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THANK YOU TO ALL OF OUR FANS!!

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As The Monster Blog celebrates one year of being online, we would like to take a moment to thank all of our fans--Here's to all of you who make The Monster Blog a regular stop on your daily internet surfing!!

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Take a moment to check out this special section commemorating the first year of The Monster Blog, and be ready for lots more new and exciting things coming your way in the next year!! So read below as my family and I take a look back at the last year, and then head over to the main page for all our usual monster truck coverage from all over the country!!

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Skip Ahead to Main Page!!

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INTRODUCTION

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Welcome to The Monster Blog's special section commemorating the first year of the site.  It's been a lot of fun bringing you monster truck coverage and content this past year, and this weekend we will celebrate our work thus far. See below for some of our special content this weekend.

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THE MONSTER BLOG ANNIVERSARY VIDEO

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The new video commemorating the first year of The Monster Blog has been posted. It should play automatically when loading this page, but if you have any issues, you can also view and/or download by clicking the following links [Low (25MB) or High (75MB)]. In the video, I pay tribute to my family who helps me bring you The Monster Blog and look back at the past year in pictures. Then we recognize the rest of The Monster Blog's staff who are such a vital part of what we do, and finally, a tribute to all of the drivers whose hard work allows us to enjoy monster truck shows all across the country.  We hope you enjoy the video!!

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LOOKING BACK

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Ross, Rajeana, & Zane Bonar - We have had a blast over the past year, traveling all over, covering shows, and trying to become the leading source for monster truck news and coverage not just on the internet, but anywhere. My wife and I have been to over 20 shows, seen shows in 7 states (MO, OK, AR, IN, OH, MI, & NY), and seen over 80 different trucks!!  With the help of our staff and special contributors we have brought content from more shows than I even wanted to spend time counting over the past year.

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I personally was a huge monster truck fan back when I was younger, in the late 80's and early 90's. But there came a time when my interest faded and turned to other things like Nascar and baseball. It wasn't until I found out that my wife and I would be having our first baby--a son--that I got to remembering how much I loved monster trucks when I was a youngster. That memory got me curious to see what was going on with the sport these days, and as I checked out places like the Mayhem board and the various other monster truck sites out there, I was surprised to realize just how big the sport is--and how little of it gets any form of national coverage.

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It was then that I set out to build a website that would attempt to bring more of our sport to a central place where fans like myself could go to find out what was going on--not just in one part of the country, and not just the big series--but everything--from the smallest car crush and the little two or three truck county fair shows all the way up to the twenty truck dome shows.  Why?  Because as a monster truck fan, all of that is interesting!!

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Another of our goals is to always try to have something fresh coming out on the site for folks to look at.  We try to go no more than 2-3 days without some kind of update, because there is nothing more frustrating than a site you love that is rarely or sporadically updated.  In essence, what we try to accomplish here at The Monster Blog is to be the kind of site that we would want to see--being fans ourselves.

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The only thing I would like to ask folks to remember about The Monster Blog is just to be patient with us from time to time, when things are slow, or when we don't get them done as quickly as we would like.  As much as we would love for it to be, The Monster Blog is not our full-time job--just our passion.  All the updates you see on the site are done by little old me, when I am not doing school, working, or spending time with my little family.  Often times our staff and special contributors are lightning quick getting stuff done, but sometimes it can take me some time to get everything posted.  Just remember, we are dedicated to the site and we are always working our hardest to bring you as much content and coverage as is humanly possible!!  I can't even list all the projects / ideas we have planned for the site that life gets in the way of us accomplishing, lol!!

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I would like to take a moment to really thank the folks who support the site financially.  We will never make money doing this, because everything we make is put back into the site--upgrading our camera and video equipment, buying better computer and software applications to improve the site, running our forum and paying our hosting costs, and most of all--traveling to all of the shows we go to--that's where the real money is spent, especially with gas prices what they are right now.  But here are some people I would like to thank for overlooking our newness and coming aboard to sponsor us:  Jessica Hubley, Special Events; Brandon Legarde, Sudden Impact Racing; John Borba, WGAS Motorsports; Denise Vaters, Vaters Monster Motorsports; Todd Blaeser, 1st Place Apparel; Anthony Luciano, R/C MTRA; Atom Wigley, MonsteRCUSA.

