MONSTER TRUCK EXTRAVAGANZA!!
AUGUST 20TH, 2005 - WASHINGTON CITY PARK
the second MONSTER BLOG coverage, coming to you from Washington, MO!!
Kind of decided to skip around a little bit with the coverages, but
Springfield and Sedalia are on the way!! Just wanted to get this one
out there while it was recent and for all the fine folks we met down in
Washington this weekend!!
Can't remember where I first saw this event listed, but was very excited when I found out about it. Finding information on it was much more difficult, as the Washington Jaycees do not have a website. After numerous Yahoo searches, I decided to start making some calls. Finally I was able to track down a number to the event organizer, Brad. We worked out an arrangement where I would help him promote the event on the site and online (I think we probably account for about 10-20 people who wouldn't have known about the show otherwise), and in return, he would give us all access to the event, to provide great coverage for all of you!! Chalk another score up for THE MONSTER BLOG!!
Talking to Brad, he told me that the Jaycees had a little trouble drumming up sponsorship for the event this year, and thus, was only able to bring three trucks to the show. In my opinion, it was better to have three high-quality trucks than more mediocre trucks. Wanted to address another issue, real quick. The Washington Jaycees have been criticized in other monster truck circles, but I just wanted to say that I found them to be a stand-up organization, and all of my experiences with them were fantastic, for what its worth. Anyway, on to the show!!!
My father, Lauren Z. Bonar (owner of LZ's Sports Source & Collectibles), and a friend of mine, Eric W. Anderson, attended the show with me. We pulled in to the Washington City Park (beautiful place, by the way), about an hour and a half before the show, and were met at the gate by Brad, the event organizer. Brad took us around the grounds, showed us around, and was very accommodating. Taking a look at the course, it was your standard two car starter, followed by a four car jump to the finish line. A Wheelie mound was setup in the middle of the course, with the tough-truck course running around the outside of the track.
After taking a look around at the course, we started to walk our way around the grounds to go take a look at the trucks and some of the other activities going on as part of the event.
There was a souvenir stand setup and being run by the Big Dawg team, and some fun activities for the kids, such as this kiddie-bouncer, with a bid truck on the top of it.
The Army and the National Guard were using the event as a recruiting opportunity, and it was really neat to have a military presence at the event. THE MONSTER BLOG is a huge supporter of our troops overseas and in the war against terrorism. Go USA, and a big salute and THANK YOU to all those who have served in the Armed Forces!!
A local radio station was broadcasting live from the event, which was pretty cool, and there was an opportunity for fans to win a chance to driver this Demo Derby car in the Jaycees' upcoming Demolition Derby later this year!! The runner-up in the contest would win the opportunity to ride along in the demo car also!! I know which one of those prizes I would want to win, cause I sure as heck wouldn't want to be the passenger!!
Ok, on to the part you all have been waiting for . . . the MONSTER TRUCKS!!
THE LINEUP OF MONSTER TRUCKS
Once again, it was a shame to see the event only be able to bring in three trucks this year, but what better three trucks could you ask for? Without further delay . . .
BAD NEWS TRAVELS FAST
I was really looking forward to seeing this truck in action, as it is definitely one of the more unique paint schemes out there. I got a chance to talk with Bruce Haney for a few minutes, told him about the website, and got him to autograph my Hot Wheels 1:64 of his truck for my newborn son's MT collection!! Bruce seemed like a heck of a guy, and was featured in a neat stunt that would occur later on in the evening!! I have to admit, as a Chevy man, a developed an instant soft spot for this truck when I saw that big, bold Bowtie on the front grill!!
Having Doug Noelke out here in the Big Dawg was very exciting, especially after the show he put on in Springfield at the 4 Wheel Jamboree earlier in the year (coverage coming soon!!). This is a big, beautiful, truck with an awesome paint scheme (one of my wife's favorites), so we took a couple of extra pictures. Also got a chance to meet Doug over a the souvenir tent for the first time, and again, a great guy. Aren't monster truck drivers the best?? Told him about the site and chatted for a few minutes, scored another autograph to bring home for my little man, and headed on to go see the truck that started it all!!
AMERICAN PRIDE BIGFOOT
I must say, as much as I liked the other two trucks in attendance, this truck just takes my breath away. Like so many others, Bigfoot has a very special place in my heart, as it was my favorite truck growing up. Not to mention, if it wasn't for Bob Chandler and Bigfoot, we wouldn't have events like this to attend. I was a little confused when I looked up at the name on the side of the truck. Shane Blair? I hadn't heard of him before, so I wasn't quite sure what to expect. Little did I know what a show I was in for.
BIGFOOT 30TH ANNIVERSARY
Never really got the full story on this, but when we arrived, the Bigfoot crew was changing the truck back over to the little tires to put the truck back on the hauler. I guess the truck had been used for the Ford Dealership display earlier in the day, and was on its way back to St. Louis. This was the truck that Dave Harkey put on such a great freestyle with at Springfield earlier this year, and just as I was thinking that, I looked up, and there was the man himself.
Harkey was helping tear the truck down. During a break, I ran over and introduced myself and got him to autograph another diecast for The Little Monster Blogger. I also told him about the site, and gave him one of our cards. Dave Harkey is an awesome guy, and puts on a great show. I have to tell you, as a monster truck fan, knowing that Dave Harkey and that awesome Bigfoot 30th Anniversary truck were on hand but weren't competing was a very cruel tease. But nonetheless, it was back to walking around, meeting and greeting, and getting ready for showtime!!
Finally, showtime came around, and we were in our seats when the Monster Trucks rolled out for Introductions. The crowd roared in delight as the three beasts roared down the hill and onto the track. My friend and I had made our way up to some seats at the top of the grandstand to start with for some better views, while my dad was running around down in the pit area talking to tough truck drivers, and having a good ol' time. He also had his digital camera with him, so I was excited about getting some shots from a second angle for the site!! I wanted close-ups of the trucks and drivers so I raced down the stairs, and got down there just in time to get some shots of the drivers standing on the tires.
So, that was a summary of all the action leading up to the start of the show, so now it's time to go racing!!