Canadian Ryan Danylchuk just made it on to the lot at the Iowa 80 Truckstop as the judges were setting out to judge the lights category on Friday evening, Day Two of the 2008 Shell Rotella SuperRigs truck beauty competition. With only Saturday morning remaining for the judging, Danylchuk was up all night polishing his stretched-out, maroon and orange 2001 Peterbilt 379. And it paid off: He won Best of Show and a check for $10,000.
Danylchuk is from Winnipeg, Manitoba, a city that has more than its share of contestants every year for the Superrigs titles. And for a shot at immortality on the Shell Superrigs calendar. With his Best of Show, Danylchuk gets pride of place.
Other Canadians in the SuperRigs winners list included Larry Dyck with a second place in Tractor-Trailer for his spectacular green and orange 1987 bulk-hauler Peterbilt combo. Dyck owns Jade Transport out of Winnipeg, and his son Jonathan's 2007 Legacy 379 Pete picked up third place in the Tractor class, with a third win for Andy Bannerman with fifth place in Tractor for the company's beautiful 2000 Pete 362 cabover.
Last year's Best of Show featured some nice new touches, but a year's hard trucking dragged down the judges' scores, so Curtis Christians' minimalist black 379 from 2005 was relegated to second place Tractor this year.
Elsewhere it was the "usual suspects" for those who follow the beauty truck world, with Bob and Shelley Brinker pulling off Best Engine, Best Interior, Best Tractor and People's Choice with their 2000 Freightliner Classic. And, of course, Best Mural for the "Pirates of the Caribbean"-themed murals so exquisitely painted on every surface - even the rear fenders this year to showcase characters from the third movie in the series.
Jerry Howard, who has scored Best of Show in the past with his spectacular old Autocar, brought a crowd-pleasing red 1953 LG Mack this time for a third place in the Classic division. Another regular who got a rousing cheer from the other contestants when his win in Tractor-Trailer was announced was Wayne Baker. His 2002 Peterbilt 379 has a long hood and distinctive running boards and is immaculate despite the miles.
Prize for the most enthusiasm, as always, goes to Darlene Swift, who has the 2000 Freightliner Classic with shadow horses murals that was featured in one of the "Trick My Truck" episodes on CMT. She had already galloped up to the stage to get a prize for Best Theme, but for all those in the know - judges and SuperRigs Shell staff - all eyes were on her when First Runner Up Best of Show was announced. She whooped as she jumped up and bounded forward to pick up her award and a check for $4,000. No one was disappointed.
Of course there were some disappointments for those that did not get an award or a place on the calendar. But you can bet they'll all be back again next year.
Best of Show: Ryan Danylchuk, 2001 Peterbilt 379 (Calendar, $10,000)
1st Runner-up, Best of Show: Darlene Swift, 2000 Freightliner Classic ($4,000)
2nd Runner-Up, Best of Show: Jake Eilen, 2000 Peterbilt 379 / 2007 Mac Round Tub ($2,000)
1st Place Classic: James Davis, 1993 Peterbilt 379 Extended Hood
2nd Place Classic: J.C. Alt, 1972 Peterbilt 359
3rd Place Classic: Jerry Howard, 1953 Mack LG
4th Place Classic: Mike Kvestav, 1997 Peterbilt 379 Extended Hood
5th Place Classic: Dave Gulich, 1987 Peterbilt 359
1st Place Tractor: Robert and Shelley Brinker, 2000 Freightliner Classic
2nd Place Tractor: Curtis Christians, 2005 Peterbilt 379
3rd Place Tractor: Jonathan Dyck, 2007 Peterbilt 379 Legacy
4th Place Tractor: Matthew McCord, 2007 Peterbilt 379 Extended Hood
5th Place Tractor: Andy Bannerman, 2000 Peterbilt Cabover 362
1st Place Tractor-Trailer: Wayne Baker, 2002 Peterbilt 379
Extended Hood/Great Dane Reefer
2nd Place Tractor-Trailer: Larry Dyck, 1987 Peterbilt 359 / 2000 Polar Tanker
3rd Place Tractor-Trailer: Kevin Pascavis, 2004 Peterbilt 379 / 2007 Mac
with Quik Draw Tarp
4th Place Tractor-Trailer: Jimmy Jeffers, 2006 Peterbilt 379 / 2005
Reitnouer Big Bubba
5th Place Tractor-Trailer: Bob Greiner, 1997 Peterbilt 379 / 2006
Transcraft Step Deck
Best Interior: Robert and Shelley Brinker, 2000 Freightliner Classic
Best Mural: Robert and Shelley Brinker, 2000 Freightliner Classic
Best Theme: Darlene Swift, 2000 Freightliner Classic
Best Chrome: Bob Greiner, 1997 Peterbilt 379 / 2006 Transcraft Step Deck
Best Lights: Dennis Homeyer, 2001 Peterbilt
Best Engine: Robert and Shelley Brinker, 2000 Freightliner Classic
People's Choice: Robert and Shelley Brinker, 2000 Freightliner Classic