EVE OF DESTRUCTION!!
DECEMBER 3RD, 2005 - TINGLEY COLISEUM
another MONSTER BLOG coverage, the first one to be completed featuring an
event attended by my parents, Lauren & Lynette Bonar!! This weekend
brought them down to Albuquerque, NM for the Rolling Thunder Eve of
Destruction event, put on by Torgerson Motorsports. They made the
trip down to Albuquerque from their home in Tuba City, AZ, which ended up
being about a 6 hour drive.
This would be Dad's first event since he came with me to cover the Ft. Smith, AR show earlier this year. This would also be the first real test for Dad's brand new Nikon D50 camera! He made the investment in this awesome camera so that he could get some great shots at the various events he will be attending this year for THE MONSTER BLOG.
My parents arrived in Albuquerque in the early afternoon and had plenty of time to kill before the show's 8:00 start time. After checking around out at the local Wal-Mart and Target stores for the latest Monster Jam merchandise and getting some dinner, it was finally time to head on down to the Tingley Coliseum for the show. They arrived about two hours early, and were met at the gate by Danny Torgerson, who took a few minutes out of his busy schedule to show them around. On behalf of my parents and I, a HUGE thanks out to Danny for all of his help and all of his hard work in putting on a great show. We very much look forward to working with him and all the fine folks at Torgerson Motorsports in the coming months and years!! On to the show!!
THE LINEUP OF MONSTER TRUCKS
Was excited to learn that the Gorilla Motorsports team would be competing in the event as these were a couple more trucks that we have yet to see in action here on THE MONSTER BLOG. Unfortunately, the regular driver of Awesome Kong had a family emergency and had to return home from the show, leaving the truck without a driver. Due to this unfortunate occurrence, Rex Smith would be handling the driving duties for both Awesome Kong and Monster Patrol for the evening.
BORN TO BE WILD
Was also great to learn that a friend of THE MONSTER BLOG, Larry Quick would have his Born to Be Wild Dodge in the show. The last time we saw Larry in action here at the site was at the I-70 Speedway Eve of Destruction. Unfortunately Larry's run was cut short that evening due to breakage. Dad got a chance to talk to Larry quite a bit before and after the show, and was really looking forward to seeing him compete in the night's events.
This was kind of interesting. I'm not sure how new this deal is, but apparently Shafer Motorsports came to an agreement with Rex Smith of Gorilla Motorsports for him to run a Monster Patrol body on the el Bandito chassis from time to time. This is kind of similar to the Don King truck we saw at I-70 that was running the Bearfoot chassis. I've seen a lot of great pictures of the el Bandito truck in action, and it was pretty neat to see the truck with the sharp new Monster Patrol body on it. This truck is a quite a bit different from the main Monster Patrol, but it really grows on you after a while. One thing that you could count on was that this truck was gonna be tough to beat tonight!
And finally, to round out the field, hometown favorite Charles Benns and his beautiful Pit Bull monster truck!! Charles is still a little bit new to the sport, having only purchased this truck (which used to run as Rambo) earlier this season. But with a great new paint job, and Charles and the Pit Bull were ready to rock the hometown crowd!!
Another neat story coming from the evening's event was that Charles Benns of the Pit Bull had arranged for roughly 40 kids from the Tingley children's hospital to attend the event for free!! The kids were really pumped up about being there, and Charles was happy to have his own little cheering section!!
So, that's the truck lineup for the evening's competitions which would feature a wheelie contest, straight-line drag racing, and of course, freestyle!! Without further delay, its time for the Wheelie contest!!
THE WHEELIE CONTEST
BORN TO BE WILD
Larry Quick would be the first truck out for the wheelie contest. Each truck would get a hit on both sets of cars, and the crowd's applause would determine the winner. Looking over the setup, the crush cars were perfect for the wheelie contest, as there were some nice, solid and heavy "boats" on the end of the set. Being the first one out, it was up to Larry to get the show started with a bang. And did he ever!! His first attempt got the truck very close to straight up and down and would set the standard for the trucks following him. Born to Be Wild's second hit was also good, but not like the first one.
DAD'S SCORE: 9
Next up would be Rex Smith, filling in for his absent teammate in the Awesome Kong machine. The first hit with Awesome Kong was a very good one, but not quite as good as Born to Be Wild. The second hit, Rex had difficulty getting anywhere near vertical and simply jumped up onto the cars. The first hit however, was quite good and would earn him a respectable score from Dad.
DAD'S SCORE: 7
Charles Benns in the hometown favorite Pit Bull would make his attempt next, and would find it difficult to get the truck to stand up much at all. Both attempts produced good launches over the cars, but nothing that could really be considered a "wheelie." Unfortunately this would not score too well the old man, lol.
DAD'S SCORE: 4
Last out would be again, Rex Smith, only this time driving the Monster Patrol!! If anyone was gonna be able to take the unofficial lead from Larry Quick, the Monster Patrol would have to be the one to get the job done. Rex's two hits did a great job of getting the nose up in the air, and a very nice run from Monster Patrol!! However, was either jump good enough to eclipse Larry Quick's straight up and down on his first attempt??
DAD'S SCORE: 8
Not quite enough to knock off the Born to Be Wild truck in the eyes of Lauren Z. Bonar, but what would the crowd have to say about it all? Well, the Albuquerque fans had a bit of a different take on the winner, as when the cheer off came, it was Charles Benns in Pit Bull who would take the victory!! Definitely got some home town support on that particular competition, and no disrespect to Charles Benns, but we're gonna call Larry Quick the rightful winner by a very slim margin over Rex Smith in Monster Patrol!! On to the straight-line drag racing competition!!
MONSTER PATROL VS. BORN TO BE WILD
The first match-up of the evening would put Rex Smith in Monster Patrol up against Larry Quick in the Born to Be wild machine. Both trucks were quick off the start and got some great air off the car set, but it would be Rex Smith in Monster Patrol just edging out Born to Be Wild for the win!!
PIT BULL VS. AWESOME KONG
Fresh off his Wheelie contest victory, Charles Benns was looking to go for the evening sweep, but would have to defeat Rex Smith in the Awesome Kong Ford to get a chance to take on Monster Patrol in the Finals. Charles got a great leap over the cars and flew his way to victory while Smith was having problems with Kong, moving slowly over the cars and being relegated to taking on Born to Be Wild in the Consolation Race. Its actually a good thing that Benns was able to defeat Smith, because I'm not really sure what would have happened if Rex Smith had to drive both trucks in the Finals!!
THIRD PLACE RACE
AWESOME KONG VS. BORN TO BE WILD
Next up would be the consolation race between Awesome Kong and Born to Be Wild. In what was probably the closest race of the night, Larry Quick was just able to edge Rex Smith for the victory and for 3rd place on the evening.
PIT BULL VS. MONSTER PATROL
The Final Round would see Rex Smith in Monster Patrol and Charles Benns in the Pit Bull going head-to-head for the big win in the Racing competition!! As it turned out, the race would not be close, as Monster Patrol jumped out to the lead and never looked back, leaping to victory in the Rolling Thunder Eve of Destruction Racing competition!! Congratulations to Rex Smith on the big win!!
That will take us to the part of the evening you've all been waiting for, the Monster Truck Freestyle competition!! Click the link below to see the first runs!!