First Stop: Dealers Sport Truck
It's hard to say who's crazier, the cruisers or the hosts. The sun's just barely throwing light on the scene around Dealers Sport Truck in Los Alamitos, California, and already the trucks are lining up. Some of the hard-core arrived before 5:00 a.m. We were thinking about awarding a prize for the earliest arrival, but nobody wanted to judge that category.
But, hey, the crew from Truckin', Sport Truck, Mini Truckin', Truckin's SUV, and Custom Classic Trucks arrived plenty early anyway to handle registration duties through the cargo doors of Dealers Sport Truck. They also arranged a continental breakfast to make wading through the registration process a little more humane.
A traditional part of the cruise is the Poker Run. Basically you play a hand of poker by picking a card out of a hat at each stop on the cruise. So assuming it's a five-stop cruise, you'll have five cards when you reach your last stop. That's where all the players show their cards and the one with the best hand wins.
Since there can be only one winner of the Poker Run, we also raffled off a Van Demon flame paintjob and a Vortex spray-on bedliner - we're just doin' our best to spread the love around.
After we got everyone registered, Joe Rafael, associate publisher of Primedia's Truck Group, kicked off the cruise with a warm welcome and a raffle for a $100 gift certificate from Dealers Sport Truck. He even led a "no rain" chant. Old-school sport truckers will no doubt recall the scene from Woodstock. If you don't get the Woodstock reference, go ask your dad.
Second Stop: Auto & Truck Specialties
After a quick cruise up the freeway, the State 2 State Cruise arrived at Auto & Truck Specialties (we just call 'em ATS).
We arrived early and watched as the parade of sport trucks filled the ATS parking lot, then overflowed into the cul de sac and around the corner. Trucks were even parking in the grass dividers separating the parking lots from the roads through the business park. After running the gauntlet of the parking lot, you could hook up with the ATS crew for a tour of the company's facility.
We also had refreshments, and participants reached into the hat for their second Poker Run card as well as got a free ATS T-shirt. And right after that, we raffled off five $100 gift certificates graciously donated by ATS. Truckin' magazine's editor, Steve Warner, fished the winning numbers out of a hat, and after all five gift certificates were awarded, we all saddled up and moved out to stop number three.
Third Stop: Advance Flow Engineering
From ATS we headed east about 37 miles to Corona, California, to rendezvous in the business park surrounding advanced FLOW engineering (aFe). The company makes some of the best cold-air systems you can put on your truck, and because we were rollin' on a Friday, the shops surrounding aFe got an eye-full of some rocking customs. Fortunately, there was plenty of parking and most of the folks in the local shops appreciated the unexpected truck show while the participants collected a third card for the Poker Run.
We had a lot on our agenda at this stop, so we had to move fast to give away the $100 gift certificate donated by aFe. Kevin Wilson, editorial director and editor of Sport Truck magazine, got on the bullhorn and called the numbers for the raffle, while Rob Sara from aFe went into Triple-A baseball promo mode as he rifled aFe T-shirts out into the crowd. All that was left to do was hand the gift certificate over and hit the road to the NHRA's museum in Pomona, California.
Fourth Stop: NHRA Museum and JC Whitney-sponsored Lunch
Cruisin' to the NHRA museum was a bit of a backtrack since the ultimate destination was Las Vegas. But JC Whitney sponsored lunch, and a free tour of the museum made it worthwhile. Speaking of lunch, the JC Whitney-sponsored feed of hamburgers, chips, and a drink hit the spot. And a relaxing tour of the NHRA museum was the perfect setup for the cruise across the desert to Las Vegas.
The bulk of the cruisers ramped up to freeway speed eastbound on I-10 just after the lunch hour. Traffic was flowing and we could move through it easily all the way to I-15 North. Once we headed northbound and got into the high desert, we started hitting a storm moving through the area. The rain and the construction on the I-15 combined to make the normally three- to three-and-a-half-hour trip to Vegas slightly longer - OK, a lot longer, but it could've been worse. At least we had a lot of cool rigs to look at while we inched our way across the desert.
Fifth Stop: AIM Industries Dinner Party in Vegas
This trip to Vegas set a personal-best record in the longest-commute category. From the time we left the NHRA museum, it was at least five hours later when we pulled into the Lady Luck Hotel parking lot. And to add to the excitement and uncertainty of the event, there was rain coming down - in Vegas. When it rains in the desert, it usually floods, and the skies were growing dark, so we were hoping that the "no rain" chant was going to work its magic. Because of the rain and the extended commute from L.A., the Aim Industries dinner party, which was originally scheduled to start at 6 p.m., was delayed some to welcome the late-arriving - and by this time, very hungry - cruisers. AIM put on a spread of barbecue chicken, baked beans, corn on the cob, hot rolls, and slaw. The company also provided entertainment, with a rocking DJ mixin' it up into the wee hours. We announced the Poker Run winners as well as the raffle winners of the Vortex bedliner and Van Demon paintjob.
In spite of the extended time of the cruise from L.A. to Vegas and the uncertainty of the weather, the State 2 State Cruise was a huge hit. We have to thank our sponsors once again for showing our readers a great time. Give it up to Chevy Trucks, JC Whitney, our presenting and co-presenting sponsors, along with Truckin', Mini Truckin', Sport Truck, OFF-ROAD, Truckin's SUV, Custom Classic Trucks, Fremont Street Experience, AIM Industries, Dealer's Sport Truck, Gibson Exhaust, Vortex, advanced FLOW engineering, KAIK Products, Pro Car Parts, Smeding Performance, Alfa Otto, and Maxo Auto Trends. The event would not have happened without them.
|Chevy Trucks ||Presenting sponsor |
|JC Whitney ||Co-presenting sponsor/ |
| ||lunch stop sponsor |
|Vortec Engines ||Title sponsor |
|AIM Industries ||Title sponsor/destination |
| ||sponsor/poker winner prize sponsor |
|Rhino Linings ||Show 'n' shine sponsor/ |
| ||title sponsor |
|Vortex Bed Liners ||Title sponsor/flag sponsor/ |
| ||spray-on bedliner sponsor |
|Dealer's Sport Truck ||Title sponsor/registration |
| ||stop sponsor |
|advanced FLOW engineering ||Title sponsor/stop sponsor |
|KAIK ||Title sponsor/provided Best |
| ||Of and all First Place trophies |
|MagnaCharger ||Title sponsor |
|Sylin' Concepts ||Title sponsor |
|Gibson Exhaust ||Title sponsor |
|Alfa Otto ||Title sponsor |
|Rolling Big Power ||Concert sponsor |
|Tijuana Dogs ||Band |
|Fremont Street Experience |
|Hotel sponsor |
|Euro Entertainment ||Club sponsor |