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Another big thank you to all of the drivers, crews, & promoters who give us shows to attend--without all of you constantly working hard to entertain us, we would all have to find another sport to follow--and I don't think any of us would want to have to do that!!  A note to all the industry people reading this--we are here to help promote you!!  Another of our primary reasons for running The Monster Blog is to try to bring more exposure to the sport of monster trucks--so use us!!  Our contact information is all readily available in the "About Us" section, so if you have news, just call or email us and we will be happy to share it with the rest of the monster truck community!!

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But one of the biggest thank you's needs to go to our staff and special contributors--Tommy Lee Byrd, Kyle Doyle, Andrew Palochko, Bryan Wagner, Dave VanArtsdalen, Charlie Wagner, Marty Menze, and Chris Kaelin.  These are the folks who help bring you all of the coverage that we have--we couldn't do it on our own and these folks are vital to what we do!!

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I also want to thank all of the fans out there who send us a couple pictures and a short recap from a show they attend where we had no presence--while we don't have time to do full galleries in our Fan Photo Gallery much anymore, we still like to let folks know what happened at every show we can and give them a few pictures from that show on the main page.  So here's to guys like Chad Dobbins, Kyle Seden, and many more who do that for us!!  We also run the Picture of the Week contest so that you can share your pictures with others, and you are always welcome to post pictures on the Fan Forum--so get involved with the site!!

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Wrapping up, my last thank you goes to all of you reading this right now--your visits to the site are what will make us bigger and better, so keep on coming back, tell your friends about us, and buy a Monster Blog T-Shirt to wear to the shows so people know that you are a Monster Blog fan--and that You Know Monster Trucks!!  THANK YOU!!

 

Lauren & Lynette Bonar - The stats for myself are pretty amazing looking back on the past year. Most of these also pertain to my wife Lynette; however some events I was lucky enough to get to attend with my son as well. We have been privileged to see over thirty different monster trucks and meet the fine folks who make them run.  We've attended 17 events in 7 different states--Arizona, New Mexico, Missouri, Arkansas, Nevada, Michigan and Ohio.  Lynn and I have witnessed 6 roll-overs, we've seen Natural High getting stuck vertical while riding out a wheelie, and even had a chance encounter with Natural High on Interstate 70 while traveling west through the Rockies.
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Lynn and I enjoy traveling and seeing things. Thanks to our son Ross Bonar and TheMonsterBlog.com, we have been to places we never would have seen.  Washington, MO; Fort Smith, AR; Parker, AZ; Tucson, AZ; Davisburg, MI; Ionia, MI; Clio, MI; Toledo, OH; Prescott Valley, AZ; and Mansfield, OH just to name a few.  We've been to many different places all over the country, and out of all the things we've seen, the most amazing would have to be the closeness of the fans, drivers, and how everyone works together as a team.
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There have been fans that have become good friends--from Jeff Johnson and his wife Nora, who are great Monster Blog fans-- to Nelson Cruz Jr., who took some awesome video for us of Keith Sturgeon's car crush in Prescott Valley, AZ--and even recently, I got to meet Paul Harry and his family, along with Chad Dobbins in Mansfield, OH.
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Drivers we have met have been numerous, but some stand out as having helped us the most, especially with knowledge of the sport.  First I have to mention Sam Sturges--if there is anyone who is willing to take the time to share knowledge, it is Sam.  The first show Lynn and I covered was in Albuquerque, NM last December, where we met Larry Quick, who at the time was driving Born to Be Wild.  Larry now owns and drives the Reaper monster truck, but that night he immediately made Lynn and I feel more comfortable about being there.  The same night we also got to meet Charles Benns, owner and driver of Pit Bull, and learned of the great charity work he does for a Children’s Hospital in Albuquerque.

