There were happy tears, shouts of joy, hugs and handshakes in abundance Saturday as a standing-room-only crowd learned the winners of the Stars & Stripes Show Truck Series championship.
Jerry Asbury's purple-blue 1999 Kenworth W900L took first place in the bobtail competition, while Marvin and Barb Knight's "Almost Paradise," a 1999 Kenworth with tropical and undersea murals on both tractor and trailer, took first place in combination. Each won $30,000 and the Truck-Lite Trophy.
Stars & Stripes champions Asbury (top) and Knight (bottom)
Stars & Stripes champions Asbury (top) and Knight (bottom)

Organizer Bud Farquhar estimated there were about 400 people in the room to find out not only the winners of the Stars & Stripes championship, sponsored by Chevron, but also of the Paul K.Young Memorial truck beauty show, also held during Mid-America. Both events were put on by Newport Communications and the National Assn. of Show Trucks.
Stars & Stripes competitors had to qualify at five regional shows held last year, with the top three bobtail and the top three combinations from each show coming to Mid-America to compete for the championship, the Truck-Lite Trophy, and cash prizes never before seen on the truck show circuit. The judges' information was tabulated by an outside accounting firm, which delivered the results in sealed envelopes, much like the Academy Awards.
The remaining top six bobtail winners were:
· Darian Stephens' well-known purple Freightliner "Keystone JR" and Mike Duffy's purple 1989 International 9300 with subtle maroon flames tied for second place.
· Sam Watson's blue 1974 Kenworth nicknamed "Rainbow" took fourth place.
· Jeff Boyd's 1995 Peterbilt 379 tri-axle dump truck won fifth place
· Thomas Smith took home sixth place with "Big Willy," a green 1990 Peterbilt 379.
The remaining top six combo winners were:
· Kermit Gribble, a steel hauler who took second place with his 1997 Peterbilt 379 and 1996 Reitnouer covered wagon.
· Ryan Radtke, third place
· Bob & Nancy Drummond, fourth place, with their 1989 Kenworth W900B and 1998 Great Dane stainless steel reefer with the name "Ain't God Good."
· Billy Baker, fifth place, 1982 Peterbilt pulling a 2000 Utility trailer.
· Brian Dreher, sixth place, 2001 Peterbilt 379 teamed with a 2000 Great Dane trailer.
Nearly 100 trucks competed in 26 classes in the Paul K. Young competition. A couple of classes were divided to create more classes, "to increase competition and make it more fun," said Farquhar. First Show was divided into combo and bobtail, as was Specialized.
Best of Show Bobtail went to Charles and Carol Grimes. The Grimes also won first place in Bobtail '99 or Newer, tied for first place in the Lights-Bobtail category, won second place in Custom Paint/Graphics-Bobtail, and took first place in OEM Sleeper.
Best of Show Combo went to CBF Trucking and Clarence Falk. CBF and Falk also won first place in Company Truck Combo, first place for Custom Paint/Mural-Combo.
Each Best of Show winner took home a Paul K. Young show plaque, a NAST trophy, and $500.
Part of the Paul K. Young show, which honors the late Mid-America founder, was the donation of $10,000 to a charity chosen by Paul's son, Tim Young. During the awards ceremony, Young presented a check to his chosen charity, a local Rotary Club scholarship fund, which gives $1,000 scholarships to high school students to help pay for college.
The Paul K. Young Memorial Truck Beauty Show was sponsored by Chevron, Cobra High Gear, ExxonMobil, Howes Lubricator Products, National Seating, Peterbilt, Truck-Lite and Utility.
Peterbilt honored five Peterbilt owners with special trophies and prizes for the best Peterbilts in the show, chosen by Peterbilt's Council of Class members. First place winner, Melissa Woodward and her 1998 Peterbilt 379, won a year of free maintenance, a $1,500 value. The second place winner won five QuickCare filter and lube services, and the three trucks that tied for third place each got three QuickCare services.
More tears were seen when Truck-Lite spokesman Paul Abelson asked the crowd to recognize Ruth Jones, who has competed in many truck shows, including the Paul K. Young show, with her husband Grover "Dee" Jones. She is also well-known by truckers for her work with the Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Assn. and its member magazine Land Line. Ruth, who was there in a wheelchair, has been battling cancer. When Abelson asked the crowd to support her with their thoughts and prayers, there was a standing ovation as the crowd turned toward Ruth in the back of the room.

A complete list of Paul K. Young winners and more photos will be posted at