Monster Photos: Monster Jam – Kansas City, MO 2011

Event: Monster Jam
Venue: Sprint Center
Location: Kansas City, Missouri
Date: February 12th, 2011
Photographer: Ross Z. Bonar

Lineup: Aftershock (Bob Robbins), Bounty Hunter (Jay McPherson), Destroyer (Dan Evans), Grave Digger (Pablo Huffaker), Krazy Train (Roger Cardot), Martial Law (Paul Strong), Reptoid (Jim Jack), TMNT (Aaron Basl) [Read more…]

TMB TV: ActionTracks Episode 2.1 – Cincinnati, OH 2011

Event: Monster Truck Winter Nationals
Venue: Cincinnati Gardens
Location: Cincinnati, Ohio
Date: January 15th-16th, 2010
Host: Chris Parrish
Videographers: Chris Parrish

Lineup: Bigfoot Bad Boy #14 (Eric Tack), Black Stallion (Jimmy Tracey), Illuminator (Jay Snyder), Screamin Demon (Dave Waple) [Read more…]

E3 Spark Plugs Announces the 2011 E3 Spark Plugs BIGFOOT 4×4 Sweepstakes

E3 Spark Plugs is announcing the new 2011 E3 Spark Plugs BIGFOOT 4×4 Sweepstakes! One lucky winner will be offered an opportunity to ride along with a professional BIGFOOT driver in the E3 BIGFOOT Monster Truck, and he/she and a guest will have a chance to be VIP’s for the weekend at the 2011 4-Wheel Jamboree in Indianapolis, Indiana September 16th-18th. The sweepstakes will be promoted throughout the year from January 1, 2011 through August 19, 2011 on Stacey David’s GearZ syndicated on Speed channel, at the Monster Nationals Events, and the Lucas Oil/E3 Spark Plug Dyno Challenge events. Not only will the winner be a part of the crew for the racing portion of the show, but also get to meet Bob Chandler, inventor and owner of BIGFOOT, and Stacey David, producer & host of Stacey David’s GearZ and dine with them during lunch. The Grand Prize includes: round-trip airfare to and from Indianapolis, Indiana, two (2) day hotel accommodations, and transportation to & from the airport and the Jamboree.

Incredible sweepstakes from our friends at E3 Spark Plugs!

“We think the Monster Truck Series enthusiasts out there will be all over this idea,” said Steve Joiner, Vice President of Sales and Marketing for E3 Spark Plugs. “At some of these events there will be upwards of 80,000 fans in attendance, many of whom have been following the records of BIGFOOT all of their lives. To think they get to not only go for a ride in it, but also meet and dine with Bob Chandler who invented the whole concept is just a really big deal.”

“Then throw into the mix the chance to also meet automotive industry celebrity Stacey David, producer and host of Stacey David’s GearZ, we think these fans will just be beside themselves,” stated Joiner.

“We at E3 Spark Plugs teamed with BIGFOOT, who was literally responsible for creating the monster truck itself, because we strive to associate with other innovative companies like ourselves. We will personally be on hand to meet our lucky sweepstakes winner in September and help make their weekend at the event as awesome an experience as possible,” said Todd Arey, President of E3 Spark Plugs.

To register for the 2011 E3 Spark Plugs BIGFOOT 4×4 Sweepstakes, please visit www.e3sparkplugs.com. On the sweepstakes registration page you can also customize your own picture of BIGFOOT and automatically post it to your Facebook page for all your friends to see. Registrations are limited to one entry per email address, per 24-hour period. All other sweepstakes official rules also apply.

Rick Long piloted E3 Spark Plugs Bigfoot #15 to the 2010 Monster Nationals Racing Championship.

Backed by a five year, 100,000-mile warranty, E3 Spark Plugs, with their side-wire electrode, projects the combustion spark in a way that more quickly ignites the air/fuel mixture thereby creating a significantly faster and larger flame kernel. In effect, this burns more of the available fuel, resulting in increased combustion efficiency for improved power and fuel economy with reduced emissions. They are now available for most automotive and motorsports applications at automotive retail stores nationwide. For more information and complete test results, visit www.e3sparkplugs.com.

