EXTREME MONSTER TRUCK NATIONALS

SOUTH POINT EVENTS CENTER - LAS VEGAS, NV - 1/13-14/07

By Lauren Z. Bonar

 

Leaving Tuba City, AZ Friday night on the way to Las Vegas gave Lynn and I a clear indication of what the weather would be like this weekend. The winds were high, with wave after wave of sand blowing across the desert. Going south on 89 to Flagstaff we could see the snow storm in the distance. It is usually about a 5 hour trip for us to Vegas, but after hitting Interstate 40 west, we quickly found it would take much longer. As we hit the high elevations, with the snow steadily coming down and turning slick, there was car after car off the roads. Trucks with campers in the median and several Semi Tractor Rigs jack knifed off to the side. We just took our time arriving in Laughlin five hours later and stayed there for the evening.

From Laughlin, NV to Vegas is only about an hour and a half. Lynn and I went directly to the event center as the pit party for the first show started at 11:30. I spotted the Bigfoot rig right away and Keith Sturgeon was walking to the truck. After hellos, he told us how to get in the building. Upon going in, the first thing I see is Bigfoot on three wheels and a tire service truck sitting next to the fourth big tire. Keith explained that he cut a tire last night on some metal, not to the bottom of the tire, but on the side. This was going to be a trick, I wanted to stick around and see how this was going to be repaired.
 

 


Standing on the side was a familiar figure, Jim Kramer, eating a bagel and drinking his $4.00 coffee. Having total respect for this Bigfoot driving icon, I waited until he finished the bagel before approaching him. I told Mr. Kramer who I was and what I would be doing this weekend. To my surprise, he knew about the Monster Blog as he works with a computer. Getting out of the way quickly as Jim, who by now has told me to call him Jim & not Mr. Kramer, is very interested in what the tire repairman is doing. He had cleaned off the inside of the tire where the slice was, then put a giant patch on the inside. After heating it up and letting it dry, it was aired up. The air holds, but with the pressure, the outside of the gash, is now 3/8th of an inch wide on the outside. You can actually see the patch the repairman has put on, in the inside of the tire. Repairman tells Jim & Keith that is all he can do and is gone.
 

 


The concern now is there are three more events this weekend, if another piece of debris hits that opening, there is another flat tire. As Jim & Keith were busy working together with one good idea after another, from start to finish, this is the result in pictures. After that evening's event Lynn & I were leaving through the pit area. Jim was checking the truck and pointed out where something hit the outside patch, exactly where the gash was. Not only was Big Foot saved for the Sunday event, but Jim took time to visit with Lynn and me more. Jim is a huge family man who spends as much time as possible with his wife & children. Jim also has a very unique hobby; he likes to repair old Guitars. Lynn & I really appreciated the time and conversation and hope to run into Jim again.


The same morning I ran into Kreg Christenson and inquired about the Dragon Slayer as it was not in the pit area. He explained during the Friday night event, the engine threw a rod and blew up. Kreg would be driving Spiderman the rest of the weekend.
 

 


I walked over to meet the members of Rebel Pride Racing Team and met more great folks. Bill Chaffin and his wife Becky, Bill would be driving Hot Tamale. Then met Isaiah Morales who would be driving Equalizer if Mike Hawkins did not arrive on time.
 


Before getting started, I want to say that Jim Morris and his crew could not have been better to us. Ross and Tony kept everything on schedule on the field, plus kept everything moving and the fans entertained. The crew had a few more problems as this was the first motorsports event held at the new South Point Event Centers. All did a great job of holding everything together.

Bobby Cox a professional clown “no, not the Atlanta Braves Manager” who plays a filler role in all kinds of events, was indeed a great person out on the floor during quiet times. He has an array of skits, jokes and small vehicles to keep the crowd entertained. If any promoter out there whether it be motorsports or Rodeos is looking for a professional clown for entertainment during quiet times, you can contact HOT ROD BOBBY COX on his cell phone at, (717) 880-0046. You won’t be disappointed.
 


Jeff Brock was on hand with his Sergeant Smash Monster ride. Ross and I had met Jeff and his father Arliss in Fort Smith Arkansas last year. Jeff was kind enough to give me my first experience in a Monster Truck. Jeff gives a safe ride to the fans and definitely lets them know what its like for drivers with all the shifting and bumping in the seats. Jeff has upgraded his truck with a new 502 engine. As I stated the last time I seen Sergeant Smash, if you are at show and see Sergeant Smash, it is a great experience at a great price.

 

 


 

MONSTER TRUCK LINEUP


Bigfoot - Keith Sturgeon

 

 

Hot Tamale - Billy Chapin / Isiah Morales

 

 

NAPA Equalizer - Mike Hawkins

 

 

Spiderman - Kreg Christensen

 

 

WHEELIE CONTEST


Wheelie Contest:  Each driver would get two chances in this contest, one time on each side of the field. Seeing as how there were no hometown favorites, this seems like a pretty fair deal this weekend. Kreg Christensen in Spiderman was out first and went straight up & down. It looked for a split second, like it might fall backwards. It was definitely the crowd favorite. I missed Spiderman’s second attempt, very happy I got the first. Pictures below as Mike Hawkins in Equalizer gave it a valiant effort his second time. Pictures below:
 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

RACING COMPETITION

 

ROUND ONE


Racing: The first race puts Keith Sturgeon in Bigfoot 10 against Bill Chapin in Hot Tamale. Keith Sturgeon in Big Foot takes a pretty close race.

 

 

Kreg Christensen in Spiderman takes on Mike Hawkins in Equalizer in the 2nd race. Equalizer takes this one.

 

 

Third race features Bill Chapin in Hot Tamale against the boss, Mike Hawkins in Equalizer. Hot Tamale took the race as Equalizer appeared to get a slow start. The only mis-step we saw from Equalizer all weekend.

 

 

Next race is between Keith Sturgeon in Bigfoot & Kreg Christiansen in Spiderman. Take a look at the pictures below, this is one of the closest races I have ever witnessed as Bigfoot barely wins it.

 

 

The final round would feature Bill Chapin in Hot Tamale versus Keith Sturgeon in Bigfoot. Bigfoot wins the racing competition as Hot Tamale gets a little sideway going over the jump.

 

 

FREESTYLE COMPETITION


Freestyle: Kreg Christensen did not make it out for freestyle with some mechanical difficulties, but would return for the evening's events. Keith Sturgeon did a great job, but had to hold back a little because of the tire problem. Bill Chapin in Hot Tamale did an awesome job, but there was no way Mike Hawkins in Equalizer was going to allow Hot Tamale to beat him again. Equalizer takes the Freestyle victory in the afternoon event. Check out the action below and don’t forget to check out Lynn’s video of the action in the video section.

 

BIGFOOT

 

 

 

 

 

 


 

HOT TAMALE

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

NAPA EQUALIZER

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

That's all for the Saturday matinee show in Vegas, click below to check out the Saturday 8PM show!!

 

Saturday 2PM  /  Saturday 8PM  /  Sunday

 

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

BACK TO COVERAGES