The track The race trucks The starting gate Fleet Maintenance Magazine's racing team's inaugural race was the Eaton-sponsored 18-wheel CVSN Pinewood Challenge, held during Heavy Duty Aftermarket Week (HDAW) in Las Vegas last week. HDAW is the largest North American gathering of the independent heavy duty industry. Leading the Fleet Maintenance racing team effort, and designer of Fleet Maintenance's tractor trailer race truck, was national accounts manager, Joel "No Worries" Franke. He had spent an inordinate amount of time and effort putting together a unique race rig, complete with a variety of features to help it, powered only by gravity, speed down a more than 50-foot track. Eighteen rigs, each with a unique design, were entered in the race, which took place before a very enthusiastic capacity crowd. Taking first place was the truck entered by Pascale. Triangle Suspension's race rig took second; Bendix came in third. Winning the Concours d'Elegance portion of the Challenge, which recognizes the entry with best appearance and design, was Marmon Highway Technologies' rig, first place, and Triangle Suspension, second. Sadly, Fleet Maintenance's rig didn't have a great showing at the race. Actually, it didn't even get the chance to race. As with any organized race, there are various design criteria that must be adhered to. In his zeal to build a blazing 18-wheel racer, "No Worries" Franke overlooked some of the no-nos, and Fleet Maintenance's race rig race was disqualified. Needless to say, this was extremely disappointing. "Not to worry," "No Worries" Franke reassured me. "Wait until the next race. Things will be different." Lesson learned: RTM. Our plan is to compete at the 18-wheel pinewood derby at TMC next month.