For more information about Bob Chandler and Team BIGFOOT, visit bigfoot4x4.com.

# # #

Blast From The Past: Hamburg, NY 1987 – “A Grimm Prospect”

Welcome back, ladies and gentlemen, to the “Blast from the Past’ blog where I, TMB Videographer Colby Marshall, review classic and especially not-so-classic shows from the glory days of monster truck competition. I’ll be doing this in a light-hearted, playfully sarcastic manner so don’t take offense, and let’s all sit back, have a few laughs and remember the way things used to be. Yes that’s right fans, I am back again…trucker hat, ringer shirt, cowboy boots, tight jeans and all…for another rousing romp of old school monster mayhem. This time out, it is TNT Motorsports in Hamburg, NY circa 1987 (YouTube would be a good place to look if you want to follow along). And boy-oh-boy do we have a treat for you all this time. There he is, microphone in hand, its DAVE GRIMM!!! I promise two things…incomprehensible yelling and ad nausea repetition. Don’t believe me? Let’s go to the first round to find out. The trucks will drag race over a large dirt roller, then two sets of four cars and finish at the top of another dirt roller.

Pulling to the line, its Allen “Dick Clark ain’t got nothing on me because I still look the same as I always have” Pezo taking on Steve “Not the gas stations” Hess in Nitemare. Senior official and expert flagman Ed Hart waves the green flag…no, wait, he waves the red flag…actually, he waves both of them for some odd reason. The drivers look at each other in a confused manner, shrug their shoulders, and mutually decide to start the race anyways. Rather than describing this race, I am going to turn to the transcript of Mr. Grimm’s expert analysis of this epic encounter:

“Here we go! Here we go! Here come the monster trucks! Here come the monster trucks! Here they come! Here they come! They’re on their way! Here comes the Chevrolet! Here…OH THERE THEY GO! OH WOAH! There they come. Here comes Nitemare! Here comes (checks flash card) the Lone Eagle. There they comes…OH! OHH! OHHHH! Hit em Hit em Hit em Hit em Hit em Hit em. There they go! There they go! There they go! Its gonna beeee the Looooooooone Eagle!”

Thanks, Dave! Allen Pezo moves on by a truck length.

For our second race, Gayle Mefford brings out Stomper 1 to the line. In the other lane, its (according to the on screen graphics) Barry Packaid in Little Bear Foot. And, in case you were wondering, you empty the packet of Packaid into a 2-quart pitcher, add a cup of sugar and water, then stir vigorously until dissolved for a tasty, refreshing beverage. Stomper leaves the line, while Barry Packaid stays put and tries to make sense of the directions I just gave. Stomper heads for the cars and Mefford absolutely airs out that uber-heavy truck, all but clearing the cars and sending the flags in the bed flying in all directions. From the sound of things, Dave Grimm had some combination of a heart attack, a stroke, his underwear on too tight, puberty and a velociraptor attack all at the same time, as he screeched into the microphone over this quite impressive jump. Oh, and apparently Barry finished off his glass of Packaid and decided to start the race. He makes it as far as the first car set before shutting down again. Dave Grimm tells us liquid is coming out of the truck. I failed to mention that adult supervision is required when making Packaid, and most of the rest spilled out of the truck and onto the track. My bad. Stomper moves on.

Jon Breen brings out Mad Dog, painted mostly yellow, for the third race of the first round, taking on Star Monster. It wears a very simple black and gray paint scheme that I think looks fantastic. Unfortunately, looking fantastic wasn’t enough to take down what was one of the few purpose-built race trucks trucks at the time. Mad Dog wins by a lot.

