BIGFOOT’s Rick Long Wins Third Straight Monster Nationals Racing Championship

(Hazelwood, MO – BIGFOOT PR) – For the third time in three years, Team BIGFOOT driver Rick Long has captured the E3 Spark Plugs Monster Nationals Racing Championship, marking the first time in series history a BIGFOOT driver has delivered back-to-back-to-back title runs! This marks Long’s fourth career championship, and the 32nd for the BIGFOOT team since the first championship racing series was formed in 1988.

Piloting his trusty E3 Spark Plugs BIGFOOT #15, Long delivered knock-out racing performances for virtually the entire indoor racing season, rarely yielding in his quest for victory, even to teammate Darron Schnell in the Vi-Cor/Celmanax BIGFOOT #11. Schnell, in his rookie year of Monster Nationals indoor competition, finished the season in second place in side-by-side racing. Long’s points total of 1150 was followed by Schnell’s 875 and veteran Bobby Holman, in the Lucas Oil Stabilizer, rounding out the top three with 800 points.

Rick Long will finish his full time driving career in style, winning his third straight Monster Nationals Racing Championship.

The Monster Nationals tour began in the mid-1990’s and from the get-go has primarily served as the premiere non-dirt indoor racing league for the monster truck industry. As many venues prefer not to have thousands of cubic yards of dirt brought into their facility, the Monster Nationals tour has thrived in its niche as a non-dirt series. What this means in essence is that the trucks and drivers do not have the luxury of a dirt starting line, dirt ramps to launch off of, or dirt pads on which to land. This translates to some pretty wild racing passes, punctuated with big air launches and exciting landings in the shut-down area, all of which requires a monster truck driver to develop an entirely different skill set than required by a dirt event! And, just for the sake of variety, the series organizers will from time to time include one or more dirt events at some point in the season, just to shake things up a bit for the drivers and crew.

Long, who now stands poised to retire from his full-time driving role at BIGFOOT, was quick to point out that his third successful run at the Monster Nationals racing crown was a team effort first and foremost: “It really was all about operating like a team, from the shop to the shows. Having Darron [Schnell] and his truck running with me all winter was really great. We were able to help each other out in the pits, bouncing ideas off each other and such. That’s a big part of why both BIGFOOT trucks ended up in the finals so many times!”

Long went on to explain that “Every truck on the Monster Nationals tour runs very hard, so in turn we have to run our trucks hard to beat them. And, of course, that makes it hard on Bryan [Bertoletti], John [Peterson], and Chris [Ludwig] in the shop as those guys have to help us get these trucks repaired and back on the road in just a day or two each week between events. Even Nick [Dvorchak] in our paint and body shop had his hands full with us this year, so they all deserve a lot of credit, because, without them, we wouldn’t run or look great at each of the events.”

Speculation about Long’s actual date of retirement from full-time driving has run rampant in the past several weeks, although by all accounts Long’s final event behind the wheel of BIGFOOT #15 may be at the Toughest Monster Truck Tour invitational in Erie, PA April 27th and 28th. Although Rick’s fans will be sorry to see him step out of the seat, they should expect to see him on the road occasionally, filling in for his teammates, and possibly even training new drivers! However, regardless of where his career takes him from here, Long can definitely enjoy the fact that he stepped down on top as a four-time champion behind the wheel of the world’s most famous monster truck, BIGFOOT.

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