59. Big Rig Drag Racing!

I love trucks. I have grown up around trucks. I love trucking culture, trucker slang, long roads, smell of diesel fuel, sound of diesel engine, and everything that goes with it. When I moved to Canada, I really wanted to get more into it. But it was not before this weekend when I had a chance to do it!

Many years ago I have seen a video on YouTube, it was showing a drag race somewhere in rural Canada, but it were not Corvettes and Mustangs racing each other, but Kenworths and Peterbilts! I was really amazed, and I remember thinking that it must be so cool and it would be so awesome to see it myself.

So here I was driving northbound on Highway 20 in Quebec, on early Saturday morning, heading to a tiny town of Saint-Joseph-de-Beauce, located in eastern Quebec, going to see that magic event myself!

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Competitors started to arrive. Freightliner Classic.
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Kenworth W900 with shiny mirror-bumper.
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A pair of Kenworth W900.

The event turned out to be a real festival celebrating trucking culture. The event that is officially called Accélération de camions à St-Joseph-de-Beauce lasts 3 days, and offers visitors many events, including concerts, truck parade, racing and other. To me it felt like a cozy family-like event, gathering people who are not indifferent to world of big rigs. I have seen many bikers, groups of friends, families with kids and huge camper trailers, big trucker guys in tuned trucks, and everyone seemed to have a great time! Me too!

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Smoke coming from truck area is a good sign that race is about to begin. Truckers warm up their enignes!

The racing event attracted over 70 participants from Canada and USA. They were split into three categories, from trucks with significant modifications, to stock trucks with only factory parts. And what I liked the most, all trucks must have a manual gearbox! This is not only race of engines, but also a skill race, driver must have great gear shifting skills to win (it is much harder  to do on trucks then on a passenger car – gearboxes on big rigs have up to 18 gears and have no synchronizes)!

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Western Star leads over Kenworth
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Kenworth and Freightliner are about to decide who accelerates quicker
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Close competinion between grey Western Star and red Peterbilt

Trucks were racing in two categories – bobtail (means no trailer) and loaded, with 42,000 pound (19 tons) load. What a show it was to see two trucks racing uphill pulling heavy trailers! Clouds of smoke, over-the-top forces that were pushing trucks to the limit.

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Peterbilt leads over Freighliner Agrosy, the only cabover truck in the race

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Pulling 20-tonne load up a steep hill as fast as you can is a very heavy job for a truck. In normal life, they don’t produce that much smoke.
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Whose engine has more torque and who can shift gears faster? Western Star and Peterbilt are very close!

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Old Volvo seem quicker then this Kenworth
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Organizers need to plant trees. Many trees!

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The white truck is totally fine. It is just the engine power and strain are so big that it bens the truck!
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Theere was a separate race for little Big Rigs.
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Loaded race was too much for this Western Star – its driveshaft joint broke.
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While broken Western Star was being pulled away and the road cleared from oil, this cowboy race marshal was entertaining public by dancing!
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From time to time the crowd was entertained by buronouts and other crazy stunts by truckers.
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It’s OK to see burnout from a Mustang, but it is the first time I have seen it from Kenworth!
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This hot rod built from Peterbilt truck has 18-liter Caterpillar C-18 industrial engine, producing 850 bhp.
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What do you do with 850 crazy hose power? Burnouts!

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More pick up truck racing. Old Dodge was showing really good performance. It looks like a steam engine, having exhaust pipe coming from the hood.
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I did not know pickups can be THAT fast!
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More racing and close competition

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Pick up finals

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It was in no way an easy race, some trucks were loosing parts on track
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When I first saw this truck, I thought I had too much sun. But I was OK, it is the truck! Fully functional scale model, looks like 1:4 scale. It is not RC, there is a guy sitting inside!
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It was doing burnouts too!
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I am wondering how much effort and time does it take to built something beautiful and unique like this?
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This Freightliner had too much too.
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Traditional burnouts and donuts from winners!
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Everyone was having a lot of fun, despite thick clouds of smoke after every race!

Here is a video that I filmed:

I really liked this event. I think it is much better, more interesting and fun to spectate them Formula 1! It is not a race of crazy budgets, it is a race by ordinary hard working men, who get together, show their big toys to the world, celebrate trucking and have fun!

Tomorrow, they will hook up trailers and return to the road, moving goods across the country and earning their living. Next year they will be back. For me it would be more difficult, but if I ever have a chance to go there again, I will do it without a slightest doubt!

 

 

P.S. Don’t wear white to this event – it will become dark grey. I’ve tested it myself 😉

 

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