The top two finishers a year ago traded places for the 2004 Truck-Lite Trophy, symbolic of the National Association of Show Trucks (NAST) national championship.
First place went to Gary Patterson of Fredonia PA, 2004's second-place finisher, who narrowly edged 2003 champs Shelly and Bob Brinker of Grayling Ml. Gary Ragland of Jackson Ml finished third in a truck owned by Sercombe Trucking.
Patterson's unusual customized 1982 maroon International conventional, mated to a 2002 Great Dane Trailer, virtually swept the combination class throughout 2004. He competes with help from his wife, Janet, an administrator at Horizon Hospital in Sharon PA, and their sons Chad and Shawn. The Trophy winning combination sports more than 350 Truck-Lite LED lamps.
The Brinkers defended their 2003 Truck-Lite Trophy in 2004, but came up just a bit short. Bob Brinker said, “We learned a lot, but so did Gary. We added fenders and more chrome, and increased our Truck-Lite lamps from 147 to more than 250. We took lots of ‘Best Lights’” trophies throughout the season, and won our share in bobtail class.”
Bob drives full time, while Shelly shares the road with her husband when she's not being a soldier. In 2004, she was promoted to Sergeant First Class (E-7) with the Michigan Army National Guard.
Ragland took third place with Sercombe Trucking's 2001 Freightliner Classic XL. He's been with the company nine years, and began by showing another XL three years ago.
To be eligible for the Truck-Lite Trophy, a truck must be in regular service hauling loads, must meet minimum annual mileage requirements, and must provide the bulk of the entrant's livelihood.
For information on National Association of Show Trucks events for the 2005 show season, phone NAST at 863-605-1608 or visit www.nastshowtrucks.com.