2015 NOPI Nationals and Southeast Showdown
This Myrtle Beach event has become a real trucker's show!
If you're a serious trucker, there's an event that needs to be on your calendar. This is the second year this show has been held at the Myrtle Beach Speedway in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina. It was a great turnout last year with about 450 vehicles, but this year the 2015 NOPI Nationals and Southeast Showdown combined event was a capacity crowd, filling the track with more than 750 cool rides. About 80 percent were our favorite kind-cool custom trucks! The Myrtle Beach area boasts a high concentration of lifted rides, and we were thrilled that just about all of them arrived for a weekend of fun.
In addition to the colorful rides on display, the nonstop entertainment began with vendors selling all the latest for your ride—and there were even go-karts set up in the infield to bring out your inner drifter. In fact, real drifters were also on hand, showcasing their driving skills and competing for cash. A treat for drivers and spectators alike, the Loudest Train Horn and Loudest Muffler competition added to the fun, followed by the Freestyle Burnouts and the Truck Tug-of-War. The noisy and smoky events were a treat for the crowd as well as an opportunity for some truckers to have some real fun behind the wheel. Of course, the most attended event of all was the legendary NOPI Swimsuit Competition, with some of the hottest chicks in the northern hemisphere participating. Judges had their work cut out for them since everyone was a winner. More than 170 trophies were awarded, along with cash prizes to the top vehicles, clubs, and competition winners, wrapping up a great trucking weekend.
Successful events don't happen without considerable planning beforehand. Special credit goes to the combined talents of Jon Fulmer and his Southeast Showdown crew along with the Myers family from the NOPI Nationals. On a sad note, the show scene lost one of its favorites with the unexpected passing of Mark Myers. He was well known, loved, and a mainstay of the NOPI show circuit for decades. Our deepest sympathy goes to the Myers family.
Although the lines were long, the wait was short. Here's a hint: Show up early if you want to attend since space was limited and trucks were turned away from this popular event.
Trucks were parked door handle to door handle around the track as well as in the infield.
Cool trucks and patriotism just seem to naturally go together.
Lots of vendors realized the value of a cool, heavy-duty truck to draw attention to their business.
The added benefit of purchasing NOPI Nationals items is that the sales girls are legendary!
Optimus, an '06 Dodge Ram owned by Rich Ellis, was a former feature truck in our sister magazine Truckin. It was easily the biggest vehicle at the show and won the Best Lifted Suspension award.
In case you can't tell, JC Hines from Daleville, Louisiana, is a big Transformers fan, adding dozens of modifications to his blown-apart '05 Ford F-350.
"The American Flag" truck, an '01 Ford F-250 owned by Barry and Nick Schilling and painted by Chad Martin, captured the Best Outrageous Suspension award.
Yeah, we know it doesn't have eight lugs, but Delton Hubbard's blown '94 Geo Tracker was so outrageous, we knew you would want to see it. His radical ride won the Best of Show trophy and $500 cash.
Hundreds of lifted trucks were on hand, making this event one of the most densely populated truck shows we've been to in a long time!
Polishing tall trucks sometimes takes creative techniques.
Drift cars, sliding sideways in clouds of smoke, entertained the crowd and competed for cash.
A go-kart track, set up in the infield, was just one of many options throughout the weekend.
Take a kid to a car show and get them started early!
As a tribute to the memory of Mark Myers, Rodney Christensen put on a hydraulic demo with his dancing, Cali-style Chevy S-10.
Standing on top of the rolled S-10 are Rodney (left) and NOPI's famous event commentator, Jaybird.
With the crowd lined up on the sidelines, the Loudest Muffler and the Loudest Train Horn competitions were noisy, fun events.
The Tug-of-War pitted big trucks against each other to determine the winner. High horsepower and torque, sticky tires, and cramming in six friends seemed to be the right combination!
The Freestyle Burnout Competition pumped black exhaust smoke and then white tire smoke into the blue Carolina skies. A 17-year-old girl won the event.
The NOPI Nationals is famous for its legendary swimsuit competition; the ladies never disappoint.