Garrett Hood, a 25-year-old construction worker from Monroe, N.C., just earned $5,000 in cold cash and a new Ford 4x4 truck.

Oh yeah, he's also this year's World's Best Bricklayer.

Photo: Tudor Van Hampton
Garrett Hood, 25, breaks new record for trowel time.

"I'm tired, but I'm feeling great," said Hood, holding a shiny trophy in front of his new truck at the annual Spec Mix Bricklayer 500, held Feb. 3 at the World of Concrete in Las Vegas.

Hood now becomes a two-time winner of the national masonry challenge and the first ever to lay more than 1,000 bricks in the timed event. However, judges deducted 100 points for imperfections, leaving his official score at 911.

Previously, Hood earned the World's Best Bricklayer title in 2008 and placed second last year. Why return? To win the truck.

"It doesn't get any better than that," he said, looking fondly at the Ford Super Duty pickup.

A total of 20 masons and tenders had 60 minutes to build a 26-ft, double-wythe wall of at least 500 bricks, competing for over $100,000 in cash and prizes.

Aside from sheer speed, judges scored the trowel-blazers on height, plumbness, joint thickness, voids and other quality standards.

Tyke Mangum, 25, this year's returning champion, took the top title in 2009 with a score of 890 after a 100-point deduction. Both Hood and Mangum work for McGee Brothers Co., a large brick homebuilder based in Monroe, N.C.

Though Hood set an unofficial record for gross bricks, the title of world's fastest mason, set in 1987 by Bob Boll of Littleton, Colo., remains undefeated, according to Spec Mix Inc., which sponsors the event.

Boll, 56, who also competed this year, holds the top trowel title in Guinness World Records, at 914 bricks.