Held on the spacious grounds of Firebird International Raceway in Phoenix with the pristine desert sky as a backdrop, the fourth installment of the Truckin' 4x4 Nationals has continued the tradition of previous Nationals, where off-road and street trucks - and their owners - intermingle, and events such as the Toughest Truck competition and monster truck exhibitions play to SRO crowds.
The Truckin' 4x4 Nationals also hit the big time in regards to attendance, as more than 25,000 enthusiasts made the weekend event the hot ticket. With a custom truck show, a Miss Truckin' 4x4 Nationals bikini contest, rows of dealer and manufacturer displays on the midway, monster truck rides, and lots more, the Truckin' 4x4 Nationals had something for any truck enthusiast, and the action was nonstop on Saturday as well as on Sunday.
But enough talk. Events such as the Truckin' 4x4 Nats are best shared with a collection of images that illustrate the fun times that were had, and why you should plan a trip to Arizona for the 5th annual Truckin' 4x4 Nationals, which is slated for October, 2003.
Maximum ActionIt's truly amazing what the driver of a modified off-road machine can do when set on a stadium-style obstacle course in front of a cheering crowd. The Toughest Truck competition at the Truckin' 4x4 Nationals included a timed lap on a modified short course, a jump, and severe obstacles such as a pit of tires, a rock pile, and a log (utility pole) crossing. As would be expected, the action was furious throughout the weekend.
The main jump on the course wasn't huge, but 4x4s like this orange, purpose-built Jeep made the most of it, jumping for distance (A). The tire pit was treacherous, requiring a deft throttle foot and plenty of momentum. This F-150 was looking great (B) until a loss of forward progress resulted in a stoppage that was door-handle deep in tires (C). Wayne Bounds and his not-so-radical Blazer was the hero of the weekend, period. Bounds showed no fear on the jump (check the lead photo of this story) launching his truck a distance of 43 feet. The tire pit was a cakewalk for Bounds, as he literally flew across the pit, hardly slowing at all during his run (D). Incredible. However, all of that abuse took its toll, and Bounds' Blazer wound up on the wrong end of a tow strap (E).
Truckin' 4x4 Nationals Toughest Truck Competition WinnersLog Crawl: Mark MasonTire Torture Pit: Si RoosaRockcrawl: Randy EllisMonster Jump: Wayne BoundsDrag Race: Jesse Keierleber
Overall WinnersFirst Place: Jesse KeierleberSecond Place: Randy EllisThird Place: Nick Cappa