Sly Stallone and the Governator get to the chahppahs and line up for this race. It’s Rambo and Terminator in a battle of 1980’s action movies starring guys who talk funny. They are off and we go back to Dave Grimm for the call…

“Terminator and Rambo…Terminator and Rambo…Rambo on the inside, Terminator on the outside…Termbo and Raminator…” Wait, WHAT?!? Raminator?!? In 1987? I knew those Rams were fast, but so fast that they hit 88MPH, flipped on the flux capacitor, and traveled back in time to win an obscure race in New York? Apparently so. Mark Hall wins the race and moves…no. Upon further review, it was simply Dave Grimm getting ahead of himself and misspeaking the names of the trucks. What a let down! Tim Hall, if you are reading this, you guys would have made this race much more interesting. And safe. Rambo goes all bouncy like it has barely working, primitive suspension (which NEVER happened in the 1980’s) and almost runs over a cameraman. Terminator and Jerry Richmond win this one, and our intrepid videographer retreats to the third stall in the men’s room to change his shorts.

That brings us to the Semi-Fineals. I spelled it that way because that is the way it is spelled on screen. Remember our rule…1980’s television broadcasts are NEVER wrong. Ever. Allen Pezo in Lone Eagle takes on Gayle Mefford in Stomper. Interesting to note that Stomper appears to have about half the air pressure in its tires this round. I’m willing to bet that inversely correlates to the amount of pressure on Mr. Mefford’s kidneys after that air shot in round one. Stomper looks a bit gimpy in this one, with the left front leaning pretty bad. This opens things up, and like a “predator”, Allen Pezo takes advantage and moves on to the finals. Dave screams, “WE HAVE HAD AN UPSET!” That and a REALLY bad joke from the writer of this article, Dave.

“There we go ladies and gentlemen! Take off! Take off! Take off!” signals the beginning of an epic contest between Terminator and Mad Dog. Terminator uses about 450 feet to runs this 300 foot race as Jerry Richmond zig-zags across the track. Jon Breen keeps ‘er straight and narrow and races out ahead to an easy victory. As he crosses the line, yet another velociraptor attacks Dave Grimm as he screams at something happening to Terminator that we never see. “WOAHAHAHHHA! Mad Dog is gonna win it with ease. Terminator will finish…………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………behind.”

Final round time it is, as Jon Breen and Jerry Richmond pull to the line. Wait, didn’t that JUST happen? Well, the on-screen graphics strike again. It’s actually Mad Dog and Jon Breen taking on Allen Pezo and Lone Eagle. Voice over guy tells us that they are both Chebbies. Thanks, voice over guy. He goes on to explain that Mad Dog is specially constructed for just this kind of competition. So, Mad Dog can only win if there is non-carbonated soft drink, TERRIBLE announcing, time travel, Mark Hall and vicious dinosaur attacks involved in the event. Well, it just so happens to be Jon Breen’s lucky day. In the annals of monster truck coverage, there are certain calls that transcend the sport and become a thing of legend. The late, great Jan Gabriel, Army Armstrong, Scott Douglas. All have made their mark on this industry with legendary race calls and became legends in their own right. They did so by NEVER spouting lines like the one that follows:

“Mad Dog on his way. Mad Dog on his way. Mad Dog on his way. MAD DOG ON HIS WAAAYY! Mad Dog on his way. And Mad Dog is gonna win it.”

Inspiring. Voice over guy is back and tells us that Mad Dog is built for running. And rabies shots. That’s not true. I made that last part up because I thought it was funny. For some odd reason, we go to an on-track announcer that didn’t appear at any other time during this competition. He interviews Jon Breen who tells us the truck is built for circuit racing. Circuit racing? For some odd reason I pictured Jenson Button quaking in his driving suit as he looks in the rear view of his McLaren and sees the engineering marvel that was Mad Dog. That wing could be intimidating.

This event is an interesting one to me. Here we have a long, straight line course at a time that TNT had not yet settled on this as their defacto track of choice. This was a strange mix of trucks, including what is one of the few TNT TV appearances of Lil’ Bearfoot. With the exception of Mad Dog, these were “stage one” trucks built for show and for exhibition crushing. I always found events like this way more interesting, as trucks that had no business racing bounced all over the place, performed terribly, but still looked amazing doing it. Well, my six month old has managed to find an l.e.d. flashlight and is beating on the computer chair with it. I had better get going. Until next time, OLD SCHOOL RULES!

