OOIDA’s tour trailer sets up at TopGun LargeCar Shootout

July 23, 2020

Chuck Robinson


More proof that the year 2020 is a strange one is that the first truck show of the year for OOIDA’s tour trailer is in late July.

The Spirit of the American Trucker will be at TopGun LargeCar Shootout Working Class Truck Show at the Rantoul National Aviation Center in Rantoul, Ill., on July 24-26.

Rantoul is near the junction of I-57 and U.S. Highway 136, just over 100 miles south of Chicago.

This is the 13th annual TopGun LargeCar Shootout. Organizer Daveda Reitz continues the show created by her husband, Tom Reitz, who died in 2018 just before that year’s show. Her husband had been an owner-operator and a senior OOIDA member.

At this year’s show, a Parade of Lights is planned on Friday. On Saturday, a Kiddie Pedal Pull event is planned and a Jake Brake competition. There also will be a motorcycle show there, and the band Smoke N Whiskey is scheduled to perform Saturday evening.

The truck show has a “Wash ‘N Park” class for any trucks whose owners don’t want to compete but like showing off their equipment and having a good time. There are several trophy classes.

Last year, Sid Colangelo of Carthage, Mo., won Best of Show Bobtail with his 2016 Kenworth W900. Pam Cox of Pandora, Ohio, won Best of Show Combo with her 2016 Peterbilt 389 and 2017 Wilson livestock trailer.

Here is a video from the 2017 TopGun event.

While the state of Illinois bans gatherings of more than 50 people, organizers say the ban does not apply to the show since it is completely outdoors. Even so, the rules prohibit people from congregating in groups of 50 around exhibits, vendors or any single truck.

Jon Osburn, skipper of The Spirit, says he has a good supply of free face masks to hand out. OOIDA is helping to distribute masks supplied by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration and the Federal Emergency Management Administration.

Stop by when you see The Spirit

If you see The Spirit tour truck, stop by and say hello to Jon. He enjoys visiting about the Association’s activities and current issues. He usually has copies of Land Line Magazine to hand out. You can join or renew your OOIDA membership for $10 off the regular price there. Free face masks are available at The Spirit. You also can get vouchers for flu, shingles and pneumonia vaccines from Jon.

The next stop for The Spirit after Rantoul is Bloomington, Ill. Here is the schedule.

Chuck Robinson

Chuck Robinson formerly was senior copy editor for a weekly trade publication serving the fresh produce industry. He has served trade publications, horticultural journals and community newspapers for 25 years.