PISTON KNOCKERS DRILL TEAM
The Piston Knockers won their first trophy, fourth place in the three-man ladder, at the Suffolk County Drill at Islip Terrace in July of 1970. In 1972 the team introduced its new “B” truck – a 1971 Chevy cab and chassis with a custom built body. It’s the same truck they use today. It marked the start of a new era for the team because it legitimatized their commitment to move forward. Improvement was slow but steady through the early ’70s. The team won a number of old-fashioned tournaments and introduced its first “C” truck at the Central Islip Invite. By July of 1975 they had grown to become a team to take notice of. On July 21, 1979 at the Oceanside Invitational tournament, the Piston Knockers won their first motorized tournament, edging Islip Terrace Schlagers 20 to 18.5.
As the ’80s opened, the Knockers established themselves as one of the stronger teams on the circuit, finally ascending to the pinnacle of racing. On August 22, 1981 the Piston Knockers amassed 23.5 points to capture the coveted title: New York State Champions 1981. During the rest of the ’80s the Knockers won 16 tournaments while bucking heads with the great Patchogue, Hempstead Hornets and Central Islip teams.
The ’90s saw the Knockers reach some great achievements. A new “C” truck was introduced in 1991. Although they had remained competitive since the 1981 championship, they went fourteen seasons before winning a second. On August 19, 1995 at Clayton, the Knockers held on to edge Central Islip for their second championship title: New York State Champions 1995. On the process, they set a new state record in “C” ladder of 8.70 seconds.
The wait for another title was not nearly as long. On August 17, 1996 at Deerfield, the Knockers captured the title of New York State Champions 1996. The held back a challenge by the Hempstead Flukes and won consecutive state titles.
On August 16, 1997 at Hempstead, with a thrilling come-from-behind-victory over close friends, the Hempstead Hornets, the Knockers were crowned New York State Champions 1997. This achievement marked the unprecedented third consecutive championship and successfully retired racing’s most prestigious trophy.
On August 22, 1998 at Clayton the Knockers beat pesky but dangerous East Islip and archrivals West Sayville to win the title of New York State Champions 1998. With that win, the Knockers joined the Oyster Bay Rough Riders as the only teams to win four consecutive state championship titles.
Since the formation of the Piston Knockers the team has amassed a total of 59 victories. It is still a very competitive team.