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‘Goin’ to Kansas City, Kansas City here I come…’

By Sandi Soendker, editor-in-chief

I’ll tell you where I’ll be in mid-October – on special assignment, along with the Land Line crew. If that includes basking under a deep blue Kansas sky at the Kansas Speedway, hanging with OOIDA friends, grooving to good music, drinking a beer and gnawing on a K.C. barbeque rib – well, we are veteran journalists and we can handle it.

I’ll just have to deal with my adrenaline pumping at the sight of glitzed-out show trucks and to the sound of 600 horsepower engines racing around the Kansas Speedway at 165 mph (the Richard Petty Experience). Note to self: Be sure to get a new OOIDA 40th anniversary T-shirt along with a Petty cap.

We probably will be Health Walkin’ with the Trucking Solutions Group, checking out vendors, seminars and maybe we’ll take a bounce or two in one of those inflatable bounce houses. I could be taking a side trip to the Cabela’s store nearby; the place is amazing.

Where exactly is this special assignment? OOIDA is hosting an extraordinary two-day celebration for OOIDA members and non-members alike to mark its 40th year of representing the interests of all professional truckers and fighting to protect their rights. The dates are Oct. 18-19, and the place is the Kansas Speedway in Kansas City, Kan.

Land Line Magazine will be covering the event wall-to-wall, and OOIDA’s Sirius XM radio show “Land Line Now” will be broadcasting from the show.

And what a show. For the first time the management and staff at OOIDA are calling on our members and all interested truckers to come together in a single national event and share in the pride, accomplishments and camaraderie of being part of the largest trucker organization in the country – now 40 years strong.

The event will feature great food, a beer garden, kids’ area, awards, attendee competitions and more.

At press time, more than 100 exhibitors were committed for the show, representing truck, trailer, engine, component and parts manufacturers, as well as services catering to the heavy-duty truck industry. Some of the events and happenings held in conjunction with the show include educational seminars sponsored by OOIDA and the truck beauty competition.

For those who want to participate in the Heart of America Truck Beauty Contest, you can now sign up online. Categories include Working Truck (main class); Limited Mileage (main class); Wash ’n’ Shine; President’s Choice (OOIDA members only) and People’s Choice.

The classes will be determined by the number of entries, year model and category. For example, we’ll have Dressed For Excess – the trucks that are shiny inside and out, customized and polished to the max. And then we’ll celebrate Grandstand Good – working trucks that get the job done in fine style, but aren’t quite as detailed.

Concerts? We’ll have those, too. Rock and blues music will fill the air throughout the day from local premier talent. The big news, though, is that Lucas Oil Products Inc., owned by longtime OOIDA Support Member Forrest Lucas, is sponsoring the main event concert on the Friday night of the show. The word is it will be a “marquee talent performer.” Lucas Oil’s team is in the process of nailing down the act or acts for that night. 

A health pavilion will include info on fitness, exercise and more. OOIDA will have a medical benefits booth there, and the pavilion will have several health professionals offering a variety of health tests. Denise Pittenger of the St. Christopher Trucker Development and Relief Fund will be on hand, too. A Health Walk is planned, led by the Trucking Solutions Group. Watch for more info on how to sign up.

Plans are brewing for more evening excitement in the free overnight truck parking lot as well. OOIDA’s Jon Osburn and Sassi will be there, rockin’ the Association’s tour truck, “The Spirit of the American Trucker.”

How much does it cost to attend? For members and non-members, registration is free if done online by Sept. 14 or with tickets that will be made available from the OOIDA office and some of our partner companies. After Sept. 14, you can still register online for a fee of $10 or buy a ticket “at the door” for $10. All attendees must register for the event. Registration is now open for the event at ooidatruckshow.com.

If there is one thing the Kansas Speedway is not short of, it’s parking space. Free overnight truck or RV (self-contained) parking will be available for attendees, as well as free parking for those driving in for the day – either in your rig or passenger vehicles. Security and restroom facilities are provided. Information and maps indicating parking areas will be posted at ooidatruckshow.com in early August.

Although not officially part of OOIDA’s show, the Richard Petty Driving Experience will be in attendance at the Kansas Speedway during the show. If it’s been your dream to personally drive a NASCAR race car, here’s your chance. Or you can ride along with a professional instructor.

Be sure to visit the website often as additional special announcements and details will be posted in the near future. LL

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