SuperRigs shake-up
In unprecedented move, winner disqualified in post-show review

By Jami Jones, managing editor

A Shell Rotella SuperRigs post-show review of eligibility requirements resulted in the disqualification of the Best of Show winner and the crowning of a new champion.

“After completing our eligibility verification process for the Shell Rotella SuperRigs Contest winners, it has been determined that the original winning entry chosen for the Best of Show category did not meet all of the eligibility requirements of a working truck and trailer in the Truck and Trailer category for the 2013 Shell Rotella SuperRigs contest. Therefore, the entry has been deemed ineligible for the Best of Show award,” Chris Guerrero, global brand manager for Shell Rotella said in a press release.

As a result of the disqualification of Jonathan Eilen’s 2005 Peterbilt 379 and 2013 Mac trailer, the new SuperRigs Best of Show winner is the 2012 Peterbilt 389 owned by OOIDA Member Bill Rethwisch Jr. of Tomah, Wis.

“Pretty cool deal; I can’t even believe it,” Bill told Land Line following the post-show announcement.

“It was pretty funny, because when we were at Louisville this year, the Shell people saw me wearing a Tomah T-shirt and told me that SuperRigs was going to be there,” Bill said. “I laughed and told them ‘I know. I’m going to win it.’”

While Bill was just joking around in Louisville, cool trucks have always been a passion for him. He said that winning a best of show “anywhere” would have been great.

“Doing things like this has always been a total dream of mine since I was a little kid,” Bill said. “I started my business with one truck and no money with my wife looking at me like what the hell are you doing?”

Picking up trophies here and there is certainly a bonus for Bill, but he has bigger dreams for his trucks and company.

“Part of the reason I’m in this is, if any of my kids want to carry this on, I want them to have something they can be proud of,” Bill said.

In the continued reordering of Best of Show, first runner-up went to the 1986 Peterbilt 359 owned by OOIDA Member Jeremy Hassevoort of Hamilton, Mich., and the Best of Show second runner up is the 2013 Peterbilt 389 of Kevin Pascavis from Richfield, Wis.

“We’re thankful to all of the contestants who competed this year in the 31st annual Shell SuperRigs competition in Tomah and we want to congratulate this year’s final winners in the competition,” Guerro said in the statement. “We look forward to continuing to grow this event as we celebrate and recognize some of the hardest-working and best-looking trucks on the road.”

The Shell Rotella SuperRigs competition is the premier truck beauty contest for actively working trucks. Owner-operator truckers from across the United States and Canada compete for cash and prizes valued at approximately $25,000. Twelve drivers were also selected to have their truck featured in the 2014 Shell Rotella SuperRigs calendar. LL