OUTLAW MONSTER TRUCK SPECTACULAR
THUNDER RACEWAY - SHOW LOW, AZ -
By Lauren Z. Bonar
Lynn and I left home
from Tuba City, AZ early on Friday to catch the evening show in Show Low,
AZ. Show Low is south-east of us located in a cooler area that attracts
lots of tourists for that reason. As you can already guess from the
tourist information, finding a hotel at a reasonable cost is difficult.
Sam Sturges called me earlier in the week inviting Lynn & I to camp out at
the track with them. This gave us the option of taking “Thelma” our 2001
2500 Chevy pick-up. We parked next to the Sturges setup, bringing along
our camping equipment and were able to sleep in the back of Thelma and
Bar-B-Q with very good company over the weekend.
Pulling in at the
Thunder Raceway in Show Low, the Sturges crew was already hard at work
with the big Monster Trucks. Ronnie Sturges was going over Nasty Boy with
last minute adjustments, with Gary Schott Jr. doing the same with Unnamed
& Untamed. Some readers may not know that Sam has been taking a break the
last few weeks and Gary Schott Jr. has been doing very well driving
Unnamed & Untamed. I spotted a new crew member as I was introduced to Luke
Linville who is not only learning the maintenance & mechanics of the big
trucks, but was also driving the ride truck “Boogie Monster” this weekend.
While Lynn was getting the back of the pick-up ready to sleep in
that night, I thought I would walk over and say hello to Jimmy Creten &
Linsey Weenk of the 2Xtreme Racing Team. I spotted Jimmy and as we started
chatting, I noticed that Jimmy was not his usual self. Everyone found out
the next day that Jimmy was not feeling well. While chatting with Jimmy I
learned that Linsey was not with him this weekend. With Linsey accepting a
position with LiveNation Motorsports as one of the Blue Thunder drivers
for next year and the big Monsters On Mainstreet the same weekend, Linsey
would be making a preview behind the wheel of Blue Thunder for that high
profile event before returning to Iron Outlaw for another couple months.
Jimmy introduced to me to Darren Migues (pronounced "me-guess") who would
be driving Iron Outlaw this weekend.
Darren started with the 2Xtreme Racing Team last November, driving
the Scarlet Bandit rig from destination to destination and serving as the
pit crew. This weekend was Darren’s fourth time driving Iron Outlaw, and
he was still a little nervous, finding out quickly that the maintenance on
these monster trucks might be a little easier than driving them in
competition. No need to fear however, as Darren provided a fine show
for the fans both nights.
Steve Quercio, head of the Outlaw Monster Truck Spectacular, was
not present this weekend. In his place was Ron Leach who did a real fine
job. Ron was very hospitable to the Monster Blog Staff and if we needed
anything or had any questions, he was right there. For that we owe a big
thanks to Ron Leach. Ron was also very good about keeping things moving
along during the show, even on a very Rainy & Muddy Saturday night, he was
very good at keeping the crowd entertained, even during the quiet times.
Here is a picture of Ron speaking about this coming evening’s venue over a
local Radio station.
Tony Quercio was on hand taking care of the Outlaw Monster Truck
Spectacular souvenir sales. Tony is a good friend of the Monster Blog and
always a pleasure to see & visit with him.
There were plenty of
mud bogging trucks on hand for that competition, but the one that stood
out was an older Chevy Model called Bad Foot. The owner & ex-driver of Bad
Foot came up telling me a story I will share with you; I did not get his
name and wish I would have, as he told of running against Bigfoot back
when Bigfoot was still a mud bogger. His story was they were running
against each other on one of the Native American Reservations out here in
Arizona. Then he told of how his Bad Foot beat Bigfoot and he was sure Bob
Chandler would remember him. I was really busy while being told this, but
he asked me to tell Bob hello. So if you read this Bob, hello. Just wish I
had gotten his name.
FRIDAY NIGHT SHOW
The format this week would be freestyle-only for the monster
trucks, going out three times each night. Mud Boggers filled the rest of
the venue as they were lined up around the Thunder Raceway Dirt Track
waiting their turn to run between monster trucks.
Check out below for
photos from Friday night's show. It was a lot of fun with some great runs
by all the drivers. Daren Migues was grabbing some good air in Iron
Outlaw, while Ronnie and Gary had the wheelies working for the Sturges
team. In the end it was Jimmy Creten in Bounty Hunter taking the overall
win with some wild runs.
SATURDAY NIGHT SHOW
Saturday night’s format
was to be the same, however there were some very serious rains that hit a
couple hours before the start of the event. Now I know the fans & drivers
out east and in the midwest run in the rain fairly often, but out west its
a different story. I know the drivers have some experience running in
inclement weather, but it can’t be all that much. Lynn and I had never
covered a rain filled event, so it was very new to us. The monster trucks
went out first sliding everywhere and burping the engines trying to get
the trucks to go in the right direction, but that was easier said than
done! I know this was a new experience for Gary Schott Jr. & Darren
Migues, however they did a very good job.
We had gotten some bad news in the pits Saturday morning as Jimmy
Creten had called Sam Sturges and said he was feeling poorly and would not
be able to perform that evening. Jimmy asked Sam to drive Bounty Hunter
for him on Saturday night. Sam being a very good friend of Jimmy, was very
sorry to hear was feeling under the weather and was happy to help out.
Don’t panic all you Bounty Hunter fans, Jimmy will be fine and even
feeling as bad as he did on Friday, he put on heck of a show as you can
see in the highlight video.
The show ended up being cut down to two freestyle rounds, as Nasty
Boy’s oil pump went out and Unnamed & Untamed was over heating after the
first two runs. Iron Outlaw's ignition box got wet and failed to start for
his third performance, and Bounty Hunter had went out after the first
round, also with a wet ignition box.
Fans were a little disappointed as Ron Leach announced the news,
but most understood as some started leaving the stadium. No one
complained, but the disappointment was observed as fans started to file
out. The ones that stayed were entertained with more Mud Bogging. The part
that impressed me was the fans understanding the drivers still going out
under the wet & muddy conditions, to the risk of some very expensive
equipment, to still do the best they could to give the fans their money’s
worth. So a big thanks from the promoter & the fans for understanding as
the drivers did all they could to make the best out of a bad situation.
Check out below for photos from the Saturday night event in Show
Low, AZ. Some muddy action awaits you!!
THE FINAL WORDS
Lynn and I had a very nice weekend even with the muddy conditions.
We were able to visit with friends and meet new friends. I want to thank
Sam & Peggy for their continued hospitality! I want to thank Steve
Quercio & Ron Leach for their hospitality and giving us the right places
for video & pictures. Not to mention a plug for the Monster Blog here &
there during the show! So a big thanks to all & can’t wait to do
another MT event, we've got some big shows coming up later this year!
- Lauren & Lynette Bonar
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