Inside Western Star's 2023 Star Nation Experience

PORTLAND, OR— It was a trucking extravaganza like no other! The winners of the 2023 Western Star Star Nation Experience gathered in scenic Bend, Oregon, for a four-day thrill ride that left no doubt about their love for big rigs and the iconic Western Star brand.

This exclusive event, masterminded by Western Star, gave lucky participants an all-access pass to the inner workings of Daimler Truck North America (DTNA) facilities. It was a behind-the-scenes bonanza featuring the latest Western Star X-Series lineup, all in a setting that screamed “wild,” “tough,” and “adventurous” – just like Western Star itself.

These eight lucky winners had their moment of glory at DTNA’s High Desert Proving Grounds in Madras, Oregon. They got to explore this testing haven, pushing Western Star X-Series trucks to the brink in a thrilling driver challenge that separated the pros from the amateurs. But that’s not all – there was trout fly-fishing, ATV adventures, a brand photoshoot, and even a surprise visit from STARSQUATCH, the colossal mascot of Star Nation!

Anthony Pires, the marketing communications brand manager at DTNA, couldn’t hide his excitement: Western Star has a tremendous group of customers and operators that love the brand. The Star Nation Experience was a way to celebrate this group, their enthusiasm and the ‘never back down’ way of life they bring to work every day. The fun and camaraderie we experienced during this year’s trip left our team inspired and excited to begin planning for next year.”

And who were the lucky victors of the 2023 Star Nation Experience? Let’s give a hearty round of applause to these trucking champions:

2023 Star Nation Experience winners included:

  • Haleigh Fickett, operator in Maine, U.S.
  • Rob Townsend, owner-operator in Idaho, U.S.
  • Tatiana Castellanos, operator in N.J., U.S.
  • Wes Belanger, owner-operator in Ont., Canada
  • Charles Brown, fleet owner in Va., U.S.
  • Koree Spinney, operator in Maine, U.S.
  • Shawn Moses, operator in S.C., U.S.
  • Jarrett Dorman, operator in B.C., Canada


But wait, there’s more! These winners didn’t keep their adventures to themselves; they flooded their social media channels with tales of their epic journey. Tatiana Castellanos, the operator from N.J., shared on her Instagram: “This day really made us all BOND! We laughed, we played, and we all appreciated what brought us together… the love for trucks. It’s crazy how complete strangers can become family in just 3 days!”

Rob Townsend, on his own Instagram, summed it up: “What an incredible journey. The making of new friends, dare I say ‘family.’ This was truly a once-in-a-lifetime experience, a #StarNationExperience that easily ranks in the top 5 of my life’s adventures. With #WesternStarTrucks’ motto of #NeverBackDown, I am more confident than ever that my Western Star 49x can handle anything that comes our way.”

So, dear readers, mark your calendars because the scoop is that the details for the 2024 Star Nation Experience will drop early in 2024. It’s gonna be bigger, bolder, and truck-tastic like you’ve never seen before! Stay tuned, folks.

Source: Western Star, September 11th 2023