(Article by Ross Z. Bonar) – The Destroyer monster truck has a new owner but he’s no stranger to driving monster trucks. Roger Stidell of Bellevue, Washington has driven part time for Jeff Bainter’s Captain USA team for over 6 years and now he’s got his own ride after purchasing Destroyer from Dan Evans last week.
“I’d say the first time I decided I wanted to have my own truck one day was probably back in 1978 when I first saw BIGFOOT,” said an excited Stidell. “It’s been a long road getting here and to pick up the truck the day after Christmas, that’s about the best Christmas present I could ever imagine getting!”
The 42-year-old Stidell first started talking to Evans about purchasing Destroyer nearly 6 months ago, but the deal wasn’t complete until early last week when Stidell flew to Michigan to pick up the truck. After a slow process working the deal to buy the truck, things are now moving very fast as Stidell and his new team are in full thrash mode getting the truck ready for their first event.
“I’m no savvy veteran behind the wheel by any means,” explained Stidell. “I’ve gotten some great experience over the years but I’ve only ever been a part time driver, so I’ve got a lot to learn. I’m probably about as nervous as I am excited about running my own truck, so I’m hoping things go well.”
With the Houston Monster Jam being pushed back a week and several trucks being pulled from the Tacoma, Washington lineup to fill Reliant Stadium’s new date, the door was open for Stidell. He got the call from Feld and Destroyer will be one of the replacement trucks for the January 13th-15th Tacoma Dome event.
Stidell and his friends have worked as crew help for the Tacoma Dome event for many years, so having the chance to debut his new ride at his hometown show, in front of all his friends and family, is an exciting, although nerve-wracking opportunity.
“I feel incredibly lucky to be able to run my first show in Tacoma,” said Stidell. “I’ve got a great family, amazing friends and I’m very excited about this opportunity. I just can’t express how lucky I really am and there are definitely some nerves about this being my debut with the truck.”
Along with the purchase of the truck, Stidell also acquired a second Patrick chassis, two Patrick axle housings and many other spare parts from Evans. This will eventually be a second team truck to Destroyer. For now though, Stidell’s main goal is to live up to the Destroyer standard Evans has set over the years.
“My biggest goal to start with is to try and keep the truck performing at the same high level Dan always did,” described Stidell. “He has built a great name for this truck and I just want to try to keep it going. He was from Michigan and didn’t get out this way too often, so I am excited about the chance to introduce some of the West Coast fans to the Destroyer.”
Don’t worry though all you Dan Evans fans, he’s not leaving the sport by any stretch of the imagination. Evans has been named as the driver of the new Hot Wheels ride for Feld Motor Sports after having driven for them on the European tours the last few years. This premiere seat should give Evans a great shot at returning to competition at the World Finals after several years not receiving the invite.
For more information on Roger Stidell and the Destroyer monster truck, be watching for their soon to be released new website at www.TheDestroyerMonsterTruck.com. You can also follow them on Facebook to stay up to date with all the latest team news.