You can't spell mayhem without may, and in the month of May, we officially had tire-screeching, engine melting, and sweaty-palm-inducing mayhem happening all around our multiple race tracks. If there are fast trucks on the West Coast smoking Nitto tires, it can only mean one thing—it's time for the annual Truckin THROWDOWN, presented by Airaid. Power is a must for anyone wanting a thrilling driving experience, and what better way for bolt-on and go-fast enthusiasts alike to get more power than with an Airaid intake. This made Airaid an ideal sponsor for our high-performance shootout. Nitto Tire is the official tire of THROWDOWN, and as the competitors learned, a quality set of performance tires can mean the difference between being competitive and watching others take top honors. Once the emails for prospective racers came flying in, we selected ten fortunate competitors to see whose truck would reign supreme in performance, handling, braking, and in the process, test each driver's skill to the max.
It's a put-up or shut-up competition—there are no excuses. After the waivers were signed and the questions answered, we got down to business kicking butt and taking names. First on the agenda was the 600-foot slalom, where a truck's handling is pushed to its tire-adhesion limit by maneuvering around orange cones at top speed. Next up, glory came by way of cones spaced a quarter-mile apart for a full-speed blast with tires begging for mercy and engines wailing at the top of the rpm range. Tires would once again beg for mercy in the third event, as each truck was launched from a dead stop, forced to go 1,000 feet and come to a complete halt in a 25 by 25-foot square. Doesn't sound too difficult, but when you're hurtling toward that coned off area at more than 80 mph, it seems as if you need a boat anchor to stop in time. The last competition for the day was a 1½-mile chicane-filled road course complete with off-camber turns, mini-slalom, long straightaway, and concluding in an abbreviated stop box. Finally, each truck was judged on style, both inside and out, and of course, engine bay aesthetics. Up until the final votes were tallied, we had no idea who the winners would be. You read that correctly. This year, we had two competitive classes: Race and Street, as well as an Exhibition class that consisted of last year's winners but did not receive official scores. Each class winner took home a custom 17-pound solid billet trophy.
This year also featured a special honor for the class champions, as we awarded each victor with the ceremonial #1 racecar magnet. Thanks to www.aftermathvinyl.com, each racer would have a large magnet distinguishing their respective truck, but only the top two racers would receive the well deserved #1 moniker. Last year's West Coast and LS Fest winners, Rob MacGregor's Silver Bullet F-100 and our very own Project Novakane Sierra, were designated into an exhibition class allowing newcomers a chance to show their mettle. Mayhem did in fact occur, as two trucks didn't even survive the first contest, and another ended the day on top of a trailer. We don't call it THROWDOWN for nothing.