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Grand Bend Big Rig Truck Show changes gears, announces dates

GRAND BEND, Ont. -- With a new date and a new name, the Grand Bend Big Rig Truck Show promises to be bigg...

GRAND BEND, Ont. — With a new date and a new name, the Grand Bend Big Rig Truck Show promises to be bigger and better than ever, according to Sherry Clarke, coordinator of what used to be the Earl Hardy Trucking Big Rig Nationals.

This year’s show will be held at Grand Bend Motorplex Aug. 28-29. Friday, Aug. 27 will be a set-up day for show’n’shine, wash-and-park and trade show participants.

Show’n’shine contestants will compete for best truck and runner-up honours in more than 20 classes, Clarke announced. The wash-and-park is an opportunity for truckers to display their rigs without officially entering the show’n’shine.

There will be three sizes of outdoor trade show spaces, Clarke said.

As always, the event will be highlighted by non-stop racing on the quarter-mile drag strip. The big rigs will own the spotlight on Sunday, with big rig racing beginning at 11 a.m.

Clarke said the first heavy truck drag races in Ontario were held at Grand Bend Motorplex. The competition is held in a ‘sportsman’ format. Drivers compete in time trials on Saturday to see how fast they can run the quarter-mile. A specially-designed race computer factors in time trial speed and evens the playing field by giving the slower truck a head start in the main event, equal to the time difference in trials.

That way, driver skill and reaction time is rewarded rather than just horsepower.

Organizers hope to see the event grow under the new format.

“With over 300 acres of manicured grounds, the continued support of truckers, fans, advertisers and sponsors we knew it was time to expand the event to three days  and offer trade show vendor space,” said Paul Spriet, COO of Grand Bend Motorplex. “Our Show is geared to the trucker and the trucking industry.”

“For several years, they tried to convince us to take the Show to the next level,” added track manager Ron Biekx. “We offer no-charge on-site camping, free on-site spectator parking, clean and maintained flush washrooms, showers, a licensed area and a permanent covered stage.”

Clarke, founder of the Fergus Truck Show, brings years of experience organizing truck shows to the table. She’ll be coordinating the trade show, show’n’shine and wash-and-park. She can be reached at 519-238-7223, ext. 24, or 519-843-8333 or by e-mail at

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