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Our first Live Nation event was at Chase Field in Phoenix, AZ and the first driver I visited with was Rod Wood, driver of McGruff.  Rod also made me more comfortable with his easy going personality and introduced me to his step-son Murph McCrorey, who was 15 at the time.  Rod told me that Murph would be driving a monster truck when he was 16--Murph has now turned 16, and we've witnessed his awesome skills twice since then.

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The above mentioned Kelvin Ramer of Natural High has unleashed a world of knowledge in our two meetings, along with allowing us to become friends with his family.  Don Frankish of Maniac and Nathan Weenk of Jurassic Attack have become  good friends as well.

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Rodney Tweedy, who now works for the Bigfoot team, and James Tigue of Bearfoot were stuck in Tuba City, AZ during the Tuba City Fair last October--hotels were filled, campgrounds were filled, so after their Friday night performance, they had no where to take a shower and get cleaned up--Lynn and I invited them into our home, and they were very appreciative--we enjoyed the conversations with them and were thankful for the knowledge they provided.

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There have been many more drivers and owners we have met that have helped with knowledge and become friends.  Visiting Ross, Rajeana, and our grandson Zane in Michigan recently, we attended a few monster truck events and had the honor of meeting many more folks we do not get to see in the southwest--Mark Hall, Tim Hall, and Kyle Doyle of Hall Brothers Racing; Tim Bush of Sudden Impact Racing; Jocelyn and Jeff Perrin of Perrin Motorsports; and Andy Hoffman, owner and driver of Nitemare, just to name a few.

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Lynn and I were not into monster trucks until the Ross was born.  We did our part in taking him to a few shows in places like Springfield, MO when he was young, but it was not until I attended the Washington, MO show with Ross last year that I too, was hooked.  We have learned a lot in the past year and look forward to doing more coverage for The Monster Blog--unless the Monster Blogger gets unhappy with our work and fires us!!  I would like to thank everyone we have met along the way--the drivers for your awesome performances, the promoters for putting on the shows we all enjoy, and all the fan of The Monster Blog, whose return visits keep us in business.  We too believe that the sport of monster trucks is growing--please help the Monster Blog continue to grow with it!!

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THE BEST OF . . . by Ross & Rajeana Bonar

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Looking back over the many shows we have attended since starting The Monster Blog, we thought it would be fun to recognize some of the best performances and standout moments and people that we have encountered in our journeys.  The following awards are just for moments at events we have attended, and the idea is just for fun.  We hope you all enjoy Rajeana and I's picks, be sure to stop by the Fan Forum to let us know what you thought!!

 

BEST SHOW - 4 Wheel Jamboree - Lima, OH - May 20th-21st, 2006


HONORABLE MENTION - Monster Jam - St, Louis, MO - February 25th, 2006

HONORABLE MENTION - Monster Nationals - Mansfield, OH - July 15th, 2006

 

There is nothing quite like the experience at a 4 Wheel Jamboree event for a monster truck fan. These events typically will include multiple shows over the course of the day, all for the price of one admission. Lima, OH is the pinnacle of this experience--Five shows in three days, with three of those shows occurring on Saturday. While such scheduling is extremely tough on the teams and drivers, Saturday in Lima is heaven for a monster truck fan. Couple that with great racing, and a legendary freestyle battle between Jim Kohler and Chuck Pauken, and you get The Monster Blog's "Best Show" award winner.

 

The 2006 St. Louis Monster Jam featured great racing, and some wild freestyle--add in a great stunt jump by Mark Hager and you come up just short of the Lima experience for an honorable mention. The 2006 Monster Nationals finale in Mansfield, OH was also a great show and deserves an honorable mention as well.

 

BEST TRACK SETUP - Monster Jam - St. Louis, MO - February 25th, 2006


HONORABLE MENTION - 4 Wheel Jamboree - Lima, OH - May 20th-21st, 2006

HONORABLE MENTION - O'Reilly Outlaw Nationals - Miami, OK - May 12th-13th, 2006

 

The great stunt jump by Mark Hager at this year's St. Louis Monster Jam required a landing pad of over thirty cars in the center of the stadium floor. Once the stunt was complete, this car set made for one of the most unique and exciting freestyle obstacles we've ever seen--and this gets the Best Track Setup award for LiveNation Motorsports.

