MEGA MONSTER TRUCK TOUR
CRYSTAL BEACH STADIUM - WOODWARD, OK - 08/09/08
By Lauren Z. Bonar
Always on the lookout for shows to hit when we are traveling, my wife Lynette and I noticed that the weekend of our return trip to Arizona from a late summer vacation in Missouri just happened to coincide with the MEGA Promotions event in Woodward, OK. We had been visiting Ross and his family for a couple weeks and the show in Oklahoma was timed perfectly for us to attend it as a slight detour on our journey home. Having made this trip so often, traveling across northern Oklahoma would be a welcome change.
We arrived in Woodward Saturday afternoon and headed straight to Crystal Beach Stadium after checking in at our hotel for the evening. We were welcomed by the MEGA staff and had a very nice conversation with promoter Linda Beckley. Linda and her staff were too busy to visit at length as they were setting up the souvenir and food stands, but it is always nice to see them.
Lynn and I walked back to the pit area where it was very quiet. Everyone was hiding from the mid-day heat in their respective RV’s. Larry Quick, owner/driver of Ghost Ryder, spotted us and came out to visit with his wife Valerie. Larry shared some recent South American trip horror stories, along with sharing news of his newest sponsor, Stone Cold Steve Austin. Larry and Valerie are great friends and we always enjoy seeing them.
We then got to meet Dale Mitchell for the first time. Dale would be driving Prowler tonight and for those who have not met Dale, he is truly a very nice guy or he sure fooled us, lol. It was the second time we had covered a show with Predator Racing, so it was only the second time we had met Allen Pezo. Allen is a pretty quiet guy until you get to know him real well, but he does not hesitate to lend a helping hand to fellow drivers when they need it. Allen jumped right in helping a fellow driver later in the evening with some shock work. I really respect this unselfish trait in people we meet, as some you’ll find that many of the independents jump in to help others, while some just don’t care to.
Devin Jones, the young owner/driver of the Barbarian truck, was the next friend we ran across. Devin is one of the most exciting drivers out there, but was also very quiet our first few meetings. He is fast becoming a good friend and is always good to see and visit with.
John White was another driver we had the pleasure of meeting for the first time. His new Brute Force truck is an impressive piece. John was very friendly, as was his family. John has fast become a good friend of TMB, with Ross doing his new website, www.bruteforce4x4.com. We learned that this show would only be John’s tenth event in Brute Force and he was excited to be there.
THE TRUCK LINEUP
BARBARIAN - DEVIN JONES
BRUTE FORCE - JOHN WHITE
GHOST RYDER - LARRY QUICK
PREDATOR - ALLEN PEZO
PROWLER - DALE MITCHELL
As with most MEGA Promotions events, the itinerary would consist of straight line drag racing over a single dirt jump and a single stack of four cars and a van being the long obstacle for freestyle. Quad racing and tough trucks would be the filler acts.
ROUND ONE RACING
Brute Force versus Barbarian: Devin Jones in Barbarian would take this race by three quarters of a truck length. John White discovered quickly he would be in for a rough night in Brute Force. John had just put new shocks on Brute Force and the kinks had not been worked out yet, causing the truck to land very hard on the front end.
Prowler versus Ghost Ryder: Larry Quick in Ghost Ryder was able to get a very “quick” start leaving Dale Mitchell and Prowler at the starting line and bringing home the win.
Predator versus Brute Force: With only five monster trucks in the lineup, MEGA decided that the loser of the first race would get a second chance in the third race. So John White in Brute Force would be back to try again, but he would have to face off against veteran driver Allen Pezo in Predator. With Predator’s horse power and Brute Force’s shock issues, Pezo took this race by a wide margin.
Barbarian versus Ghost Ryder: Two of the hardest chargers out there would face off in the first race of the semi-finals. This would end up being the closest race of the evening as Larry Quick just managed to nose out Devin Jones at the line. From the angle of our video footage, it was very hard to call a winner, but MEGA’s Dave Jackson and his keen eyes up in the booth got the call right and Ghost Ryder would be going to the finals.
