TOURNAMENT OF DESTRUCTION
TUCSON RODEO GROUNDS - TUCSON, AZ -
By Lauren & Lynette Bonar
The trip to Tucson is
always beautiful and scenic and this time was no different. There is
usually a back up going south on I 17 as you go into Phoenix, but it was
pretty nice this time. Lynn and I were especially looking forward to
covering this show as both teams competing were sponsors of the Monster
We had not seen either team since last October at Firebird International
Raceway and were looking forward to seeing everyone. As always, Sam “The
Man “Sturges was the first person we spot. Sam is always busy, but stops
and make sure Lynn and I are introduced to everyone and also makes sure we
are taken care of.
Don Frankish showed up a little later, as Lynn and I were very early, with
his new driver Mike Bell. Don visited a little while and left Lynn and I
to get to know Mike. Mike had a rough night the evening prior, but it was
also his very first time behind the wheel of Jurassic Attack. Mike must
have taken a lot in during his first experience, because he sure looked
much better later this night. It was a pleasure meeting and getting to
know Mike Bell. The driver change came about as Nathan Weenk, the previous
driver of Jurassic Attack, has retired from driving for awhile. I just want
to say the best of luck to Nathan and we will miss seeing him.
Dale Penn, promoter of the Tournament of Destruction event in
Tucson was also there to visit and give his Media rules. This is our
second time meeting Dale and he was a great host as the last time. Dale
and his staff put on a very good show and kept things moving right along.
So as always a very big thank you to Dale and his staff for allowing us to
cover his show.
Another driver not driving tonight but now working for Sam Sturges
we were able to get to know a little better tonight was Gary Schott Jr.
Gary drove Nasty Boy at an event in Phoenix last year that Lynn and I
covered. Gary put on an outstanding performance that evening and tonight
we found out that he is regular visitor of TheMonsterBlog.com--nice seeing
THE TRUCK LINEUP
JURASSIC ATTACK - MIKE BELL
NASTY BOY - RONNIE STURGES
MANIAC - DON FRANKISH
UNNAMED & UNTAMED - SAM STURGES
This would prove to be
a very good, entertaining line up to go with the other events this
evening. There were two different classes of vehicles competing in a
Demolition derby. First were the smaller vehicles with four cylinder
engines, then the six and eight cylinders competed together. Then there
was a truck pull with many really good entrants. The Truck Pull was
sponsored by BIG DOG OFFROAD, they deal in 4x4 parts, accessories and
anything you need to make that pick up look like a Cady. They can be
The AZ Rangers were once again on hand for Security. AZ Rangers are
a uniformed volunteer force that assists local officers at events. This
group is mostly made up of retired Police, Sheriff’s, Highway Patrolmen,
Firemen and Military personnel. They do a great job and are very
professional with their past experience. They can be reached at
STRAIGHT LINE DRAG RACING
First heat put Don
Frankish in Maniac up against Ronnie Sturges in Nasty Boy. Nasty Boy took a very
close victory. Upon landing Maniac broke a rear drive shaft, but would have
plenty of time to get it fixed while during the Demolition Derby.
Second heat saw Mike Bell in Jurassic Attack versus Sam Sturges in Unnamed &
Untamed. Unnamed & Untamed jumped the start, Sam tried to correct the mistake,
but was disqualified, giving Mike Bell in Jurassic Attack his first racing
victory and moving Jurassic Attack to the finals.
Finals would see Mike Bell in Jurassic Attack versus Ronnie Sturges in Nasty Boy.
Mike Bell in Jurassic Attack gave it a great try but Nasty Boy took the victory.
I am sure Mike was a little nervous in his first racing finals but I am sure we
will see this young man there again soon.
DEMOLITION DERBIES & TRUCK PULL
Side acts at the Tournament
of Destruction include two big demolition derbies and a rather uniqur event.
Trucks pull a junk car and drag race each other across the track. See below for
some photos of these competitions.
"THE CHASE" RACING
Tournament of Destruction in
Tucson calls Chicago-style racing "The Chase". The reason I explain this is so
fans in other parts of the country understand what I am talking about.
First heat features Sam Sturges in Unnamed & Untamed against Mike Bell in
Jurassic Attack. Unnamed and Untamed flew around the track taking the victory
and moving to the finals.
Second heat featured Don Frankish in Maniac versus Ronnie Sturges in Nasty Boy.
Coming around the second turn, Nasty Boy spun out a little, but enough to slow
him down and only get two wheels over the second set of cars, giving Maniac an
Finals was Don Frankish in Maniac versus Sam Sturges in Unnamed & Untamed. It
looked as if Unnamed & Untamed had the lead off the first set of cars, however
Sam spun just a tad the same place Nasty Boy had spun; he quickly recovered but
could not make up the time. Don Frankish in Maniac took the victory, then for a
little victory celebration finished it off with a few donuts, much to the
delight of the crowd.
During the Truck Pull, I left Lynette to get the pictures and video and walked
back to the pits. Don Frankish had broken a rod end during his Donut Display.
This is where I am always amazed. You would think with the competition among
teams that each team would have to fend for itself, but not if you're running
with these two teams. Don, Mike, Ronnie, Sam and Gary Schott Jr were all back
there working to get Maniac ready for Freestyle. It was the effort of all, as
everyone pitched in together to get it done. You don’t see this in any other
sport, but the pits in the Monster Truck world are much different than other
Check out Lynn’s highlight video in
the Video section to see the freestyle action. As usual I will let the video and
pictures tell the story, but I will say that all the trucks did a great job.
Ronnie Sturges in Nasty Boy did a heck of a job all night long with a sway bar
problem. Mike Bell in Jurassic Attack was solid, but the other three were right
there about even for the win. However, neither Lynn nor I, ever heard a
freestyle winner announced.
UNNAMED & UNTAMED
Again we would like to thank
Dale Penn and his staff for their hospitality. Although a good friend Nathan
Weenk retired, what I seen of Mike Bell in Jurassic Attack, I believe Don
Frankish made a good decision in finding a replacement for Nathan. Thanks to our
good friends on these two teams for the great performances, we look forward to
seeing them again soon. Next up for
Lynn and I will be Firebird International Raceway. See you all there, thanks for
- Lauren & Lynette Bonar
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