 

An incredibly long, fast racing course, and lots of huge freestyle obstacles inclines us to give Special Events an honorable mention for their track setup in Lima, OH this year.  Another tip of the hat goes to John Darnell and his MAP Motorsports crew for the great setup in Miami, OK this year--great use of the available space at the fairgrounds made for a memorable show.

 

BEST DONUT - Geremie Dishman, Raminator - Sedalia, MO '06


HONORABLE MENTION - Jim Kohler, Avenger - Lima, OH

HONORABLE MENTION - Jocelyn Perrin, Lil' Miss Dangerous - Ionia, MI

 

This was an easy choice for Rajeana and I as we looked back over the many events we've attended. The Matthewson Exhibition Center at the Missouri State Fairgrounds in Sedalia, MO is hardly what you would call a spacious arena.  But that didn't stop Geremie Dishman from ripping off one of the best sets of cyclone donuts we've ever seen--two nights in a row.

 

When thinking of drivers capable of great donuts, Jim Kohler immediately comes to mind. There were actually a number of shows we could have chosen to give Jim this honorable mention for, but ultimately the dirt-slingin' donuts he pulled off numerous times in Lima did the trick.  Kudos also to Jocelyn Perrin for some great donuts at the Perrin Motorsports show in Ionia, MI this year.

 

BEST WHEELIE - Mark Hall, Raminator - Indianapolis, IN '05


HONORABLE MENTION - Dave Harkey, Bigfoot - Springfield, MO '05

HONORABLE MENTION - Charlie Pauken, Grave Digger - Toledo, OH

 

During freestyle at the Special Events show in Indianapolis last November, Mark Hall in Raminator pulled off one of the most memorable moves we've ever seen in freestyle.  Hall stopped at one corner of the stadium, and then put all the Hemi power to the floor, pulling an awesome power wheelie and carrying it across the length of the RCA Dome, dragging the tailgate the whole way.  Easy choice.

 

Dave Harkey also stands out in this category, having pulled off a couple awesome slap wheelies at the 2005 4 Wheel Jamboree in Springfield, MO. At our most recent show in Toledo, OH, Charlie Pauken brought Grave Digger out for the wheelie contest, promptly planted the tailgate in the carset and then rode the wheelie off the cars and along the track for another 50 feet. Both of these efforts could easily be winners, but in the category, Mark Hall is the hands down winner.

 

BEST RACE - Shane Blair, Bigfoot def. Doug Noelke, Big Dawg - Washington, MO


HONORABLE MENTION - Jimmy Creten, Bounty Hunter def. Tony Farrell, Blue Thunder - St. Louis, MO '06

HONORABLE MENTION - Carl Van Horn, Traxxas T-Maxx def. Mark Hall, Raminator - Mansfield, OH

 

Thinking back over the many, many great races we have seen over the course of the last year, one stands out in particular. Rookie Shane Blair was paired against veteran Doug Noelke in the finals at the 2005 Washington, MO show.  Noelke got off the line great, but Blair made a huge jump over the first two cars, nosed into the second set's ramp, which bounced Blair high into the air over the second set. The great pass allowed "Air" Blair to win over Noelke by a half-truck length, but what was even more impressive was the skill with which Blair stopped the truck in the very short shutdown area, taking out a few boxes of balloons for style points as well!!

 

A couple other races come to mind on this topic. This year's St. Louis Monster Jam featured a very close race between Jimmy Creten in Bounty Hunter and Tony Farrell in Blue Thunder for the win, with Bounty Hunter prevailing by just about a tire-length. Great race. Another very memorable race was between Mark Hall in Raminator and Carl Van Horn in T-Maxx in the Semi-Finals of this year's Mansfield, OH show. Two trucks with tons of horsepower going head to head on a tight Chicago-style course, with T-Maxx edging Raminator by just a bumper. Doesn't get much better than that.

