10/05/08 — Rusted and busted, but that truck is a winner

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Rusted and busted, but that truck is a winner

By Bonnie Edwards
Published in News on October 5, 2008 7:51 AM

News-Argus/Greg Sousa

Micah Woodard, left, and grandfather Baynard Woodard Jr. are seen with the 1967 Ford 100 that won the first place award in the Ugly Truck contest at the 60th annual Wayne Regional Agricultural Fair on Saturday.

Woody Woodard planned to fix up his pickup truck and give it a paint job, but now he's glad he didn't, as his 1967 Ford 100 won the Ugly Truck contest Saturday at the Wayne Regional Agricultural Fair.

"It's good to win something," said Woodard's son, Micah. "That truck is so old it doesn't have to be inspected any more."

The old truck's roof is rusted out so bad, the Woodards have to park it under a shelter to keep the rain out. On the way to the fairgrounds, the Woodards said it looked like it might fly off.

It didn't, but there was enough rust to endear it to the judges, Willie Ray Starling, who had owned the ugliest truck Wayne County had ever seen, and Kari Delacruz of WGBR Radio.

Still, the Woodards' old truck runs like a top, they say, because the engine was built as if it were built to race.

It was granddad, Baynard Woodard Jr., who got to drive the winner down victory lane, although before the contest, the elder Woodard said he really didn't expect to win.

"I thought it was the ugly driver contest until I talked to Willie Ray," he said. "I don't stand a chance today."

And with five trucks entered, the competition was stiff, as the judges looked for things like duct tape, paint jobs and rust, especially rust.

They inspected the trucks inside and out, even enlisting help from the grandstand crowd, which favored the Woodards' vehicle hands-down.

But the hardest part for judges Starling and Delacruz was third place.

To compromise they gave honorable mention to Brian Sittig's red 1996 F150 -- more so for what was going on in the back of the truck than for what it actually looked like.

Sittig and his friend, Trent Walston, had just come from duck hunting and, with decoys lined up along the edge of the tailgate, were dressing two mallards in the bed of the truck.

"Dead animals in the back of the truck. That's pretty disgusting," Ms. Delacruz said.

Honorable mention also went to Kevin Hatch's 1987 Mazda just for showing up at the competition.

Starling said the Mazda, which had a little rust going on the side, was off to a good start, and maybe next year, it might be ugly.

Third place went to Gary Capps' 1986 Toyota, which had quite a bit of rust on the top. And Capps, who lives at Wilsons Mills, said it had enough mail inside to have its own ZIP code.

He received a trophy and check for $25.

Second place went to David Thompson's gray 1988 Chevy S10, which had red spray painted designs all over it, a nice touch the judges decided.

Thompson, who lives in Grantham next to his step-father, James Capps, who drove the truck, said the old S10 has been a good old truck. Capps drove it quite a while before giving it to Thompson.

He said it has 216,000 miles on it, and doesn't even burn oil.

The S10 brought its owner a trophy and a check for $50.

And for the Woodards, their old Ford brought them a trophy and a check for $100.

In two more years, Woodard said he might come back to defend his title.

He can't next year, though, because after Starling's truck won year after year, the rules were changed to limit champions to entering their trucks only every other year.

"I've had it 11 years," Woodard said, "and it rides smooth to be as old as it is.... I can come back in 2010."