Canadian drivers Overton, Kasdorf shine at Shell Rotella SuperRigs

Canadian drivers Ben Overton and Barry Kasdorf – both driving for Jade Transport of Winnipeg – won three awards between them at the 41st Shell Rotella SuperRigs.

Overton won Best of Show – Second Runner Up and Best Engine honors with his 2020 Kenworth W900B at the truck beauty show in Gillette, Wy., while Kasdorf won second place in the Limited Mileage Working Truck category with his ride, a 2023 Peterbilt 389X.

“I guess the judges like the way I clean the truck,” a smiling Overton said after winning the two awards. His truck has been selected for the 2024 Shell Rotella SuperRigs calendar as well.

Kasdorf said it felt good to win and was happy the truck showed well at the contest. “It is worth it when you get the hardware. Somebody recognized what you did. I will be back.”

Both drivers have won SuperRigs awards in the past. Kasdorf was selected for the 2010 Shell Rotella SuperRigs calendar after winning fourth place in the tractor division with a 2008 Peterbilt 389. In 2021, Overton won second place in the tractor trailer division with a 2021 Peterbilt 389 and was featured in the 2022 calendar.

Truett and Crystal Novosad of College Station, Texas, captured Best of Show honors with their 2007 Peterbilt 379 EXHD. In addition, the truck won the Steve Sturgess Best Theme award for its “Doc Holiday” theme.

The judges heaped praise on the quality of trucks in the show this year.

“These are some of the best trucks and strongest fields. This is my 22nd SuperRigs,” says Jami Jones, managing editor of Land Line magazine. “There are a lot of new people and trucks I haven’t seen before. Variety is nice.”

Truck in a parking lot
Truett and Crystal Novosad’s 2007 Peterbilt 379 won Best of Show. (Photo: Shell Rotella)

Judge Mike Gaffin knows the importance of SuperRigs to truckers who compete and dream of winning an award and making it into the calendar. He is also known as The Boston Trucker on YouTube and social media, and has attended and competed in past shows.

“Truck drivers are working their butts off cleaning their equipment,” he said. “To the people who are here, it is everything.”

At the end it comes down to the details and who executed their theme throughout the truck.

“Who does that to the molecular level? That’s what separates them by a point or two at the very end,” said Jones.

A truck reflected on a tanker's chrome
A truck pulling into the parking lot is reflected on the chrome of a contestant’s truck. (Photo: Leo Barros)

SuperRigs celebrates working trucks, too, but they can also be showpieces despite some signs of wear.

“Working trucks are going to show their scars. It’s a matter of upkeep. Paint over the chips. Drivers must protect their investment. As long as they are taking care of it, it’s not an issue,” she said.

Gaffin said for a truck to be a SuperRig, there is an expectation it must be above the rest. “It must be really well taken care of. That’s the difference between SuperRigs and another truck show.”

Truck with green lighting
(Photo: Shell Rotella)

In the workmanship category, judges measure the miles driven against the upkeep.

“A truck that has a million miles on it and has been kept very well sets it apart for me,” Jones said. “You can have a beautiful new truck with 18,000 miles on it, it’s not going to score well on workmanship. You haven’t challenged it yet as a working truck.”

Gaffin noted trucks and their drivers have a story to tell, and themes help bring them to life. “Tell the judges the special things you put in and on the truck.”

Picture of a cabover truck
(Photo: Leo Barros)

Jones also stressed the importance of originality. A driver’s personality must show.

“There is no turn off when it comes to color or scheme. If you are going corny, go corny all the way. But, if it doesn’t look like you, feel like you and doesn’t fit you, then it’s not the right truck for you.”

List of winners

Best of Show

Winner: Truett and Crystal Novosad, 2007 Peterbilt 379

1st runner-up: Mark Aragon, 2003 Peterbilt 379 EXHD

2nd runner-up: Ben Overton, 2020 Kenworth W9B

Non-Working/Show Truck

Winner: Truett and Crystal Novosad, 1984 Peterbilt 359

Classic Division

Winner: Clyde Green, 1982 Kenworth W900 A

2nd place: JR Schleuger, 1984 Kenworth W900 B

3rd place: Daniel and Phyllis Snow, 1996 Freightliner Classic XL

Working Truck – Limited Mileage

Winner: Dennis Harris, 2022 Kenworth W900

2nd place: Barry Kasdorf, 2023 Peterbilt 389X

3rd place: John Fabris, 2018 Kenworth T880

Tractor Division

Winner: Patrick Lahr, 2022 Peterbilt 389

2nd place: Truett Novosad, 2007 Peterbilt 379

3rd place: Richard Rukstalis, 2018 Kenworth T680

Tractor/Trailer Division

Winner: Cody Davis, 2022 Kenworth W900L

2nd place: Jake Bast, 2001 Peterbilt 379

3rd place: Nichole Cheek, 2008 Peterbilt 389

Best Engine

Ben Overton, 2022 Kenworth W9B

Best Chrome

Cody Davis, 2022 Kenworth W900L

Steve Sturgess Best Theme Award

Truett and Crystal Novosad, 2007 Peterbilt 379

Best Interior

Richard Rukstalis, 2018 Kenworth T680

Best Lights

Cody Davis, 2022 Kenworth W900L

People’s Choice

Cody Davis, 2022 Kenworth W900L