MATS Truck Awards: People’s Choice, Best of Show Winners Announced

People's Choice
The 2014 Kenworth W900L that won the people's choice award. (Stars and Stripes)

LOUISVILLE, Ky. — The most tricked-out trucks competed at the 2019 Mid-America Trucking Show, and six came away with the big prizes known as “Best of Show,” with another three winning in the dump category at an awards ceremony March 30.

While there is no overall winner in the “beauty contest” for trucks, there were plenty of truck owners claiming a top award at the Kentucky Expo Center.

One truck was picked by attendees as the people’s choice. That honor went to Mark Hollen of Denver, Pa., who won for his 2014 Kenworth W900L. The shiny blue rig is named “She Gives Me The Blues.”

Best of show winners:

  • Kaleb Hammet of Dodd City, Texas, working bobtail, 2017 Peterbilt 389. Truck name and color: “Ya-Savvy,” red and gray.
  • Eric Turner Sr. of Ellenwood, Ga., working combo, 2015 Peterbilt 389 and 2018 Wally-Mo eight-car hauler. Truck name and color: “Show Time,” blue.
  • K.C. Cousins of Carthage, Mo., limited mileage bobtail with limited miles, 2017 Kenworth W900L. Truck name and color: “Citrus Mistress,” orange.
  • Durrell M. Martin of New Holland, Pa., limited mileage bobtail with no miles, 2013 Peterbilt 389. Truck name and color: “Big Red,” red.
  • Dustin Shipman of Sparta, Mo., limited mileage combo, 2008 Kenworth W900L and 2019 Entyre/Low Boy. Truck name and color: “Never Satisfied,” red.

Best of show, dump winners:

  • Brian Parsons of Johnstown, Ohio, working dump, 2019 International HX. Truck name and color: none, black and purple.
  • Elliott Newberry of Vansant, Va., limited mileage dump, 2018 Peterbilt 389. Truck name and color: “White Lightnin’, ” white.

Best of show spotlight:

Jonathan Eilen won best of show in a non-working dump, throwing himself into refurbishing the truck, a 2007 Peterbilt 379 EXHD with a 2019 Mac/Half-Round, a week before Christmas 2018. It’s named “Final-Final” and is black.

“It was 20-22 hours a day for seven days a week for the last two months,” Eilen told Transport Topics. “It was a lot of work.”

Eilen said his brother, Jake Eilen, passed away without winning the top award.

“He never got the big award, the ‘Best of Show’ award,” said Jonathan Eilen, who lives in Hampton, Minn. “He always got so bummed out about it. It was kind of my goal to try to get him one of those trophies.”

And he did. The award was given in Jake Eilen’s name.