Not everyone can have their own race team, build their own racing vehicles and then compete for prizes, trophies and bragging rights. Now, after much consideration, planning and, most importantly, the acquisition of the necessary funds, Fleet Maintenance Magazine has decided to enter the world of truck racing. We've founded our own racing organization, commandeered a crack team of professionals with assorted skills and talents and are in the process of engineering and fabricating a purpose-built racing truck. Leading the effort is Fleet Maintenance's national accounts manager, Joel "No Worries" Franke. The other team members must remain anonymous for a variety of reasons that I am not at liberty to disclose. Fleet Maintenance race truck to be unveiled at HDAW. "I've already got a functional design that is not only sleek and slick, but is bold and eye-catching," says Franke. "When it comes to designing a racing vehicle, it's all about knowing how to handle friction and air drag, and that's what I do." Not one to shy away from his abilities, he adds: "It's amazing what I can do with a protractor, scissors, duct tape, crayons, masking tape and bubble gum." Rest assured, Fleet Maintenance's racing endeavors will be done after hours and on weekends, and will have no impact whatsoever on Fleet Maintenance's mission: To provide the best practices for maintenance management. Our first race will be next week in Las Vegas. Fleet Maintenance is competing in the grueling, and renowned, CVSN Pinewood Challenge which takes place annually during Heavy Duty Aftermarket Week (HDAW). HDAW is the largest North American gathering of the independent heavy duty industry. The CVSN Pinewood Challenge is a spinoff of the Boy Scouts of America's pinewood derby racing. However, the CVSN Pinewood Challenge involves 18-wheeled trucks. These 18-wheelers, powered only by gravity, race down a more than 50-foot track. Those with the fastest times earn first, second and third place honors and "great prizes," say the race organizers. Like NASCAR, the CVSN Pinewood Challenge race vehicles must comply with stringent design criteria. Among these: maximum GVW of 4 pounds; maximum length of 20 inches; maximum height of 5.50 inches; maximum width, of 3.75 inches. To be continued . . .