September 2nd, 2006 - Tucson Rodeo Grounds - Tucson, AZ


Lynn and I took quite a few pictures on our way down to Tucson for the Tournament of Destruction event, especially leaving the Navajo reservation. This is something we had not done before, but something I felt the MT fans across the nation might enjoy, especially if they have never been out this way.



Above pictures were taken in Cameron, AZ. Cameron is on the Navajo Reservation and the only entrance from the east going to the south rim of the Grand Canyon. Starting with the above left, the first four pictures are taken the Cameron Trading Post. Lynn and I travel the 24 miles from our home in Tuba City to eat here often. Very large dining area with a huge fire place and great overlook of the Painted Desert and a smaller Canyon. Be careful when ordering as the portions are huge and very good! Bottom middle is the turn off State 89 onto State 64 going to the Grand Canyon, just a sample of the scenery on the way. Bottom left is the Navajo Trading Post; here you will find authentic Navajo Arts and Crafts, to include Navajo Jewelry. I say authentic to explain that the Navajo Trading Post buys their stock from Navajo’s who sell to the Trading Post and then resold to the customers. It is my understanding that the Cameron Trading Post and Hotel is not Navajo owned, therefore a lot of their stock is bought in bulk from private business.

Leaving Cameron on 89 going towards Flagstaff, you can see Flagstaff Mountain. You can actually see the Mountain from Tuba City and beyond. The elevation going by the side of the Mountain through the San Francisco Peaks reaches 7,240 feet. The pictures below are taken outside Cameron; you can see a small town in the distance in two of the pictures. That is Gray Mountain and where the Navajo reservation ends. If you are leaving the canyon going east or just going for supplies, this is the closest town for alcohol beverages. Navajo Nation is a dry reservation, meaning no alcohol sold, nor should it be in one’s possession.


Going through Flagstaff we hit Interstate 17 south. This is a really beautiful drive going towards Phoenix. There are some awesome scenic and rest stops along the way. We definitely get more looks on the road now that we have put our Monster Blog decals on. Every once in a while people honk the horn and wave or just look and stare, lol. At the 289 mile marker in Camp Verde, is a regular stop of ours. The Cliff Castle Casino is a nice break for fresh drinks and restroom break. Below are some pictures of the areas mentioned.



After our break, we continued on to Tucson, stopping at Picacho. Below are some pictures of Picacho Mountain and desert shot with cactus.



Lynn and I arrived at the Tucson Rodeo Fairgrounds early on September 2nd, to meet the promoter of the Tournament of Destruction, Dale Penn. Upon arriving at the gate, security knew who we were and were waiting on us. This is always very nice as getting through security is sometimes a little rough. We found Dale and he gave us the rules and let us know where we could be for videos and pictures. As most of you know by now, Lynn was able to get some very nice video.



After checking out the course layout, we were able to visit with Sam & Ronnie Sturges, this is always fun because I learn a lot from them. This time we were also able to visit with Jason Grill for quite awhile. Jason is the driver of Public Disturbance and I learned from Jason that they had come all the way from Tacoma, Washington for this event.

As we always do before a show, we walked around talking and meeting people from other events and Vendors. This is how I met Roger McDowell of Big Dog OFFROAD. Roger deals in Truck Accessories, Tires, Wheels and 4x4 towing. Roger told me they were the sponsors of a truck pull during the event. This was a different kind of Tough Truck competition. Pick ups would be pulling a car with flat tires across the track to the finish line with only winners moving on. Roger McDowell can be reached at www.paylessaz.com.

Walking around we met LT/COL Lathan Varnado of the AZ Rangers. The AZ Rangers were in charge of Security in the stands and we wanted to let them know we had permission to be in some restricted areas. Lathan was very cooperative and made sure all other officers were informed. I found the AZ Rangers interesting as they work as Volunteers at events, but yet take the duties very seriously. I encourage you to check out this site, www.azrangers.us.

Tonight's events featured Monster Truck Racing--both Straight-Line, and "The Chase"--and Freestyle, a Demolition Derby, and a Truck Pull.  Let's take a look at the monster truck lineup.
















There was an impressive crowd on hand for the event, and they were ready for the Tournament of Destruction!!




As always I took a few pictures of the filler events, a couple here of the winners, however I did not get the names.







First race featured Sam Sturges in Unnamed & Untamed versus Jason Grill in Public Disturbance. Unnamed and Untamed took this one in a very close race.

Second race features Ronnie Sturges in Nasty Boy against Brad Campbell in Monster Moose. Monster Moose took this one easily as Nasty Boy broke a coupler on the transfer case and died at the starting line. Ronnie quickly found the problem, had Nasty Boy towed from the field and was able to get it fixed for the Chase & Free Style.

Final is Sam Sturges in Unnamed & Untamed versus Brad Campbell in Monster Moose. This is one of the closest races I have ever witnessed. At the angle of the video Lynn had taken, it looks as the Unnamed & Untamed took this race. However we will have to take the judges word for it as Monster Moose takes the racing victory.




Next is the chase, I had never seen this particular format before and it is hard to explain. In all reality, "The Chase" is very similar to Chicago-Style racing.  The trucks start out at opposite sides of the field and at opposite ends. As the flag waves they take off doing a lap and the first over the set of crushed cars on their starting side wins.

First chase features Ronnie Sturges in Nasty Boy versus Jason Grill in Public Disturbance. Once again the angle of the camera looks misleading as it appears that Public Disturbance took the victory. The judges give it to Nasty Boy, so once again, I take their word for it.


Second chase features Sam Sturges in Unnamed & Untamed versus Brad Campbell in Monster Moose. It looked as if though Monster Moose had this one easily as Unnamed & Untamed got off to a slow start. The last quarter lap Sam made up some serious ground as Unnamed & Untamed took the victory.





Finals is all Sturges Motorsports as Sam in Unnamed & Untamed goes up against Ronnie in Nasty Boy. Ronnie takes the Chase Victory while making some very tight turns, Sam took the wider turns.





As I usually do in Freestyle, I will let the pictures do most of the talking. You can also check out the videos in the Video Gallery.  I will say that all trucks put on a very nice performance, as you will see from the photos.










































When all four trucks had finished, the crowd voted for the winner, and it was judged a tie between Sam and Ronnie Sturges.



I would like to thank Dale Penn and his staff for their hospitality, we really enjoyed our first Tournament of Destruction event. It was great seeing and visiting with Sam, Ronnie, Jason & Brad again. I would like to thank the demolition drivers and truck pull drivers for their great performances. We always love going to Tucson, and we're already looking forward to the next Tournament of Destruction in April 2007!!  Until next time, thanks for reading, be sure to stop by the Fan Forum and let us know what you thought of the coverage!!