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 ďno, not the Atlanta Braves ManagerĒ
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 wonít 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
NAPA Equalizer - Mike Hawkins
Spiderman - Kreg Christensen
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 Spidermanís 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: The first race puts Keith Sturgeon in Bigfoot 10 against
Bill Chapin in Hot Tamale. Keith Sturgeon in Big Foot takes a pretty close
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: 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 donít forget to check out Lynnís video of
the action in the video section.
That's all for the Saturday matinee show in Vegas, click below to
check out the Saturday 8PM show!!
Saturday 2PM /
Saturday 8PM /
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