| August 01, 2005

The Second Annual Trucking Challenge of the Genders will be held in the Reunion Arena parking lot next to the Dallas Convention Center at the conclusion of the Great American Trucking Show.

The Challenge seeks to raise money for Special Olympics athletes and to settle the age old question, “Who drives better, men or women?” Last year, the Truck Challenge of the Genders raised more than $11,000.

This contest started as a friendly rivalry on Steve Sommers’ trucking radio show, when Ed Hutchison of Edmond, Okla., was challenged by Ingrid Bell of Zionville, N.C., after he offered a negative opinion of female truck drivers.

Bell, a 24-year trucking veteran, won the first challenge, but Hutchison, who has been in the trucking game for 26 years, is determined to win it for the men this year.

In the rematch, Bell and Hutchison will maneuver their rigs through a maze of obstacles designed to duplicate everyday situations in the life of a professional trucker. A People’s Choice Award also will be presented to the driver who raises the most votes in the form of donations to Special Olympics.

Throughout GATS, attendees can stop by the Special Olympics booth and buy as many $1 votes for the driver of their choice. Special Olympics T-shirts also will be on sale.

BP Lubricants will sponsor the Castrol Tection Extra Big Honkin’ Truck Makeover.

Entrants submitted a vehicle photo and an essay of 50 words or less describing why the registrant should be a “Big Honkin’ Truck Makeover” contest winner. The grand prize is an internal, external and communication truck makeover valued at $50,000 for any Class 3-8 vehicle.

First prize is a $1,000 trip for two to the 2005 ACDelco National Hot Rod Association Nationals in Las Vegas. Second prize is a portable DVD player and a selection of DVDs valued at $500.

A panel of judges will determine the three finalists. They will base their decision on 50 percent originality and creativity, 25 percent relevance of essay to theme and 25 percent photographic appeal.

GATS attendees will decide the grand prizewinner by voting at the Castrol Tection Extra booth Aug. 25-26. The winner will be announced Aug. 27.

Freightliner will provide meals vouchers for all entrants.

Truckers News again will give away $1,000 each day of the show. Attendees can pick up an entry card at the Mardi Gras booth in the main lobby or participating exhibitors’ booths. Then they collect beads from booths around the show before returning the entry card to the booth in time for the daily drawing.

The Midnight Trucking Network’s booth in the main lobby will offer autographs from rising country music star Shelly Fairchild and a chance to register to win $1,000.

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