2005 Lay'd Out At The Park - First Annual Custom Truck Show
First Annual, But Far From The Last
When a show promoter gets plans together for their first-ever show, it's a mind-rattling experience. After helping out with another show in Eastern Tennessee last year, Jeffrey Dillard decided to go all out and put on a show that could rival any show that had been around for a decade. Jeffrey knew that in order to do this he needed to have the perfect location, plenty of advertising, and enough organization to make any neat freak jealous. The first thing to do was to land the spot that would provide plenty of parking for not only the show competitors but for spectators and tow vehicles, as well. The perfect location for the event was the Frank Lorino Park in Morristown, Tennessee. Now that the location was set, it was back to the drawing board to decide upon the name. This part came easy-Lay'd Out at the Park was the perfect fit for such an event. As for advertising, Jeffrey made sure that this show was listed in every show calendar known to man and that anytime you Googled the words car show, his show would come up. With everything in line and the flyers made up, all he had to do was sit and wait for the second weekend in April to arrive for the show-well, there was more to do, but sitting and waiting just sounds cooler than all the mayhem he had to go through. Luckily, Jeffrey had the help of his club, Low Trenz, to finish up all the details.
Late Friday night before the show, the hotel parking lots started to fill up, as dedicated participants came in early to beat the rush that was expected. Bright and early the next morning, all of the local car washes began looking like miniature shows, since most of the vehicle owners gave their trucks a good old-fashion cleaning to ensure that the judges would be impressed enough to send them home with a trophy. Once the car wash detailing was done, it was time for participants to head off to the showgrounds, which wound up filling up a lot quicker than Jeffrey and the Low Trenz crew could even imagine. They even had to cut off registration about an hour early because they ran out of room with more than 500 vehicles that were up early enough to snatch open spots in the show.
To keep the spectators and show participants busy throughout the day, several vendors set up shop and provided that last minute addition to make any show vehicle complete. These vendors, along with the sponsors, such as Xtreme Illusions, Concrete Video, Mahle Inc., Jerry's Automotive, Audio Concepts, US Motors of Maryville, Performance and Electronic Connection, Jimmy's Auto Parts, Advanced Auto, O'Reilly's Auto Parts, Royston Dodge, Morristown Chevrolet, and Low Trenz, made sure that the show was a success.
After all of the judging was done and the "Best Of" winners were chosen, it was time to give out the trophies to the lucky few. But, unlike most shows, when awards were over, the show still had plenty for everyone to enjoy. A dragging area, located a mile or so from the show site, was set up, or in this case, blocked off to any traffic and provided plenty of spectator parking and watching space. Even though this year's show was a one-day event, the nighttime activities would make most two- or three-day shows jealous. A flat, five-lane road was blocked off by the local city and Hamblen County officers to allow anyone who took the time to register for the drag-off to shower the onlookers with sparks and light up the night sky without risking a ticket or hitting a stray vehicle. The first few passes were multi-vehicle drags that lit up the sky more than a three-alarm fire. Speaking of fire, there did happen to be a small fire when a guy dragged though his gas tank on his first pass. But, since the drag area was controlled by the city of Morristown, there were plenty of fire trucks full of trained professionals to quickly put out the flames and clear the road for the next round of hard-core 'railing.
Once the first few rounds of multi-vehicle drags were done, local street-bike stunt team Str8-Up Stunterz wowed the crowd with gravity-defying tricks at almost racing speeds. Once they were done with their show, it was time for the individual dragging. This pretty much went as smooth as the multi-drags, with the exception of Sport Truck almost losing one of its photographers, when a door-dragging Nissan lost control and slid sideways straight toward the camera. Unfortunately, we didn't get a picture of that moment, because his job title changed from Show Photographer to Olympic Sprinter in order to get out of harm's way. But, being the experienced dragger, the Nissan's owner regained control before any damage was done.
With the first show out of the way and a huge chunk of money donated to the local United Way office, it was time for the 2006 show plans to be made. With this show running out of room early, plans for a bigger location were already made before any trophies were given out. It has also been bumped from a one-day show to a weekend event to allow even more fun for everyone. For more information on this year's show or to check into the 2006 show, check out www.lowtrenz.net or give Jeffrey a call at (865) 523-1255.