Each year, we bring you coverage of the 4x4 Truckin Nationals. We go through some spiel about monster trucks and chicks. What we don't necessarily get across is that this event is pretty cool. You won't find a ton of Jeeps there, so if you are one of those Wrangler-only people, don't bother going.
If you have an open mind, however, and like tech tips and trinkets wherever they might be, this could be a show for you. It takes place over one weekend at the Firebird International Speedway in Chandler, Arizona. The show is broken down into four main areas: the arena, the vendor's area, the test drive, and the drag strip.
In the arena you'll find tough-truck competitions and monster truck fun. The tough truck competitions are open to anyone, so bring your Jeep and run it through the course.This year, there was a track, a tire pit, a log pile, and a rockcrawling competition. Finish at the top in all of them and you'd win.
In the vendor's area, there's a Show-and-Shine competition in addition to the requisite vendors in attendance hawking their wares. One of the nice things about the vendors is that even if you have no interest whatsoever in what they are selling, you can chat up the models they have with them.The test-drive area has all kinds of makes and models of vehicles. Unfortunately, you aren't allowed to drive them. You are, however, welcomed along for as many rides as you want while a professional driver puts the vehicles through their paces. There is both a road course and an off-road course.
Out on the drag strip, running any vehicle was legal. While the track observed normal NHRA rules, there was everything from a '52 Kenworth tractor to an '04 Scion xB running the strip. Bring your Jeep and run it. With both the Kenworth and the Scion in the mid 19s, it's just about guaranteed that you'd beat someone with your Jeep.
All in all, it's a fun weekend. It's no Easter Jeep Safari, but if you are in the neighborhood you should definitely check it out.