Peterbilt Delivers Best of Show In Rotella SuperRigs Competition

July 8, 2012

The May 2012 Sheel Rotella SuperRigs competition held in Joplin, MO demonstrated once again why Peterbilt is such a beloved truck. Driver John O'Keefe won the competition, hands down, in his 2007 Peterbilt 379 EXHD Legacy. He calls the truck "Low Life" but, actually, it was the highlight of the day.

Competing against owners/operators throughout the US and Canada, O'Keefe's truck captured first place in multiple categories. It rolled away with the Best Theme, Best Lights, Best Engine, Best Interior, and Best Chrome trophies as well as cash and prizes worth $10,000. This driver and rig was also selected to be included, along with 12 other drivers, in the 2013 Shell Rotella SuperRigs Calendar.

Even with O'Keefe's overwhelming success, the show drew some stiff competition. First runner up in Best of Show, Paul Rissler of California, MO, drove a 1996 Peterbilt 379 and walked away with $4,000 in prize money. Additionally, the second runner up for Best of Show, TJ Timblin of West Bend, WI, won $2,500 for his 2005 Kenworth 900L.

The event was designed to help raise funds for the YMCA's disaster recovery efforts following a devastating F5 tornado that literally wiped out the town of Joplin, MO on May 22, 2011. During that cataclysmic event, 158 people died and an additional 990 were injured. Structural costs for building repairs and replacements were estimated at around $3 billion and have yet to be completed or paid for even though the Missouri insurance association paid more than any other state in history. The SuperRigs competition ended up raising more than $100,000 for the All Roads Lead To Joplin Project and it was all due to the overwhelming support given by truckers throughout the US and Canada, many walking away winners.

The People's Choice Award, voted on by spectators and participants attending the event, went to Shane Price of Leo, KS with his 2012 Peterbilt 389. However, competition in all categories was stiff leading to the winner of the Tractor/Trailer Division going to Wayne Vogt of Hesston, KS in his 2007 Peterbilt 379 Legacy, winner of the Tractor Division going to Pat Eilen of Hampton, MN in a 2010 Peterbilt 389, and winner of the Classic Division going to Travis Headley of Lebanon, MO in his 1969 Peterbilt 358A.

One of the most unique prizes went to Ronal Millsap of Statesville, NC for the Hardworking Division. This award recognizes the one driver that keeps the economy moving by working so hard. Another unusual category was the Virtual SuperRigs Award that was won by Paul McMasters of Bristow, OK in a 2012 Peterbilt 389 for accumulating the most votes on the virtual SuperRigs site.

The day was a huge success for everyone in attendance, but especially for the YMCA who was sponsoring such a worthy cause. Due to the overwhelming generosity of participants like Todd and Beth Roccapriore who are the owners of "Low Life" that donated their $10,000 winnings, Joplin walked away a winner as well. With Peterbilt taking the lead and winning in many categories, it's no wonder this truck has been popular for decade.

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