Daytona Beach Might Kick Out ‘World’s Largest Truck Meet’ Over Bad Behavior
40,000 people poured into the city to celebrate lifted trucks this past weekend, and Daytona Beach's mayor has had enough.
The Daytona Beach Truck Meet is pretty much exactly what you think it is. Tens of thousands of spectators descend on Daytona International Speedway in tricked-out lifted trucks, with plenty of events and live entertainment. Once the main game ends, participants flood the streets of the Florida city to continue the party into the wee hours of the night. This year's event ruffled a few feathers, however, with local mayor Derrick Henry stating he would not like the event to go ahead in future, reports Fox35.
The complaints are similar to those made against other major car meets like the infamous H20i in Ocean City. The accusation is that the event draws in a loud, obnoxious crowd, and that participants cause havoc with excessive traffic and dangerous driving. Speaking on the issue, Mayor Henry stated "Most annoying are the horns and the music that keep our beachside residents awake," going on to note that the city would be looking at whether the event should be allowed to return next year. "I would rather not see the event here in Daytona Beach," said Henry. While the meet itself is hosted at the Daytona International Speedway, much of the frustration seems to be around the behavior of participants in the city proper as they spill out of the event.
The event ran at Daytona International Speedway from the 11th to the 13th of June. Despite this, incidents began early, with a particularly bad crash occurring in the days prior. The "Banana Ram" belonging to YouTuber Ryan Mayer was reportedly hit by another car, sending it tumbling through sand dunes and destroying the vehicle in the process. No details on the other car involved are available, though Mayer claimed in an Instagram post that he was hit "by some girl trying to pass me at what had to be 110+ HALF IN THE GRASS HALF IN THE ROAD."
While the sheer number of visitors was a problem enough for some, other complaints around the event concerned participants partying late into the night, congregating in car parks and consuming alcohol. While the first Daytona Truck Meet back in 2014 drew only 500 vehicles, this year's event, billed as the "World's Largest Truck Meet," counted roughly 40,000 spectators in attendance. Given the fixed population of Daytona Beach is just 67,000 residents, it's understandable that the event would cause some disruption. Video of the event taken by YouTube channel Cuzzintruck shows a good cross section of the weekend's activities outside the event proper.
The most dangerous activity on display is primarily passengers riding in the beds of lifted pickups. Plenty of squatted trucks were also on show, with obviously compromised forward visibility. It bears noting as well that plenty of Confederate flags were flown on trucks in the area, even as the racist symbol is slowly being banned at mainstream automotive events.
However, not all residents were against the event. Some were more willing to take a live-and-let-live attitude, with Fox35 quoting local resident Marcia Tuggle, who said "The bottom line is they come for the weekend, they spend money, they have a good time and they go home." Similarly, area man Tom Gary stated "I don’t get a lot of sleep some nights, but I can deal with it because it doesn’t last forever."
Partying into the night with a bunch of fellow truck enthusiasts is probably a great time. Some participants, giddy from the highly-charged atmosphere, may have gone a little overboard with the loud music and alcohol. It's also likely that out of the tens of thousands of trucks present, a few drivers might have enjoyed some inappropriate hooning around town. With that said, evidence of such activity is in short supply. The mayor's office would likely have far more luck turning public opinion against the event if there were multiple dangerous crashes or sideshows around town, for example. In the absence of such evidence, it might just be that the patrons of the Daytona Truck Meet were simply out there having a rowdy good time. Whether that's enough to kill the event in Daytona Beach will become clear soon enough.
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