For all you guys (and girls) out there who want to do more than sit next to your truck at a show and cool yourself with frosty beverages, we have THROWDOWN. To coin a phrase, if you build it, they will come. And build it, we have. We've been like the fight club for trucks. Traveling this great country to bring you performance truck events that will keep your brow moist with perspiration and your hands gripped tightly on the steering wheel. THROWDOWN at Holley's LS Fest in Bowling Green, Kentucky, was no different. Working with Holley, they invited us to come out to Beech Bend Raceway and show the muscle car and Corvette owners how fast a truck could go straight, make tight turns, and stop. Because this particular event was for LS engine-equipped cars and trucks only, it provided a great opportunity for '99-and-later GM trucks and SUVs to shine, and also opened the door for S-10 owners who had hot-rod pickups ready to burn rubber. After three days of going fast and having a blast, the competition proved to be a white-knuckle ride all the way to the end; with an amazingly tight finish we couldn't have set up any better ourselves.

The Events

To gain the crown, contestants were required to compete in five total events. We started off with the autocross on Beech Bend's circle track. With most contestants having never turned corners at speed in their trucks, we started off slow and allowed everyone to get acclimated before hitting the timers for a real gut check. Next on the list was a session on the quarter-mile strip. The majority had plenty of experience here, so it was green on the tree and pedal to the metal. New for this event, we allowed tire swaps, so each owner could run their best time possible. Another difficult event for some was the slalom. We set it up the same as we always do, with cones spaced 100 feet apart for a 600-foot total course from timer to timer. We were forced to run the slalom at the top end of the drag track, which was a bit unsettling knowing those walls were so close on each side should there be an incident. Luckily, all trucks came away unscathed and it was onward to the speed stop challenge. For those that do not know, the speed stop is a timed event beginning from a dead stop, accelerating to a driver determined distance before braking hard into a box of cones. The vehicle must be fully surrounded by the cones, inside the box. The quickest time without hitting any cones wins the event. Finally, additional points were awarded for the show-and-shine. All participants were allowed to pick their two favorite trucks without picking their own. One additional vote was given to Marketing Director Bill Tichenor of Holley Performance. After all, this was his event and his opinion mattered. As an added bonus, the winner of the shown 'n' shine portion was also guaranteed a feature in the magazine, on top of the THROWDOWN coverage. Point breakdowns were given for First through Fifth Place, with First Place in any category receiving five points, down to Fifth Place garnering one point. It went all the way to the end as only two points separated First from Second, and Second from Third. That's what we like to call, a photo finish!

We put together a little gathering of fast trucks ready to give it all they had and give it all, they did. We had one contestant bend up his four-link bars (multiple times), another truck twisted its axlehousing in its tubes, and yet another truck experienced a nitrous backfire, breaking off a spark plug tip and melting it to a piston. Novakane wasn't all roses, as we had to MacGyver a clutch master cylinder bracket after it decided to leave the firewall and destroy a 10-rib tensioner, sending parts scattering on the track. The cost of speed can be a search for inner calm sometimes. To check out the trucks that competed and see video footage of the event, go to