IRWIN Tools Ultimate Tradesman Challenge
Last weekend I had the privilege of traveling to Bristol, TN to attend the IRWIN Tools Ultimate Tradesman Challenge – World Finals. IRWIN’s Ultimate Tradesman Challenge includes a speed competition while performing tasks using IRWIN tools which tests the competitors ability to “GRIP IT, RIP IT, and DRIVE IT”.
This year’s world finals included 6 regional winners from around the world including (pictured below from left to right); Delwyn Thornton – United States, Dan Shepherd – England, Bjorn Ravn Huhlmeier – Denmark, Helmut Radke Neto – Brazil, Krzysztof Dorozinkski – Poland, and Matthew Francis – Australia.
Ultimate Tradesman World Championship Semi-Finals
The competition started on Saturday evening with the semi-finals pitting each of the competitors against each other until there were two men standing. The last two standing were Delwyn Thornton of the United States and Dan Shepherd from England. These two men were completing the challenge in under 30 seconds consistently blowing away their competitors. To put things into perspective I had the opportunity to race against other media members earlier Saturday and only posted a time of 52 seconds!
Nascar Takes On IRWIN Ultimate Tradesman Challenge
Before the world champion was crowned on Sunday two of Nascar’s stars tried their luck at the Ultimate Tradesman Competition with Fox Sports Analyst Jeff Hammond taking on Nascar Driver Jamie McMurray. These two guys put on one heck of a show with a nail biting finish where Jamie edged our Jeff. Trust me I think Jeff was just as shocked as the crowd!
World Champion Is Crowned by IRWIN Tools
16,000 Tradesmen from around the World competed for a chance to go head to head in the finals on Sunday. In a best two out of three competition Dan Shepherd from Halifax England edged out Delwyn Thornton from Mississippi to win the coveted 2011 Ultimate Tradesman Competition Title. As the winner Dan had an opportunity to select one bag out of twenty-five and keep the prize in it. 12 of the bags had $10,000 in them, 12 of them had $20,000 and one lucky bag had $1 Million! Dan and his girlfriend selected a bag and it unfortunately only had $10,000 in it. However, Dan surely seemed excited with his prize and new title as the World’s Ultimate Tradesman.
“IRWIN’s Ultimate Tradesman Challenge was designed to recognize skilled tradesmen from around the world,” said Curt Rahilly, vice president of marketing for IRWIN Tools. “We’ve been impressed by the skill and passion tradesmen bring to this competition. We congratulate Daniel for his big win, and we thank all the competitors for participating in this exciting competition of skill. IRWIN is dedicated to recognizing and celebrating the contributions of professional tradesmen around the world. IRWIN Tools looks forward to continuing the celebration of professional tradesmen on National Tradesmen Day, Friday, Sept. 16, 2011.”
Celebrate & Thank Tradesmen
I am extremely inspired and happy to see a company like IRWIN Tools trying to elevate and lift up successful tradesmen that help make our lives better. Too often we forget about the skilled men and women who build our homes, our roads, bridges, offices and infrastructure that we take for granted. All of us need to do a better job acknowledging these folks and saying thank you.
So I hope you’ll all join me on Friday Sept. 16, 2011, National Tradesmen Day, and thank a hardworking tradesmen. It’s IRWIN Tools hope, along with myself and many others, that this becomes an event that will be marked on calenders. So next time you see someone building your home, fixing your car or repairing your appliances give them a nice thank you.
Bristol Motor Speedway
Along with the great competition over the weekend I also had the pleasure of experiencing one of the most unique and amazing tracks on the Nascar circuit. The Ultimate Tradesman Competition was held at Bristol Motor Speedway in Bristol, TN. I had the pleasure of meeting Fox Sports Analyst Jeff Hammond and race car driver Jamie McMurray. As you can see above I also had an opportunity to tour pit road and check out the amazing cars including the winning car of Kyle Busch pictured above.
Pictured above was one of the highlights of my trip. I got to ride in the front seat of a new Ford Mustang pace car doing speeds of 100 mph around the high banks of Bristol Motor Speedway. Flying around this track at speeds much lower than Nascar racers I was amazed at the talent these drivers have to keep their cars from smashing into one another and the wall! The ride was one I’ll probably never forget!
If you ever get the chance to visit this amazing race facility I highly recommend it. I hear the race in August which is sponsored by IRWIN Tools is even more exciting as the racers go for the checkered flag under the lights.