The Insider: Beefcake Design Setting Standard for T-Shirt Design

Ever since we started working in the monster truck industry over six years ago, we have met many incredible people who use their talents to work in the industry they love. That’s really the story of many of the best people working in the industry – a love of monster trucks since childhood and the use of their own personal skill sets to provide useful services to others in the industry.

We at TMB are proud to work with such people and recommend such services, whether it be vinyl wraps and services from our friends at Steel Skinz Graphics, parts from the folks at AA Speed & Custom and even full on chassis and turn key monster trucks from Patrick Enterprises, Racesource Inc and Concussion Engineering. The people behind these organizations are monster truck fans first and they work to provide services that will improve the industry they love.

One area we had yet to run across someone who exceeded all our expectations was in the area of t-shirt design. This is one of the most in demand services in the monster truck industry. Merchandise sales are a huge part of a monster truck owner/operator or event promoter’s revenue streams and historically, there is no bigger seller than the t-shirt.

Every big monster truck fan has the dual purpose collection/wardrobe of monster truck t-shirts they have collected over the years. And let’s face it, the selection of which shirts they end up purchasing is not solely based on who their favorite truck is – it’s very much about the design.

We at TMB have been through the first time client experience in having t-shirts done before and as we are beginning our second project, we thought we would share some of our experiences and make a pitch for a fellow monster truck enthusiast who is doing the work that so many in the industry need done.

Spend Money to Make Money – Don’t Skimp on the Design

One of the biggest mistakes monster truck owner/operator and promoters make is to try and save money by spending less on the design. The cost savings realized from having cheaper, lower quality illustrated artwork instead of using a slightly more expensive professional who understands the monster truck industry may be somewhere in the range of $300-$500 at the time of making the order; however it will end up being the difference between walking away at the end of any given weekend having sold a mere handful of shirts versus having up to several thousand dollars worth of extra income from t-shirt sales.

This one is a no-brainer – the fans may love your truck but if you have a simple or amateurish design, they’re not going to spend the money on one of your shirts. Trying to save a couple hundred dollars on production could cost you thousands in sales later on.

OWN Your Design – Use an Independent Designer Who Loves Monster Trucks

You need to find a designer who knows and loves monster trucks – they will be more passionate about the job and they will work harder to create a design that is unique to your brand. Now we’re not recommending using someone who doesn’t know t-shirt design – there are many ins and outs to designing a t-shirt because of they way they are printed that even a great graphic designer may not handle properly (using proper PMS colors, etc). This could end up costing you more money when you take the design to have it printed.

A general staff designer for the t-shirt printing company you’re using may be very talented and do great artwork, but you are just another job to them and in most cases – this is VERY important to note – they co-own your design with you, so that you will only be able to have that design printed if you use that company. This also allows them to duplicate elements of the artwork you paid to have created in another client’s project! Case in point comes from TMB’s own first time t-shirt design client experience.

Our first project was handled by the $2.95 Guys, who are a great t-shirt printer that we would recommend to anyone for the actual printing of the t-shirts. However, we used one of their staff designers and even chose the most expensive level of design, following the advice above. The designer did a great job on the shirt and we were happy with the experience at the time. But later on, we found out that our design that we paid full price for, which was created directly from a TMB taken photo, had been taken and minimally modified for another client, who was also charged full price!

The lesson is OWN your t-shirt design. Have it done by an independent professional and then take it to the t-shirt printing company of your choice. Go even further and use someone passionate about monster trucks so that you are sure to receive a unique, well thought out design by someone who understands your brand and what your target market wants.

TMB Recommendation – Beefcake Design

In our search for a designer for our second t-shirt project – new TMB TV shirts which will be coming out later this year – we were lucky enough to meet a fellow monster truck enthusiast who is setting the standard by which monster truck t-shirt artwork is measured.

Jason Becker is from Hutchinson, Kansas and has been a monster truck fan all his life. Always having had that “artistic touch”, he went to school for to pursue graphic design and became a school teacher instructing in that field.

As a monster truck fan, he always attended events in his area and as a hobby, would do illustrations of trucks and have them autographed by drivers at the events. While attending a ProMT event at Kansas Speedway, Jason met Team Scream drivers Jim Koehler and Chris Bergeron. They were so impressed with his illustrations that they enlisted his help in coming up with a 3D dog body concept they wanted to do for Chris’ Brutus truck.

