TOMORROW monster trucks will return to one of the most historically significant venues in the history of the sport as the Pontiac Silverdome hosts the 1st Annual Monster Truck Fall Shootout!! 11 trucks are scheduled to compete in racing and freestyle including Bounty Hunter, Raminator, Tail Gator, Virginia Giant, War Wagon, Big Dawg, Rammunition, Shell Camino, Bar’s Leaks Eliminator, Airborne Ranger and Rislone Defender.
The return of the Silverdome has been one of the biggest and best stories of 2010 and TMB is excited to return for our 10th and final episode of TMB TV Season 3. We’ll cover all the action with three camera angles and two huge photo galleries. With tickets at only $13 at www.SilverdomeTickets.com, this event will surely be one of the best values of the year.
Every day we’ve brought you the thoughts of one of the event’s big stars, check out the final one today as we are just over 24 hours away from the big show. Be sure to follow the TMB Twitter feed and the TMB Facebook page for LIVE updates throughout the day on Saturday and during the show. Watch for a full recap when we return on Sunday night!
11/12/10: Q&A w/Mark Hall | Countdown Status: 1 Day to Go!
TMB: Well folks we have brought you unprecedented coverage in our Countdown to the Silverdome Q&A preview series and we have reached our final interview as we are just one day away from the big event. Today we talk to a man who everyone has pointed to as the one to beat in racing and a man whose record of success in monster trucks over the years may very well be unparalled. Mark, before we get started talking about all that, first tell us about some of the history of Hall Brothers Racing and the Silverdome.
MH: I’ve got to start by saying we are absolutely super excited about the chance to run this event, and man, we’ve been going to the Silverdome for a LONG time, so going back now is just awesome. I can remember going there and being too young to be allowed to walk around on the floor of the dome during the event, that’s how long it’s been. We mud raced there, we even ran the old Heavy Metal tank there one year back in the late 80’s, early 90’s. I’d say we were there at least 3-4 times racing the monster truck, the most memorable was when we did the very first event as Raminator. And now all these years later, we’re still Raminator and so it’s great to be going back there.
TMB: There’s some interesting parallels between that first Monster Jam event you ran with Raminator and that was your first year being sponsored by Dodge and now this is the first year of you being back with them through Ram Trucks after some time apart and you’re headed back to the Silverdome. What’s the excitement level at the corporate level about getting the chance to see you guys compete in their backyard?
MH: Well you can practically stand in Chrysler’s corporate office parking lot and throw a rock and hit the Silverdome, so we really will be right in their backyard. I think at last count, we are expecting over 100 people from Dodge and Ram Trucks to be there cheering us on tomorrow. And the thing about that is, all these guys are so busy and to be taking their weekend off and coming out to watch us run is just so cool, we are very thankful for all the support. They turned out in huge numbers to watch us the first time around and we gave them a great showing, made it to the finals I think and they were all happy even though we weren’t able to win for them. We’re really excited to see all of them again this time around and hopefully get a win for them.
TMB: Now Mark, with all those sponsor representatives coming out to watch and with everyone pointing to you as the favorite to win, that’s got to put a lot of pressure on you to go out there and try to live up to those high expectations. Does that make preparing for an event of this magnitude a lot tougher?
MH: I really try not to get caught up in the hype because all you can do is go out there and do the best you can. Of course we want to do good because of all the people watching and the magnitude of the event and yeah that’s added pressure, but it doesn’t really change the way we prepare for it. The thing about our team is, If something happens, it’s definitely not for lack of preparation as we spend countless hours getting ready to race and we always run every round like it’s the last round. I like to think we perform very well under pressure as we’ve been in some championship fights over the years and we hold up to it pretty well.
TMB: That sounds like the response of a confident driver. Would you say having run some of the Monster Jam stadium events this year helps give you a bit of an advantage and who do you rate as your top competition tomorrow night?
MH: Every one of them (laughing). I know that’s kind of the typical response, but when you look at the list, there are no easy match-ups and we have to take every competitor as seriously as the next. These are all good trucks, all good teams and all good drivers so we don’t look past anyone. I do think that having run the Monster Jam stadiums is helpful as it has given us a chance to run some similar courses that maybe the competition hasn’t, or hasn’t in a long time. But you know me, I always love a turning course whether its big Chicago-style or tight courses with a lot of turns like we did outdoors in Indy or back in MLMT.
TMB: Alright Mark, now there’s no secret that HBR’s primary focus is racing and that is definitely what you guys are best known for. But over the years, you’ve shown that you certainly can step up to the plate at times and be formidable in freestyle. After having had the chance to do some big stadium freestyle this winter, what is your strategy for tomorrow night’s freestyle competition.
MH: You know, here’s one thing about freestyle – I can’t really explain this but we made a change to the truck this year and we’re using a 3-speed automatic style Lenco where you don’t have to use the clutch – for whatever reason, that makes it so much more fun to do freestyle with the automatic as the truck moves around easier and it’s just a blast to drive. I always enjoy running freestyle, but I’m going to be completely honest here – I am really looking forward to freestyle at this event, I can’t wait to let it rip and see what the truck will do. We ran Lucas Oil Stadium earlier this year and that had some massive jumps and it really ended up being a lot of fun so like I said, I’m kind of itching to get out there and let it rip tomorrow. The thing is you just cannot believe how fired up I am about this event, and I’m thinking, you know, we’ve got a new body on Raminator and it would be cool to see some pictures of it getting some huge air out there.
TMB: Wow, well after that response I think we’re all going to be a little extra excited when Raminator rolls out for freestyle. Well Mark, a big thanks from all of us here at TMB for the great interview, we’re heading out ourselves now to get on up to Pontiac and we look forward to having you on TMB TV and seeing you run. With all the excitement and anticipation, let’s close this out by having you sum up your thoughts on the experience that will be, the Monster Truck Fall Shootout at the Silverdome.
MH: Hey, this is our last big event of the year, we’ve got lots of family and friends coming out to watch us run so we’re pulling out all the stops. All of our guys have done a great job working on the trucks, now we’ve just got to go get the job done. But it’s going to be a great night, and win, lose or draw, it’s going to be an awesome experience – the fans will be the real winners.
The Monster Truck Fall Shootout is this Saturday, November 13th – 11 of the nation’s top trucks compete in racing and freestyle at the historic Pontiac Silverdome! Advance tickets are only $13, all fees included at www.SilverdomeTickets.com – get yours now!