 

BEST FREESTYLE - Tom Meents, Maximum Destruction - St. Louis, MO '05


HONORABLE MENTION - Tom Meents, Maximum Destruction - St. Louis, MO '06

HONORABLE MENTION - Charlie Pauken, Traxxas T-Maxx - Lima, OH

 

Sometimes a driver puts down a performance that there is no equaling. That is exactly what Tom Meents did at the 2005 St. Louis Monster Jam, bringing huge air and living up to the name written on the side of his door. Not even losing a rear wheel would stop Meents from putting on a legendary freestyle that day.

 

Seems like the only run that could come close to touching the aforementioned, would be another by Tom Meents himself.  And he very nearly bettered himself at the 2006 St. Louis Monster Jam--absolutely huge air, and two heart-stopping saves made for another first rate performance.  Chuck Pauken's performance driving Traxxas T-Maxx in Lima also stands out as a step above the rest.

 

BEST AIR - Jim Kohler, Wrecking Crew - Indianapolis, IN '05


HONORABLE MENTION - Carl Van Horn, Traxxas T-Maxx - Indianapolis, IN '06

HONORABLE MENTION - Tom Meents, Maximum Destruction - St. Louis, MO '06

 

It's funny how you look back over an entire year, and certain moments are just easy to pick. Jim Kohler, driving Wrecking Crew at the Indy Special Events dome show last November sent the truck into another orbit with this jump.  Definitely some of the most jaw-dropping air we've ever seen--if you haven't seen it, you need to head over to our Video Gallery and check it out!!

 

Other moments that reminded us more of blasting off than simply jumping included Carl Van Horn in T-Maxx taking on the FMX hill at the Indy Monster Jam and Tom Meents reaching for the rafters at the '06 St. Louis Monster Jam.

 

BEST SAVE - Tom Meents, Maximum Destruction - St. Louis, MO '06


HONORABLE MENTION - Alex Blackwell, Sudden Impact - Mansfield, OH

HONORABLE MENTION - Devin Jones, Road Rage - Miami, OK

 

At this year's St. Louis show, something happened during Tom Meents' freestyle run that made any idea of competition for this award a moot point. Meents launched over the huge thirty-car set, and upon landing, caught a strange bounce that threw the truck first on its side, and then into a nose dive.  The truck looked for sure to be over, but Meents hit the throttle at exactly the right time, and made a jaw dropping save.  Meents didn't even take a second to breathe before then heading right over and launching over the bus stack.  Hands down winner.

 

Alex Blackwell was making a hit on the van stack at the Mansfield Monster Nationals, when the truck kicked to the right and up onto two wheels--Blackwell made a very nice save to keep from rolling the brand new Sudden Impact body.  Also good for an honorable mention was Devin Jones in Road Rage's excellent save at the Miami, OK show.  After launching over a two-car set, Jones bounced sideways up onto the wheels, but brought the truck back under control--the move clinched the evening's freestyle win for him.

 

BEST SURPRISE PERFORMANCE - Devin Jones, Road Rage - Miami, OK


HONORABLE MENTION - Jim Bendzick, Rolling Thunder - Kansas City, MO

HONORABLE MENTION - Marc MacDonald, Safe Auto Minimizer - Toledo, OH

 

Looking back over the year, we also wanted to recognize a few drivers who could have been considered underdogs at a certain show--and really shined at that show.  The driver who probably made the biggest impact was Devin Jones in Road Rage at the Miami, OK show.  Devin made finals three out of four racing competitions, and won the Saturday night freestyle with a great save to keep the truck from rolling.

 

Others who shine in this category include Jim Bendzick for a very strong showing at the Kansas City Monster Jam, and Marc MacDonald for almost matching Charlie Pauken's Grave Digger in freestyle at the Toledo Monster Jam.

 

MOST CONSISTENT PERFORMER (RACING) - Mark Hall, Raminator


HONORABLE MENTION - Doug Noelke, Big Dawg

HONORABLE MENTION - Allen Pezo, Predator

 

We thought it would be fun to also recognize some of the most consistent racers we've seen--the guys who you know are headed for the final round each time you see them. And when thinking of that, there is really no other choice than Mark Hall in Raminator. The HBR team is so strong in racing, the Raminator is always the one everyone is gunning for--and Mark Hall may be one of the most successful racers the sport has ever seen.

