TOURNAMENT OF DESTRUCTION

TUCSON RODEO GROUNDS - TUCSON, AZ - 04/15/07

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 Blog.

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 you Gary!
 

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 reached at www.paylessaz.com.
 


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 www.azranger.us.
 

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 easy victory.
 

 

 

 

 


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 sports.
 

FREESTYLE COMPETITION

 

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

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

JURASSIC ATTACK

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

MANIAC

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

NASTY BOY

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

FINAL WORDS

 

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 reading!
 

- Lauren & Lynette Bonar
 

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