AMP TOUR WINTER THUNDERLAND
JANUARY 20TH, 2007 - McGEE MEMORIAL COLISEUM - AZTEC, NM
By Lauren Z. Bonar
winter weekend trip for Lynn and myself on our way to Aztec, NM for the
AMP Tour Monster Truck Challenge Winter Thunderland event at McGee
Memorial Coliseum. Living in an area that does not usually get a lot of
snow, we woke up, got ready, and then went out to pack the Blazer only to
find about 3 inches of snow on the ground. Three inches of snow seems
laughable to most, but living in an area that does not have snow removal
equipment or a nice supply of salt for the roads, it can get quite slick.
Aztec is about 220 miles from Tuba City and over three quarters of the way
was snow packed slick roads. Luckily I grew up and learned to drive in
Milwaukee (yes, I am a cheese head) Wisconsin. So driving on the slick
roads was no problem, just takes a little longer to get where you are
Here is a picture of the Pit Party and a very good one it was. It was extended for 5 or 10 minutes as there were still fans in line for autographs. It was finally stopped and the remaining fans were promised autographs after the show.
THE TRUCK LINEUP
DUST DEVIL - JIMMY LYONS
TNT - KATHY WILLIS
SHEER INSANITY - GED BARCROFT
PIT BULL - CHARLES BENNS
MCGRUFF - MURPH McCROREY
With over 3,700 fans Friday night and 4,000 in attendance tonight with some standing room only fans, it is time for the National Anthem. Before most Monster Truck events, the announcer takes time to recognize Veterans of all branches of service, Active Duty personnel along with retired and active Police Officers and Fireman. I really missed that this night as it may not be part of AMP’s routine, but in my opinion these people should be recognized. It is almost like a Monster Truck Event tradition--again, just my opinion. The announcer did state if our military was not over there, we may not be here at the Monster Truck show, but it just did not seem the same somehow.
It was now time for qualifications and, again readers, I was taking pictures and failed to write them down. My apologies and we will go straight to racing after a few pics from the qualifying round.
First race featured teammates Ged Barcroft in Sheer Insanity versus Kathy Wills in TNT. Sheer Insanity took the win, but to be fair, TNT lost 3rd gear the previous night and was not running to its full potential.
Next out would be Murphy “Werewolf” McCrorey in McGruff versus Jimmy Lyons in the Dust Devil. If you have not read my coverage’s before, you may wonder why I call Murph McCrorey "werewolf"? Reason being is he is a very quiet young man, kind of shy (seems to be getting over the shyness though) but you put this young man behind the wheel of McGruff and it is like he grows fangs as he gets very aggressive. Anyway, McGruff took the victory, it looked as Dust Devil beat McGruff off the line, however he did not get the air he needed with that short wheel base.
Charles Benns made a run across by himself, due to his being the night's fast qualifier.
Semi-Finals would begin with Charles in Pit Bull versus Ged and Sheer Insanity. Sheer Insanity took this race easily by about a monster truck tire length. But wait a minute, where is the Aztec Police when you need them? Sheer Insanity ran a red light taking off too fast. A disqualification is declared and Charles Benns is now the winner. Ged, your ticket will be in the mail!
Next out is the fastest loser Kathy Wills in TNT versus Murph McCrorey in McGruff. TNT made this one very close even missing 3rd gear, but once again, McGruff flew to victory.
For the racing victory, it would be Murph and McGruff facing off against Charles in Pit Bull. We had just seen our closest race yet in Las Vegas last week, but this one was very close also. I mean very close. Murph took the racing victory, just edging Charles.
Time for some Freestyle! I will let the pictures tell the story, but I do have a few comments. Only two trucks made it through this portion of the competition without suffering any breakage. That being Sheer Insanity and McGruff. Pit Bull was doing very well until it broke a power steering line and was shut down by AMP. TNT did her best with two gears until the truck back-fired a couple times and died. Dust Devil made a nice couple hits & jumps, then something broke and he limped back to the pits with damage. I do not understand the crowd's vote for the freestyle winners as it was a tie between Kathy Wills in TNT and Charles Benns in Pit Bull. Nothing against these two drivers, but their runs were cut short by breakage, and McGruff put together a very good, full run that was the best on this night. Check out pictures below from freestyle.
Checking out of the La Quinta
the next morning and sitting down for the "delicious" free breakfast, Lynn and I
were at a table next to four youngsters age-ing from about 8 y/o to 14 y/o. I
overheard one talking about the Monster Truck show last night? I asked them if
they went to see the Monster Trucks. They said when they got there it was all
sold out and did not get to go. Lynn and I felt very bad for them, so after
eating breakfast, we went back to the room, retrieved a few The Monster Blog
business cards with the web address so they could check out highlights from the
show, and also four hero cards that a kind driver had given us over a year ago.
From the looks on their faces and the joy in their voices, the monster truck
driver that gave me those hero cards, now has four new fans.
- Lauren & Lynette Bonar