 

Two others who we have seen in the finals numerous times are Doug Noelke in the Big Dawg and Allen Pezo in Predator. Pezo may well be on his way to the Special Events title this year, while Noelke was just barely edged by Hall for the Monster Nationals Championship this year.

 

MOST CONSISTENT PERFORMER (FREESTYLE) - Jim Kohler, Avenger


HONORABLE MENTION - Tom Meents, Maximum Destruction

HONORABLE MENTION - Carl Van Horn, Traxxas T-Maxx

 

I must admit that I was surprised when we chose our best freestyle runs that Jim Kohler was not mentioned. But there is a reason why he is known as Mr. Excitement, and the fact is, every time we see Jim Kohler we know we are in for a great freestyle performance.  And that is why he gets the nod from us as the most consistent freestyle performer.

 

Obviously Tom Meents makes this list, and probably the only reason why he doesn't top it is the fact that we have only seen him in action three times. Carl Van Horn in T-Maxx is another we chose as a sure bet to put on a show-stopping performance in freestyle.  Apologies to Charlie Pauken for the omission in this category, but he would definitely be on par with the drivers previously mentioned.

 

WORST CRASH - Guy Wood, Bob & Tom - Indianapolis, IN '06


HONORABLE MENTION - Jim Kohler, Avenger - Indianapolis, IN '06

HONORABLE MENTION - Jim Kohler, Wrecking Crew - Indianapolis, IN '05

 

Not necessarily an award you would want to win, but this one goes to Guy Wood for the wild ride he took at this year's Indy Monster Jam. Wood laid down a fantastic pass to beat Tom Meents in the Semi-Finals, only to flip wildly end over end after the finish. We're just glad that Guy was OK, and kudos to him on a great run in beating Meents.

 

Funny how the RCA Dome in Indianapolis takes this whole category--and its the same guy getting both honorable mentions. Jim Kohler sky-ed Avenger at this year's Monster Jam, only to land hard on the back wheels, snapping off both tires, and rolling over hard.  Throw in the huge air and hard landing at the Special Events dome show last November, and you have another runner-up for worst crash.

 

ZANIEST MOMENT - Indy Monster Jam Racing Finals - Indianapolis, IN '06


HONORABLE MENTION - Devin Jones, Road Rage - Miami, OK

HONORABLE MENTION - Jim Kohler, Avenger - Ionia, MI

 

Back to Indianapolis for what Rajeana and I are calling the "Zaniest Moment" category. In the final round of racing, Tom Meents in Max D would be going up against Carl Van Horn in T-Maxx.  Van Horn nearly rolled in the first corner, but made a nice save to keep the truck from rolling. But instead of the officials shutting off Meents due to T-Maxx sitting disabled in the racing lane, Meents came barrelling into the turn at full speed, did a great drift move to miss T-Maxx by inches and continued on his way.  Van Horn saw Meents pass him by, and decided to chase him the rest of the way.  So you had two monster trucks racing Nascar-style around the final turn nose-to-tail in what we are calling our "zaniest moment" yet.

 

Other mentions go to Devin Jones for taking out an electrical box at the Miami, OK show, and to Jim Kohler in Avenger for mowing down about a hundred stacked folding chairs at the Ionia Free Fairgrounds this summer.

 

BEST PAINT SCHEME - Lil' Miss Dangerous - Perrin Motorsports


HONORABLE MENTION - American Pride Bigfoot - Team Bigfoot

HONORABLE MENTION - Air Force Afterburner - LiveNation Motorsports

 

Unlike many of the other categories, this one was tough for Rajeana and I to make a choice. Ultimately it was the great looking, colorful Lil' Miss Dangerous that gets the nod from us for best paint scheme.  But it only narrowly beat out...

 

...the beautiful American Pride Bigfoot.  Honorable mention also goes to the awesome Air Force Afterburner from LiveNation Motorsports.