Never having had experience with such a thing, Jason worked with them and came up with a concept drawing for the new body. They were so pleased with the concept, they then enlisted Jason’s help in building it. An S10 body was sent to Jason’s house and with the help and advice of the folks at GTS Fiberglass and lots of collaboration with Team Scream, Jason was able to create what is now one of the most recognizable 3D bodies in all of monster trucks.

Jason Becker works on transforming an S10 body into one of the most recognizable 3D body styles in all of monster trucks.

After creating several t-shirt designs for Team Scream, Steve Koehler recommended Jason to the folks at Feld Entertainment, as they were looking for an additional designer for some of their t-shirt projects. After creating a well received Blue Thunder design, Feld also used Jason’s talents to create t-shirts for trucks including Air Force Afterburner, TMNT, Captain’s Curse, Donkey Kong, El Toro Loco, Maximum Destruction, Taz and Superman.

Jason has also worked with independent teams, doing t-shirt designs for Equalizer, Amsoil Shock Therapy, Excaliber and Bad News Travels Fast.

Examples of some of the great t-shirt designs done by Beefcake Design.

Now Becker has started his own design company and is looking to expand his work to more clients in the monster truck industry. The Beefcake Design philosophy is that each design is much more than just artwork, its a branding of what your team is all about and how you run. Jason strives to create artwork that is unique to each client and communicates the driver or team’s personality and attitude. Becker would also be open to working on another 3D body concept project and is even expanding his services to include designing full truck wraps.

We are very excited to unveil the new TMB TV t-shirt that Beefcake Design is currently working on for us and we are very happy to have found a monster truck t-shirt designer we can recommend to all our friends in the industry. Check out their portfolio at www.BeefcakeDesign.com and feel free to give Jason a call at (316) 648-8165 or shoot him an email at jason@beefcakedesign.com for more information how he can work with you on your next project.

Check out the full Beefcake Designs portfolio at www.BeefcakeDesign.com.

We hope you’ve found this edition of The Insider to be an informative look at the monster truck t-shirt design process and that some of the tips included will help you avoid a bad experience in your t-shirt projects. Whether you end up using our friends at Beefcake Design or not, remember not to skimp on the design and to use someone who will create a design unique to you and your team – it will pay off in the end!

Monster Photos: Extreme Monster Truck Nationals – Dayton, OH 2011

Event: Extreme Monster Truck Nationals
Venue: Hara Arena
Location: Dayton, Ohio
Date: February 5th, 2011
Photographer: Paul M. Harry

Lineup: Brute Force (Jerry Perry), Crashmaster (Jeremy Perry), Equalizer (Mike Hawkins), Hot Tamale (Isaiah Morales), Ice (Amy Perry) [Read more…]

TMB Road to the World Finals Rankings – Week #5

The Road to the World Finals charged into February this weekend and Adam Anderson held onto the top spot for the third straight week after a dominant performance in Hampton, Virginia. Anderson took Grave Digger The Legend to wins in 5 of the 6 racing competitions and now leads second place Jimmy Creten by just over 20 points. Creten had a strong weekend himself in Bounty Hunter, with 2 racing and 2 freestyle wins at the Fargodome.

Trouble is lurking for the top 2 however as Tom Meents is making his move, flying up to 3rd overall after a huge Max D stadium freestyle win in Tampa. Chad Tingler’s strong performance in Houston keeps him 4th while Linsey Weenk remains in the top 5, slipping back from 3rd last week.

The battle for the 24th and final spot is heating up in a big way as Lee O’Donnell and George Balhan are just barely hanging inside while an ever growing group of drivers is trying to break their way in, including Lupe Soza, John Seasock, Scott Hartsock, Steve Sims and rookie driver Todd Leduc.

