A chance to shine

Big Rigs - - GREAT AMERICAN TRUCKING SHOW -

OWNER-DRIVER Bart Boudreaux didn’t ex­pect to win any of the cov­eted Pride & Pol­ish sil­ver­ware in the pre­mier show truck com­pe­ti­tion in the US.

Heck, he didn’t even know where he was go­ing to stay that first night he made the long drive from his home in Labadieville, Louisiana, to the bright lights of down­town Dal­las for GATS 2018.

But a beam­ing Bart and his matte-black 1980 352 Power­bilt – a con­spic­u­ous stand-out amongst the shinier ri­vals on dis­play – sure did en­com­pass what the or­gan­is­ers meant by the pride part of this cel­e­brated showdown.

This hum­ble fan favourite was just a chas­sis – bought for a pal­try US$1500 no less – be­fore Bart got to work on her four years ago, pour­ing in an­other US$28,000 of his hard-earned for a re­mark­able trans­for­ma­tion.

“It would have been more if I’d put on a slicker paint job,” laughed the first-time com­peti­tor who uses the Peter­bilt to cart oil field equip­ment, mostly around South Louisiana.

“But that’s not how I wanted it. How you see it is how I work it ev­ery day.”

He’ll be back again next year too, just watch him. A fel­low com­peti­tor con­vinced him to en­ter and Brad reck­ons the chance to meet so many peo­ple and share his in­spir­ing story has been worth ev­ery cent.

Best of Show win­ners were an­nounced in five cat­e­gories dur­ing the event – work­ing bob­tail, work­ing combo, lim­ited-mileage bob­tail, lim­ited-mileage combo and builders class – along with the peo­ple’s choice win­ner.

For the sec­ond year run­ning, the lat­ter when to Hall of Fame driver Bradley Wacks, al­though this year he was in a dif­fer­ent Army-Air­force Ex­change rig, a 2019 Freight­liner Cas­ca­dia and a 2019 Hyun­dai trailer.

The trailer boasted sil­hou­et­ted im­ages of ser­vice men and women, cour­tesy of for­mer marine Johnny Olson, and is de­signed to act as a rolling bill­board, re­mind­ing all who served hon­ourably that they can now shop their mil­i­tary ex­changes on­line.

“Win­ning this award is just a great ac­com­plish­ment for our team and our men and women in uni­form,” said Bradley, 58, who be­gan driv­ing in 1979 and now boasts 3.4 mil­lion ac­ci­dent-free miles.

■ If you want to join the Shell Re­wards Pro­gram, con­tact the team at Viva En­ergy on 1300 134 205 or cus­tom­erser­vice@ rim­u­la­re­wards.com.au.

■ For more pic­tures from GATS 2018 and this year’s com­pe­ti­tion win­ners, turn to pages 52–53.

Call us on 0405 910 056

PHOTO:

Hall of Famer Bradley was proud of his win.

PHOTO:

The trailer is ded­i­cated to the men and women who serve.

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