 

STANDOUT PERSONALITY - Andy Hoffman, Hoffman Motorsports


HONORABLE MENTIONS - Sean Duhon - Excaliber, Jocelyn Perrin - Lil' Miss Dangerous, Shane Blair - Bigfoot, Geremie Dishman - Rammunition, James Tigue II - Bearfoot, Guy Wood - Bob & Tom, Alex Blackwell - TMNT, Mac Plecker - Ballistic

 

Making a selection in this category was very difficult...we actually questioned whether or not we even wanted to do it.  But ultimately we decided that this recognition needed to go Andy Hoffman. Andy is one of the nicest people you will ever meet, and always puts on a great performance.  No doubt that he was the best choice for the MTRA's "Sportsman of the Year" award, and he gets this nod from us as well.

 

There are so many others that could be recognized in this category, but we tried to name just a few that really have stood out in our minds over the last year. Thanks to all of these folks, and to everyone we didn't mention too!!

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THE BEST OF . . . by Lauren & Lynette Bonar

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We have attended many events over the past year, and as Ross & Rajeana have done, here are some of our favorite moments and best performances we have seen.  These are just our opinions, and if we forgot anything or anybody, our apologies!!
 

BEST SHOW - Monster Truck & Jet Car Jam - Firebird Int'l Raceway - May 6th, 2006


HONORABLE MENTION - Monster Jam - Chase Field - January 28th, 2006

HONORABLE MENTION - WGAS Motorsports Spectacular - Maricopa County Fairgrounds - April 22nd, 2006

 

Our favorite show we've attended would have to be the Coors Light Monster Truck & Jet Car Jam at Firebird International Raceway in Chandler, AZ.  There were many big name trucks present, and as you will see, many of our favorite moments came from this show.

 

Honorable mention goes to the Phoenix, AZ Monster Jam at Chase Field, which was a wild show with good racing and some memorable freestyle.  Also to the WGAS Motorsports Spectacular at the Maricopa County Fair, which featured some wheelie madness in freestyle.

 

BEST DONUT - Tom Meents, Maximum Destruction - Firebird  Int'l Raceway


HONORABLE MENTION - Sam Sturges, Unnamed & Untamed - Avi Casino

HONORABLE MENTION - Murph McCrorey, McGruff - Prescott Valley Raceway
 

Tom Meents dominated the donut contest at Firebird Int'l Raceway, pulling off some of the greatest cyclones we have ever seen.  There was no doubt that Meents had easily the best donuts we have seen thus far.

 

Sam Sturges makes the list for getting some great donuts going at the Avi Casino show, sending sand and dirt flying everywhere. Murph McCrorey also performed some excellent donuts at the Prescott Valley Raceway show, and receives an honorable mention as well.

 

BEST WHEELIE - Linsey Weenk, Iron Outlaw - Firebird Int'l Raceway


HONORABLE MENTION - Ronnie Sturges, Nasty Boy - Maricopa County Fairgrounds

HONORABLE MENTION - Kelvin Ramer, Natural High - Avi Casino

 

This one was a pretty easy choice when it came down to decision time. Linsey Weenk performed some great wheelies at Firebird, using a special shock setup to pop Iron Outlaw back into repeat wheelies as he headed down the drag strip. Great performance.

 

As good as Weenk's wheelies were, we've also seen some of the best wheelie drivers as well.  Kelvin Ramer wheelie'd so far in Natural High at the Avi Casino show that he actually lost fuel pressure and got stuck vertical!!  Ronnie Sturges in Nasty Boy also has had numerous great wheelies at the shows we've been to, but it was the Maricopa County Fair show that really stands out.

 

BEST FREESTYLE - Tom Meents, Maximum Destruction - Firebird Int'l Raceway


HONORABLE MENTION - Jimmy Creten, Bounty Hunter - Firebird Int'l Raceway

HONORABLE MENTION - Ronnie Sturges, Nasty Boy - Maricopa County Fairgrounds

 

Tom Meents brought down the house at Firebird in freestyle...we have not seen anyone freestyle quite like Tom Meents. We see why Tom is the current Freestyle World Champion. Hands down winner.

