The Import & Truck Bash held at the Indianapolis Raceway Park in Indianapolis has been leaning more toward the import side of its name. During the past few years, this tendency has worried us each time we've attended the show and seen the huge numbers of compacts littering the showfield throughout the park. Luckily, we saw that trend turn around somewhat in 2004, with huge numbers of trucks showing up to take part in the weekend's festivities. It felt as though trucks were finally taking the event back. For a show founded on young people's absolute addiction to custom trucks, this was indeed a breath of fresh air.

More than 70 classes worth of show trophies were up for grabs as the Falken Tire Import & Truck Bash took over Indianapolis and the surrounding townships on the second weekend of August 2004. In all, there were more than 3,000 show participants, and more than 13,000 spectators couldn't seem to stay away from the place. Throughout the weekend, hundreds of custom enthusiasts prowled the ITB grounds looking for fun, heading out for grub, going to the vendor row to check out the incredible deals on parts, or just looking for their competition. Not everyone was supposed to be cruising the show, but many of them had a good excuse for doing so - the event isn't an in-place show, with a judging team looking for the classes. ITB is a drive-through event, meaning that if you want your truck judged, you'd better get it to the judges ASAP.

Truck enthusiasts stretched across the Indianapolis Raceway Park and farther than the eye could see, with the show filled to capacity and parking for the event extending out toward the outer edge of the property. Every sort of custom imaginable could be seen, with plenty of rides both old and new to the mini-truckin' scene in attendance. The Miss ITB bikini contest was held on Saturday afternoon, much to the approval of mini-truckers all over the event. The winner of the bikini contest won $500 just for lookin' good, while the guys who watched got more excitement than money can buy outside a strip club. Other events held throughout the day included a cash-prize hydraulic competition, which had trucks touching tail and doing bumper headstands for the screaming crowd. Drop 'Em Wear? used a CO2 cannon to shoot T-shirts into the crowd, with everyone cheering at a volume that rivaled much of the drag racing happening at IRP's drag strip.

Throughout the event, there was plenty to do, with food and fun found all across the park. Crazy people hung out of their trucks and tried to cruise in the bumper-to-bumper traffic inside the park. Drag racing kept the crowds in the grandstands wowed from the sheer horsepower being put to pavement. In short, if you got bored at ITB, you needed your head examined. We never tire of seeing enthusiasts at this event, because Indiana is a great central location for East Coast to meet West Coast. We saw people from all over the country we'd seen only months earlier at Texas Heat Wave and Showfest, just to name a couple of shows we're known to frequent.

We think ITB 2004 gave new hope to the show that we thought might just turn into an all-import event. Let's not let that momentum die, though, by making sure that all custom truck enthusiasts do everything they can to be at this year's event. There's something for everyone at ITB, and you'll never know what you're missing if you let someone else have all the fun. For a complete list of the winners from ITB, go to www.importandtruckbash.com/events/indy_result/complete and see who schooled whom. For information on the 12th Annual Truck Bash to be held this August, contact: ITB/Special Events, Dept. MT, 804 N. Delaware St., Indianapolis, IN 46204, (317) 236-6522, www.importandtruckbash.com.

ITB 411
OFFICIAL ITB ATTENDANCE:
PARTICIPANTS 3,029
SPECTATORS 13,232
"BEST OF" AWARDS
MINI TRUCKIN' EDITOR'S CHOICE Paul Arft Ford Ranger
LOWEST David Braskett Nissan
INTERIOR John Petro Chevy
ENGINEERED Carl Arft Red Ranger
GRAPHICS Jonathon Cash Integra
PAINT Sean Berkey Blue GMC
FOUR-CYLINDER ENGINE Lenny Gruve S-10
SIX-CYLINDER ENGINE Jimi Hendrex Supra
EIGHT-CYLINDER ENGINE John Branscomb El Camino
BEST TRUCK John Petro Red '56 Chevy
BEST CAR Jonathon Cash Integra
BEST MINI-TRUCK Rob Dotson S-10
CLUB PARTICIPATION Twisted Concepts
LATEST CRAZE AWARD Nocturnal Customs
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