Check out the Road to the World Finals unofficial rankings after Week #5 below:

Here is how points were scored in this week’s Elite Level events:

2/5 – Houston, Texas

Racing Finish – Driver – Truck – Points Earned

1st – Alex Blackwell – Captain’s Curse – 20
2nd – Neil Elliott – Maximum Destruction – 15
Semi-Finals – Todd Leduc – Blue Thunder – 7.5
Semi-Finals – David Smith – King Krunch – 7.5

Freestyle Finish – Driver – Truck – Points Earned

1st – Alex Blackwell – Captain’s Curse – 20
Tie – 2nd – Neil Elliott – Maximum Destruction – 10
Tie – 2nd – Steve Sims – Stone Crusher – 10
Tie – 2nd – Chad Tingler – Grave Digger – 10

2/5 – Tampa, Florida

Racing Finish – Driver – Truck – Points Earned

1st – Dennis Anderson – Grave Digger – 20
2nd – Jon Zimmer – Amsoil Shock Therapy – 15
Semi-Finals – Tom Meents – Maximum Destruction – 7.5
Semi-Finals – Chad Fortune – Superman – 7.5

Freestyle Finish – Driver – Truck – Points Earned

1st – Tom Meents – Maximum Destruction – 20
2nd – Dennis Anderson – Grave Digger – 15
Tie – 3rd – Jeremy Slifko – Backdraft – 7.5
Tie – 3rd – George Balhan – Mohawk Warrior – 7.5

For results from Normal Level events, check out the 2011 Results Tracker February 4th-6th Weekend Results page (drivers earn 5 points for a racing or freestyle win).

If you haven’t followed along with TMB’s Road to the World Finals in the past, we’re sure that you have many questions about how we put this together: How does it work? Which events are we including? How are the points awarded? etc. At the bottom of each week’s update, you’ll see the detailed rationale and explanation that should answer most of these questions.

Stay tuned each week to TMB’s “Road to the World Finals” for all the results and current standings each week. Keep in mind this is all unofficial and is just for fun and enjoy as we track the Monster Jam series all the way to the World Finals in March!

About TMB’s Road to the World Finals:

For some time, fans across the country have wondered why the USHRA does not run a public points system of some kind for their Monster Jam series. We are included in the group that would love to be able to follow the standings of such a series each week. We are of the belief that a berth in the Monster Jam World Finals should be earned based on performance throughout the year in both racing and freestyle. Regardless of what portion of the monster truck industry you favor, there is no denying that the Monster Jam World Finals is the biggest and highest profile event our sport has to offer. A chance to compete at this event is a big deal for many drivers out there, and it is our opinion that they should be able to earn their way in. We’re not saying that Feld Motorsports doesn’t pick the World Finalists based on performance currently–we’re simply saying that we don’t know how they make up the field because the process isn’t made public.

So with that in mind, we have created an UNOFFICIAL points system that is simple (although it may seem complicated) and that rewards performance in all Monster Jam events across the country leading up to the World Finals. In our Standings, we will show the cut-off after the 24th truck, indicating that IF entry to the World Finals was based SOLELY on performance, these are the drivers that would be headed to Las Vegas. Keep in mind that this is just for fun and has no actual bearing on the selection of World Finals participants. See below for a breakdown of our points system and our rationale for the decisions we made in creating it.

Elite Level Events

What is an Elite Level event? We define an Elite Monster Jam event as any with a field of 12 of more trucks. We have chosen to award these events the highest amount of points, because these are the highest profile Monster Jam events. These events are the ones held in the major stadiums in front of the biggest crowds, some of which are even televised on SPEED. It is our belief that performance in the highest profile shows should be weighted most heavily toward a World Finals berth because these events are most similar to the World Finals itself. The most points any one driver can score in an Elite Level event (and thus in any event) is 40. If an event meeting all of this criteria holds 3 or more shows over the course of a single weekend, the points for each show are worth half of what is listed below.