 

Jimmy Creten also is a deserving former World Champ of Freestyle, and he too showed why at Firebird. Couldn't quite mtach up to Meents' run, but definitely had the fans on the edge of their seats. Ronnie Sturges in Nasty Boy also makes this list due to his great performance at the WGAS Maricopa County Fair show.

 

BEST SAVE - Ronnie Sturges, Nasty Boy - Firebird Int'l Raceway

 

Out west here, we really haven't seen too many moments where drivers were almost over and saved it. But we did see one that was definitely deserving of the title--and that was when Ronnie Sturges performed the "sideways wheelie" at Firebird. Sturges was actually just making a tight turn when the truck rocked way up on two wheels, and Sturges just went with it, making a nice save and providing the crowd with a unique move. Joey Chitwood would have been proud.

 

BEST SURPRISE PERFORMANCE - Mike Welch, Lucky Logger - Avi Casino


HONORABLE MENTION - Jason Childress, Batman - Chase Field

HONORABLE MENTION - Murph McCrorey, McGruff - Maricopa County Fairgrounds

 

Being somewhat new to the sport of monster trucks, we had heard of Mike Welch, but really didn't know the full history. It was a privilege to meet the man they call "The Father of Freestyle". He certainly showed why in Laughlin, NV at the Avi Casino Outlaw Monster Truck Spectacular. Welch may not have the best equipment out there, but he certainly can drive, and his performance gets him this award.

 

Honorable mentions go to Jason Childress and Murph McCrorey.  Childress, driving Batman at the Phoenix Monster Jam, did a fantastic job, winning the racing competition and also putting on a great freestyle performance.  Having never heard of Childress before, we were very impressed by his performance.  Same goes for 16-year old Murph McCrorey.  Murph handles the McGruff monster truck like a veteran and it is a treat to watch him behind the wheel.

 

WORST CRASH - Rod Schmidt, Grave Digger - Chase Field


HONORABLE MENTION - Chuck Warner, Hot Wheels - Firebird Int'l Raceway

HONORABLE MENTION - Charles Benns, Pit Bull - Tingley Coliseum

 

This was another easy choice. "Hot Rod" Schmidt was putting together a solid freestyle run, when he hit the two car set.  He landed hard on the ATV course, which flipped the truck end over end forward--Schmidt kept trying to save it and rode a wheelie right into and on top of Kreg Christensen's parked Dragon Slayer machine. Big damage to Dragon Slayer, and definitely the worst crash we've seen.

 

Another hard crash was when Chuck Warner flipped twice over the concrete barrier at the Firebird Int'l Raceway show. Thankfully, Chuck was ok. Another scary moment was when Pit Bull started on fire during freestyle in Albuquerque,NM. Both of these moments are also deserving of honorable mentions in this category.

 

BEST PAINT SCHEME - Jurassic Attack - Frankish Enterprises


HONORABLE MENTION - Pit Bull - Charles Benns Racing

HONORABLE MENTION - Unnamed & Untamed / Nasty Boy - Sturges Motorsports
 

The best paint scheme award goes to Frankish Enterprises for the Jurassic Attack truck. Great colors, very detailed paint scheme, and awesome 3D body.  We're sure that if our grandson could talk, he would agree!!

 

Honorable mentions go to Charles Benns for Pit Bull, and to the Sturges Motorsports team. The colors on Pit Bull are great and they really jump off the black base color. Doesn't hurt that it is a Chevy, either!!  The Sturges trucks make this list due to their unique body styles, great colors, and most of all the great looking "TheMonsterBlog.com" decals on the trucks!!

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LOOKING FORWARD

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Well, looking back over the past year has been a lot of fun. We pledge to continue doing our best to bring you the most and the best monster truck coverage we possibly can!!  We have so many great ideas and awesome projects we want to bring you--so keep coming back, and we'll see how many we can get done this next year--I think everyone will be pleasantly surprised with some of the things we have up our sleeve!!  We hope you enjoyed this special section commemorating the first year of The Monster Blog, from the video to the articles--stop by the Fan Forum and let us know what you thought of it all!!  Now head back over to the main page and see what's new!!

 

CLICK HERE TO CONTINUE TO THE MAIN PAGE!!