Predator versus Prowler: Dale Mitchell got the fast loser berth to make it into the semi-finals, but he would have to take out the boss if he wanted to advance. That wouldn’t be in the cards however, as Allen Pezo was running strong, taking the win by over a truck length. As mentioned previously, this was only the second time I had seen Allen Pezo race, and I am amazed at the horsepower and the speed off the line of his new Predator machine.
THE FINAL ROUND
Prowler versus Brute Force: With two losses each, John White and Dale Mitchell would go head-to-head for fourth place in the final results. Despite continuing work back in the pits on Brute Force, the shocks were still off and it showed as White endured yet another hard landing. It was still a very close race however, but Dale Mitchell in Prowler would take the win.
Ghost Ryder versus Predator: Larry Quick in Ghost Ryder entered the final round as the definite underdog and would need a good jump off the line for any hope of beating Pezo. Larry did not get that jump and Allez Pezo charged on by Ghost Ryder for the racing victory. This would be a costly victory for Predator however, as the truck threw out a rear drive shaft crossing the finish line. Without sufficient time to make repairs before freestyle, Predator would be done for the night.
While the quad racing finals were held in between racing and freestyle, we witnessed some great sportsmanship in the pit area. Every other driver was doing what they could to assist John White in getting the shocks right on Brute Force. Allen Pezo and Dale Mitchell especially, were grabbing tools and equipment and running over to the Brute Force pit area working and assisting. I witness this out west often from another team I work with a lot, but I am not around the midwest teams as much and it is always good to see.
John White would be the first to take to the truck in Brute Force. After taking a couple hard hits in racing because of the shock issues, John was understandably hesitant. His first hit nearly resulted in Bruce Force getting stuck on the van stack, but he managed to continue. John is coming along nicely as a driver and got freestyle off to a good start.
If you haven’t ever seen Devin Jones freestyle in Barbarian, you are definitely missing out. Devin always goes all out and gets everything he can from the obstacles given. He is always a crowd favorite, if not before the show, definitely afterwards. Devin made some big hits on the van stack, grabbing a half wheelie on the landing and keeping up tons of momentum. Midway through his performance Devin broke a shock, but that wouldn’t be enough to stop him as he continued on. One of the next hits would do the trick however, as Devin broke the rear drive shaft that brought his strong run to an end.
Dale Mitchell in Prowler is a veteran driver and he sure showed that in his run. He drove the bumper right off Prowler in a fine freestyle performance that included good air and nice donuts. While it wouldn’t be enough to beat Devin Jones, the crowd showed their appreciation for his run in loud fashion.
Larry Quick is all about freestyle and will readily admit that fact. Even with a strong performance in racing already under his belt, taking home a freestyle win is what really mattered to Larry in front of this packed house in Woodward. Larry started strong, but lost second and third gears early in his run. Even with the problems, Larry still put forth a determined performance for a strong run. After doing everything he could, Larry ended with some major damage to the truck’s motor. The crowd loved his run, but would it be enough?
Devin Jones and Larry Quick are very good friends but they love to compete against each other. The cheer-off for the win would come down to the two drivers, and Devin Jones would get the nod from his home-state crowd. Dave Jackson, the announcer for Mega Promotions promoted that fact during the cheeroff and as good friends love to harass and rib each other, this gave Larry just the ammunition he needed to give Devin a hard time, lol.
Lynn and I were very glad we stopped in Woodward for this MEGA Promotions event on our journey home. Linda Beckley and her staff are always very hospitable and always put on a great show for the fans. It was a treat to see Linda, Dave and Pam again. A big thanks to the MEGA crew for welcoming The Monster Blog and our wishes to them for continued success like that they see in Woodward with a sold out crowd. Be sure to check out our highlight video from the show and we hope you’ve enjoyed our coverage of the event. We’ll see you next time!
- Lauren Z. Bonar