You know why I love bench racing so much? It's because it's a lot like a high school debate, but without the braces and boring subject matter. Like school, a bench racing session still involves hot chicks because most bench racing happens at the track (chicks dig drag racing) or the garage (Sport Truck posters on the wall, duh!) so the scenery at a session tends to be pretty good. Put a few gearheads together in the right environment-a wedding reception or a wake works just as well as the garage-and a good bench racing session can easily provide an excuse to avoid chores or an annoying relative. Plus, no one ever really loses a bench race because we know that the same subject will be argued about the next time your buddies get together anyway. There really is no downside to bench racing unless you suck at it.
To be a master bench racer is to have your facts and fiction on the tip of your tongue at all times, and to be prepared to defend your position whether or not you're right or have a clue what you're talking about. You don't have to know the difference between a body-drop and a channel job, you just have to pick a side and throw some verbal jabs to prove that your opponent is fat, lazy, has a crappy rear suspension on his truck, or has never even finished a project so he couldn't possibly know what he's talking about. Yes, bench racing is equal parts knowledge and BS and intertwining both into your argument is a valuable skill that can reap cold, frosty rewards and cold, hard respect.
Bench racing is indeed an art and the topic of debate need not even revolve around racing. Some of my favorite topics include: what's the real difference between a race truck and a street truck, when are wheels too big, and the hotly-contested built-versus-bought debate. In case you're wondering, here are the sides on the first to two topics I usually pick during a bench racing session: a race truck can't gas up at the cheapest gas station in town, and your wheels are too big if you have to add metal to the tops of your fenders to cover them.
That last topic is a universal theme that hits home with anyone who's into cars and trucks and it will be fought over until trucks fly and I actually finish one of mine, whichever comes first. Does it really matter if you build your project truck or pay for it with your hard-earned scratch? Of course it does! I'll give you a great example of why it matters. We just featured an amazing truck in a recent issue of this magazine. I'll spare the new owner the embarrassment of telling you which truck it is, because the new owner embarrassed himself enough already.