Each October, Firebird International Raceway in Phoenix hosts a huge truck show. We attended the 2004 Tire Pros Truckin' & 4x4 Nationals and found plenty of enthusiasts in attendance.
Truck and parts vendors of all sorts were set up in the main show area, with plenty of interesting vendor and show vehicles at their side. The show features show-'n'-shine contests for both street and 4x4 trucks, drag racing, Monster trucks, and a manufacturers' test-drive area, where attendees are allowed to drive new vehicles over a short dirt course.
We wandered the show area and briefly checked out all that was being offered, but what we really came to see were the real rigs that get dirty and play hard. Shiny stuff holds our attention for only so long. We wanted to see some dirt action.
The Firebird staff had set up three Tough-truck courses for the competition event. The competitors ran each of the three timed courses twice throughout the weekend. Each driver also had to crawl his way across a large rock pile. The second timed course featured a tire pit; a long, sweeping dirt turn; and a log pile. The last challenge was a tight, twisty dirt course that traversed up and down small hills and loose soil.
The crowd cheered as some competitors taunted gravity by coming off the side of the large rock pile. There was also plenty of air action on the tire-pit course, including some major carnage during rough landings.
Check out the photos from 2004's event, and if you feel you're up to the challenge, try the courses yourself this year. To find out more about the event, contact: www.trucknationals.com, www.firebirdraceway.com.
A Place Called Phoenix
Named after a proverbial firebird rising from the ashes and back into flight, Phoenix is one of the fastest growing cities in the United States. Abundant open land on the city's outskirts lends itself readily to housing developments. Then there's the climate. During the summer months, Phoenix residents hide behind air conditioners and tinted windows during the day, venturing forth at twilight, or in the wee hours of the morning. On the other hand, when New Yorkers are bundling up just to retrieve the morning paper, Phoenix's population comfortably strolls around in T-shirts, donning lightweight jackets only for the morning's chill.