For my wife Lynette and I, finding a reason to make a trip to Prescott Valley is always nice. This area is only two to three hours from where we live, and it is a very beautiful scenic drive--I will never tire of it.  We leave our home in Tuba City, travel through Flagstaff, hit I-17 south going toward the Verde Valley, pass through Cottonwood, and then climb up the mountains through Jerome and finally roll into Prescott Valley.

Arriving at the Prescott Valley Raceway, we spot the campers and big-rigs first as usual. Getting to the back gates, we run into James K. Storm, owner of the raceway. We tell him who we are and what we are doing and without hesitation he allows us in the pit area.



After parking the first people we see are Rod Wood and his lady, Karen McCrorey. Lynn first met Karen at an event in Tucson--we were seated right behind her and her friends. Since that time we have all become friends and they make sure we have water and stay hydrated in the heat, as I am just to dumb to pack a cooler!!  Rod also found my backpack with all my camera equipment later this night--I had left it on the track and he brought it back--To say the least, I was incredibly grateful for them looking out for us.


With Rod and family were his sister and brother-in-law who live and work in Indonesia.  Jim and Norma Lockhart were back in the states on vacation and having fun. We asked where Murphy McCrorey was and told he was taking a nap. After laughing a little we thought and discussed the pressures of youth.

Making our way over to the Sturges camp, I ran into a couple drivers I had not met from the Don's Monsters crew.  I met Vance LaRue, who would be driving Awesome Kong tonight.  Vance was running a mile a minute there and was not at a loss for words.  He introduced me to his fellow driver Tim “Cornfed” Martin.  "Cornfed"??  Because Tim is a strapping young man and from Nebraska, he somehow earned the nickname "Cornfed".  "Cornfed" would be driving El Bandito tonight.

I finally made my way over to the Sturges camp to talk to Sam.  Lynn and I first thanked him, as when we drove up, Lynn immediately spotted the Monster Blog decals that Sam put on his trucks.  Without words being spoken, that lone act let us know we are appreciated. Sam has taught me a lot and this night would not be any different.





I spotted Ronnie Sturges and was able to get his take on the sideways wheelie at the Firebird Raceway in Chandler.  The reason fans have heard so much about this from me is as follows, the announcer that day made a really big deal out of the sideways wheelie by Ronnie Sturges and had the fans believing it was planned, almost had me convinced.  Ronnie being honest, tells the truth--he had made a sharp turn, coming around to go over the crushed cars again, turning too sharp, he went up on two wheels and had it balanced there for a few seconds.  Ronnie said that when it happened, he did not know if it would go back on four wheels or fall on its side.  Luckily it went back on all four wheels and Ronnie continued without skipping a beat, making it look all planned.


About this time one of Sam’s and Peggy’s dogs had came up missing, so everyone took off looking for it. The dog being found, Sam offered me a seat and we were able to visit.  I found that the promoter, Steve Quercio was promoting another show tonight.  No worries, Sam and Rod Wood worked together getting everything coordinated and everyone on track.

During all of the above, Murph woke up from his nap and was as shy as ever.  This young man is very shy until he climbs into McGruff, and then he grows fangs like a werewolf during a full moon.  This young man can drive and I was looking forward to getting some good pictures of him.  I did not do justice to the young man at the Maricopa Fairgrounds show and was hoping to make it up to him.



















As the stands filled up with an excited and energetic crowd, show time came and the monsters came roaring out onto the track for Introductions.









With intros complete, it was time for some monster truck action!!  Racing would be up first, and the first race would see Tim “Cornfed" Martin In El Bandito go up against Sam Sturges in Unnamed & Untamed.  El Bandito took the race easily as Sam did not get a good start off the line.


Next up was Vance LaRue in Awesome Kong against Murph "Werewolf" McCrorey in McGruff.  It is very close off the line, but Awesome Kong loses power during the car jump giving McGruff the easy victory.

Martin in El Bandito would be brought back to race against Ronnie Sturgis in Nasty Boy--another close one off the line and it looked as if Ronnie had an easy victory when he lost third gear in the tranny.  "Cornfed" and El Bandito are looking very good tonight.  Ronnie also later told me he lost first gear as well so he had to compete the rest of the evening in 2nd gear only.

The finals would see Tim Martin and El Bandito taking on Murph in McGruff.  I had no idea that Werewolves liked corn, but Murphy just tore Tim up, leaving a stalk and a cornless cob, taking the racing victory tonight!!





The night also featured oval track racing and mud bogs. The best was when local business’s started donating money to young men from the audience to race on foot through the mud.  This was pretty entertaining the first time through, but after doing it again, the fans and Monster Truck drivers started getting ready to get on with the show.









It was finally time for the monster truck freestyle competition!!  Ronnie came out first with just one gear.  He did a great job of covering up that fact.  Doing some jumps getting the best air he could, a few short wheelies and knowing that Nasty Boy was in trouble, took it off the track before doing any more damage. The fans cheered for Ronnie, must not even knowing there was a problem.




Next out was Murphy McCrorey in McGruff.  Now some readers think I am kidding when I say this young man grows fangs like a werewolf during a full moon when he climbs into a monster truck--however the fans at Prescott Valley know exactly what I am talking about after this freestyle.  Murph came, out got some good air going over the crushed cars and then circled around, going straight for the camper!!  He hit the cars, went straight up, almost completely vertical, but when he came down, front and rear tires had completely straddled the camper and McGruff was stuck.  I ran to the other side to get pictures as the tractor came to pull him off and when the truck was dislodged, I heard Rod yell up to Murph, "OK, good luck!!"  I knew I better get back where I was very quickly.  Just as I returned to my spot, Murph went for it again, this time following guidance from Rod and doing a perfect job.  This was Murph’s first camper and he did an awesome job.  After that jump, the confidence was back--he jumped the cars, got air, did a wheelie, and then finished off with a great donut.  Excellent run by the sixteen year old in McGruff.







Click the link below to head to the next page and view more monster truck freestyle!!