COORS LIGHT MONSTER TRUCK
& JET CAR JAM
MAY 6TH, 2006 - FIREBIRD INTERNATIONAL RACEWAY
Lynn and I arrived in the Phoenix area late Friday night, getting ready
for the Saturday night's Coors Light Monster Truck & Jet Car Jam at the
Firebird International Raceway. Pulling into our hotel we saw next
door, the Action Race Museum. For those not interested in
collectibles, Action is one of the biggest name brands in collectible,
diecast replica cars and trucks. So after a night's sleep, we had to
check out the Museum Saturday morning.
As we entered we met Ron Welch the store manager, who immediately informed us that everything was half off except the 2006 items. I asked about the Museum and was informed it was closed. Ron told us that this shop was shutting down and moving to North Carolina. Therefore the reason for the big sale. Disappointed that we could not view the Museum, I asked Ron if they had anything in Monster Trucks? He stated that a vendor that sets up at Monster Truck shows had come in and bought everything. I told Ron who we were and why we had our camera, he then allowed me to take a few pictures of items still left in the Museum. Very kind of Ron, to let the Monster Blog share these with you. The shop will be open until June 30th for the collectors in the Phoenix area. You can get in touch with Ron and the sales staff at (602) 337-3868.
From here, Lynn and I drove back to Glendale to visit Ian Hugh Tire and Auto. Ron Bachman was there with a Bigfoot display. Arriving at 5104 W Glenn in Glendale, we immediately spotted the very beautiful Firestone Destination Bigfoot. The colors and paint scheme on this truck are awesome. After visiting with Ron, we found out that he has been with Bigfoot over 20 years. He used to drive one of the trucks for about 10 years, now he hauls Destination around as a show truck. Lynn had went inside and introduced herself to the manager and staff. She explained who we were and as Ron and I walked inside the shop, the Monster Blog was on their computer. Kiko Padilla, Jason Cullen and Steve Martinez were looking at the site and allowed me to explain it to Ron. Ron was not into computers, but did say he liked the site. Ron had to load up soon; he needed to be at a car show, so we said our goodbyes and left to go back to Chandler, where Firebird is located. It was great meeting Ron and the gang at Ian Hugh Tire & Auto; we would like to thank them for their hospitality on our visit!!
Lynn and I stopped back at the Hotel and then went to get something to eat. Then it was onto the raceway!! We meet the event staff and now we are told where all we can and cannot be for pictures. We have media passes around our neck and a vest that puts us in the spotlight. So as we go through the gate this guy yells at me and says, I will give you a nice hat if you throw that one away. I start laughing, thinking he doesn’t like my Brian Vickers GMAC hat. I introduce myself and find out he is Ron Howell with Brand Connections. I tell him I won’t throw my hat away, but he can give me a hat. He said, only if I promise to wear the one he gives me all day. So I promise and he hands me a “Built FORD Tough" hat. Bummer, I am a Chevy man, but, a promise is a promise and I am a man of my word. Ron tells Lynn and I that he and his partner Labe Abernathy are with Brand Connections Mobile Management Services. They drive a Big Rig with several different show cars, including a very nice John Force funny car dragster. I asked Ron to stand by the John Force car and I might get his picture in my coverage on the Monster Blog. He said sure, Labe then asked “what about me?” I said, you didn’t give us a hat and my wife needs one. She was wearing a Cubs hat. Labe said wait and I will get her a hat, lol. He brought her a “Ford Championship Weekend” hat. So I let him get in the picture, lol. These guys were a lot of fun, and you can reach Ron and Labe at www.brand-connections.com!!
In the pits we spotted all kinds of different Drag Racers, Mustangs, Camaro’s and many more. These cars were not part of the event, but I found out that they pay a fee to the track for coming to make practice runs. They would go out on the track, make a run, come back work on the car and go back out. This went on from the time we arrived at 2:00 pm until a little before the scheduled event started.
Lynn and I are walking around, taking it all in when we came across a bunch of mini dragsters that all had the same paint scheme. They were called Team Socko from the Christman Brothers Racing team. Talk about a family sport, these were junior dragsters. Two of the team are 10 and 12 years old. According to Tanya Christman, the boy’s mother, they run in a Division 7 NHRA. Tyler Christman is 10 and #1 in Division 7 and runner up in team Firebird. Aaron Christman is 12 and has won two Track Championships and a Firebird championship. I thought I would add this as I had no idea there was anything like the junior dragsters and if there are any readers as uninformed as myself, that may be interested, they can contact Robert Christman, the owner and crew chief can be reached at (602) 670-4940.
As we move to another area we see the big Dragsters. We were able to take a few pictures and talk to a few drivers and team members. Most did not have business cards or any information about themselves for us to identify once they were on the track. However we did run into Joe and Carol Douthit, owners of the California Smokey Jet Dragster. It was Carol’s birthday and they were busy getting ready for the evening's event, but they took time to explain some things and provide information about themselves and their sport. California Smokey is powered by a General Electric J-85 engine, it puts out about 5,000 pounds of thrust, which converts to about 10,000 horsepower. The top speed so far is 304 mph and runs consistently at 295 mph. Per run, this dragster uses an average of 26 gallons of fuel. WOW! The information above was provided by Joe and Carol Douthit. Hopefully we will run into these fine people again as they run as many as 51 bookings a year.
Has anyone ever seen a fire truck with Jelly Beans painted on it? Lynn and I have and I would love to tell you about this very unique vehicle. Ed Jones along with his biggest fan for 35 years, Wendy Jones, have a Fire Truck that specializes in wheel stands. Ed and his Fire Truck broke the Guinness World Record for wheel stands in 1988 at 2,298 feet. According to the information Ed gave me, this record still stands. Children and adults loved Ed’s performance and after he was finished performing in his 1931 replica Fire Truck, Ed tossed out free samples of Jelly Belly, Jelly Beans to the crowd. Ed and Wendy do not have a web site, but for bookings, they can be reached at (208) 766-4515. Our thanks to them for the awesome performance and Lynn’s renewed love for Jelly Belly, Jelly Beans.
You are probably thinking by now, is this guy ever going to get to the Monster Truck Coverage?? I promise I will, but first there is always the National Anthem, for the patriot in all of us. I spotted a young lady with her friend, that looked very nervous in the media area. I introduced myself and found out that her name is Skyler Wells. She was here to sing our National Anthem and was very nervous. Skyler is a music lover and has been attending music school in the area. There was no reason for this young lady to be nervous, she did an excellent job. So, to all reading this, remember the name “Skyler Wells” and remember the Monster Blog gave her rave reviews first. Then of course, I had to get this future star's autograph.
Are you ready for some Monster Trucks?? Let's take a look at tonight's Monster Truck Lineup!!
THE TRUCK LINEUP
BOUNTY HUNTER - JIMMY CRETEN
IRON OUTLAW - LINSEY WEENK
UNNAMED & UNTAMED - SAM STURGES
NASTY BOY - RONNIE STURGES
MONSTER MOOSE - BRAD CAMPBELL
PUBLIC DISTURBANCE - JASON GRILL
SUMMIT BIGFOOT - DAN RUNTE
SNAKE BITE - DAVE HARKEY
HOT WHEELS - CHUCK WARNER
MAXIMUM DESTRUCTION - TOM MEENTS
Click below to head to the next page where we will get the night started off with coverage of the Monster Truck Wheelie Contest!!