Bealle tanker trailer.

The People’s Choice Award was given to Clarence Falk, whose heavily modified 1998 Pete 379 attracted crowds all day long.

Other winners included: Brenton Ryrie, day cab, Pete 2002 Pete 379; Tom Boychuk, sleeper unit, 1987 KW K100; Ken Clark, specialty truck, 2003 KW T800; Harold Pospisol, specialty truck, business class, 2003 FL M2; York, truck/trailer combo; 1998 Pete 379; John Cuglistta, gravel truck, 2004 Pete 379; Mark Brandt, company truck, 2003 Pete 379; Andy Zary, show truck (non-working), 1959 Mack B61; Schneider, stock antique classic (non-working), 1958 Mack and Bealle tanker trailer.

Organizers of the event were pleased with the turnout and there’s already talk of making it an annual event.

The combination of show’n’shine vehicles and a day at the race track has proven to be a winner in B.C.

The show is modeled after the wildly popular Big Rig Weekend held in Mission, B.C. each summer.

In addition to the show’n’shine and owner/operator time trials, there was nighttime entertainment as well including a dance and performance by country music singer, Lisa Hewitt, and sprint car racing on the dirt oval track.

A few dozen exhibitors ranging from industry suppliers to carriers looking for new drivers also participated in the trade show.

Have your say

This is a moderated forum. Comments will no longer be published unless they are accompanied by a first and last name and a verifiable email address. (Today's Trucking will not publish or share the email address.) Profane language and content deemed to be libelous, racist, or threatening in nature will not be published under any circumstances.