By ANDREA SHAY
Saturday the Desoto Speedway hosted Manasota Truck Night, an event where truck modification enthusiasts could compete, show off their vehicles, engage in truck pulls and meet others around the area. The event was put on by co-managers Cole Williams, Rowland Shannon, Eric Maser and Bobby McGrath, who are donating a significant portion of the proceeds from the event to the family of Quenten Cox, who died in a car accident earlier this year.
Cox had frequently helped organize and host previous Manasota Truck Nights at the speedway. “He was like a little brother to me,” said Williams.
“He’s been a part of Cole’s family all their lives,” added Shannon.
Saturday’s truck night had a larger than usual turnout, which the organizers attributed to community members wanting to support the fundraising effort and remember Cox.
Manasota Truck Night LLC typically holds several events per year at the speedway and is a labor of love for the organizers. Williams and Shannon said the group puts on these events because they enjoy them and because they want to give back. Past truck night events have raised money for Toys for Tots and other charitable organizations that help the local community.
The group tries to use the Manasota Truck Night events to allow attendees to show off their modified trucks while also benefitting their community. This time, they were raising money for something much closer to home, and they saw the event as an opportunity to help with funeral expenses.
“It’s kind of a blessing on our part to be able to give to his family,” said Shannon.
The event featured truck competitions in four categories, awarding trophies and bragging rights to the winners, who came from all over the state to compete. Willy Suarez, who won 1st place in the heavy modifications category, drove all the way from Miami to compete with his truck. In addition, Mike Piper, 3rd place winner in the bolt-on modification category, came to the event from Orlando. Like a number of other attendees, Piper not only wanted to compete but also wanted to support the cause.
The organizers plan to hold the next Manasota Truck Night on Saturday, Dec. 3.