Tampa, Florida, was the scene of some of last year’s worst weather. This year’s Lowrider Tour stop, however, was on par with last year’s show, attendance-wise. More than 10,000 spectators were treated to many sights and sounds at the Florida State Fairgrounds, including a great Hop and Dance Competition on Sunday.First up as usual was the Single-Pump Hop, which had Dave Harkins, Jesse Alvarez and Troy Buehl dueling it out for First, Second and Third Place. Troy tapped up a 35-inch hit, followed by Dave at 30 inches and Jesse at 25 inches. The spectators in the stands were only viewing the warm-up for what was to come.The action in the Double-Pump Hop was more of the same with Frank Carralero of Red’s Hydraulics-Miami, Florida, taking first with 65 inches. Ken Lewis and his colorful ’86 Olds Cutlass moved up one spot from his Third Place Miami finish. Jose Reyes and his Buick Road master placed Third with exactly 3 feet on the stick.Next came the Truck Hop and there were only two trucks in the running. When the smoke and spare parts had cleared, Michael Gonzalez was the victor taking his truck 76 inches. The Cool Cars Mazda truck hit 62 inches, but you can bet that it’ll be a fine-oiled machine for upcoming stops on the Tour.
The Radical Hop took place with parts flying and had Jormong Miles collecting some money even after technical difficulties with a Third Place finish. Daniel Davis sailed his front end 52 inches and netted himself Second Place. Jason Garrett took it up a couple of notches with a final height of 66 inches for First Place.The Street Car Dance wound up being a family affair for First and Second Place. Ten-year-old Tia “Yoohoo” Harkins is taking the reigns of the “Disco Biscuit” this year, which is sporting a new candy paint job. When the sparks stopped flying and the smoke had cleared, it was Dave Harkins beating out his daughter for First and Rodney Christensen taking Third Place.
Rodney Christensen made his way to the top in the Street Truck Dance with 21 points, and had his truck rocking and rolling right on its side, with the crowd screaming all of the way. Rob Robertson’s 18 points garnered him Second Place and T&D Customs’ 13 points rolled them into Third.The final round was the Radical Dance and they say that they save the best for last and that was true on this Sunday. The difference between First and Second was one point and Tradd Burn and Clint Perkins dueled it out with Tradd taking First with 24 points. Clint scored 23 and qualified for the Super Show and Carlton Tucker placed Third.There was some good action this year at the Tampa Hop and the season is slowly picking up steam as the 2006 Tour churns on. Look for more excitement to brew as we get closer to the Super Show and the hydraulics competitors come out to qualify at each and every stop.