There is power in numbers, yes, but there is also power in personally knowing those who you choose to surround yourself with. With some clubs having chapters on both sides of the country, as well as across the globe, it’s interesting to see what a small group of individuals is capable of. Balistik isn’t a household name (yet), their member count is under triple digits (by a lot), their website hasn’t been updated in years (it’s pretty bad), but somehow they have established a huge presence in the show scene while still remaining undetected.
We sat Balistik president, Bill Baltikas, down for a little chat. Enjoy.
President Bill Baltikas.
Mini Truckin’: Your club is celebrating a landmark this year right?
Bill: Yeah, it’s Balistik’s ten-year anniversary.
MT: Congrats! How many members are in the club and how many chapters are out there?
Bill: It all started in 2003 with my friend Jason and a few other guys. We never expected anything to come of it, but we now have 30 members spread across Illinois, Indiana, and South Dakota.
MT: Nice. Now for those who don’t know, your club throws one of the most buzzed about shows out there right now. Mind telling everyone which one it is?
Bill: You mean Camp N Drag?
MT: Yeah that’s the one. 2013 marked the 6th anniversary of the show, and it looks to be growing each year. Did you guys anticipate it to be such a hit?
Bill: With Indy Truck Bash fading away in 2008, we thought it was time to try something new in the Midwest. With the help of my partner R.J. and a couple of sponsors, we dove right into creating our version of a classic truck run. It didn’t start catching on until the 3rd year though.
MT: Well, it has certainly picked up some steam. How hectic is the weekend of the show for you now?
Bill: It’s like nothing I’ve ever experienced. Once people start showing up, our small but dedicated crew clocks in for rotating shifts until the last camper leaves. It’s not like other shows where everyone leaves at a certain time at the end of the day.
MT: How much longer are you interested in keeping the show going?
Bill: As long as everyone is having fun and looking forward to the next one, and we make enough money to keep it going, we’ll make it happen.
MT: It seems like you guys have your work cut out for you, and hopefully you guys are looking far into the future, because there doesn’t seem to a shortage of demand for many more Camp N Drags to come.
Bill: We never imagined this kind of response, and we honestly didn’t expect to still be here, but it seems like we have a good thing going. Thank you to everyone who has supported us from the beginning and continue to do so. Thank you to our club members and their families for putting in the long hours before, during, and after the show. CND wouldn’t be here without you.
Matt Sirbas—owner of a really sweet S-10 (and beard).
Balistik co-founder Jason Smith.
Dustin Puzey and his soon to be featured Ranger.