Each year as fall breaks, truck enthusiasts from the Southwest converge on Firebird International Raceway just outside of Phoenix. They come to attend the Tire Pros Truck & 4x4 Nationals & Aftermarket Expo. This year was the eighth annual event, and it brought together truck fans of all types.
The show featured show-'n'-shine contests, drag racing, monster truck freestyle, new vehicle testrides, and vendor displays; however, we think the best part of the weekend was the Toughest Truck competition in which local wheelers got the chance to compete against each other to see whose rig could best stand up to three timed courses. The courses included a log pile/tire pit, a mini boulder mountain, and a two-lap off-road scramble course.
The log pile and tire pits turned out to be a good place for the drivers to catch some air under their tires, but these obstacles also created some significant carnage over the weekend. The boulder pile was more the place for the serious rockcrawlers in the group, but everyone took shots at completing the obstacle course in the shortest time. There were some budget-built vehicles,street-driven 4WDs, high-speed desert rigs, and some dedicated rockcrawling buggies. The track consisted of a number of sand hill jumps, tight turns and berms, and whoop sections. Getting around the course quickly required a combination of horsepower for speed, turning ability, and a suspension that could soak up the rough bumps and jumps.
As usual, some of the drivers pushed their vehicles beyond their capabilities and damage ensued. Some broken rigs were repaired quickly and came back out to try again. Others suffered greater failure and were left to sit idle for the remainder of the weekend. If you have a tough truck that you think is up for the challenge, come on out next October and give it a try. If nothing else, you're sure to have plenty of fun showing off in front of a crowd.