Racing Finish – Points Awarded

1st – 20
2nd – 15
Semi-Finals – 7.5

Freestyle Finish – Points Awarded

1st – 20
2nd – 15
3rd – 10
4th – 5

Normal Level Events

What is a Normal Level show? The majority of Monster Jam events held around the country are Normal Level shows. These events are typically held in smaller arenas around the country, consisting of multiple shows held over the course of the weekend (anywhere from 2-5), with fields of anywhere from 5-8 trucks. Looking at the points awarded for these shows, you will notice they are much less than the upper levels. We equate the significance level of an entire 4 show weekend of Normal Level events with the significance of one Elite Level show–thus, the maximum points a driver can earn in a weekend at a Normal Level event is 40 (this based on the usual maximum # of shows being 4 (Tacoma being the exception with 5), and an available 10 points per show (10×4=40)).

Racing Finish – Points Awarded

1st – 5

Freestyle Finish – Points Awarded

1st – 5

Monster Photos: Monster X Tour – Bakersfield, CA 2011

Event: Monster X Tour
Venue: Rabobank Arena
Location: Bakersfield, California
Date: January 21st-22nd, 2011
Photographer: Ross Z. Bonar

Lineup: Black Knight (“Hillbilly”), California Kid (Garrett Ladelle), Rock Star (Bill Payne), Summit Bigfoot #16 (Dan Runte), Titan (Donald Epidendio) [Read more…]

February 4th-6th Weekend Results

MONSTER JAM – Feld Entertainment

  • Houston, Texas – Reliant Stadium – 02/05/11

    Truck/Driver Lineup:

    Blue Thunder – Todd Leduc
    Captain’s Curse – Alex Blackwell
    El Matador – Daron Basl
    El Toro Loco – Chuck Werner
    Grave Digger – Chad Tingler
    Grinder – John Seasock
    Ground Pounder – Chris Lagana
    King Krunch – David Smith
    Madusa – Debra Miceli
    Maximum Destruction – Neil Elliott
    Michigan Ice Monster – Chris Ryan
    Monster Mutt – Dana Creech
    Mopar Magic – Morgan Kane
    Rod Ryan – Dan Evans
    Stone Crusher – Steve Sims
    War Wizard – Randy Moore

    Saturday Night – Racing:

    Captain’s Curse – Alex Blackwell

    Saturday Night – Freestyle:

    Captain’s Curse – Alex Blackwell

  • Tampa, Florida – Raymond James Stadium – 02/05/11

    Truck/Driver Lineup:

    Amsoil Shock Therapy – Jon Zimmer
    Backdraft – Jeremy Slifko
    Bad Habit – Joe Sylvester
    El Toro Loco – Marc MacDonald
    Eradicator – Andy Slifko
    Excaliber – David Brown
    Grave Digger – Dennis Anderson
    Grinder – Lupe Soza
    Gun Slinger – Scott Hartsock
    Lucas Oil Crusader – Linsey Weenk
    Maximum Destruction – Tom Meents
    Mohawk Warrior – George Balhan
    Monster Mutt – Joe Miller
    Superman – Chad Fortune

    Saturday Night – Racing:

    Grave Digger – Dennis Anderson

    Saturday Night – Freestyle:

    Maximum Destruction – Tom Meents

  • Peoria, Illinois – Peoria Civic Center – 02/04-05/11

    Truck/Driver Lineup:

    Avenger – Jim Koehler
    Brutus – Chris Bergeron
    Grave Digger – Carl Van Horn
    Spike – Rich Hilgendorf
    Tasmanian Devil – Nicole Johnson
    Wrecking Crew – Steve Koehler

    Friday Night – Wheelie Contest:

    Avenger – Jim Koehler

    Friday Night – Racing:

    Tasmanian Devil – Nicole Johnson

    Friday Night – Freestyle:

    Avenger – Jim Koehler

    Saturday Afternoon – Wheelie Contest:

    Spike – Rich Hilgendorf

    Saturday Afternoon – Racing:

    Tasmanian Devil – Nicole Johnson

    Saturday Afternoon – Freestyle:

    Grave Digger – Carl Van Horn

    Saturday Night – Wheelie Contest:

    Grave Digger – Carl Van Horn

    Saturday Night – Racing:

    Grave Digger – Carl Van Horn

    Saturday Night – Freestyle:

    Grave Digger – Carl Van Horn

  • East Rutherford, New Jersey – Izod Center – 02/04-05/11

    Truck/Driver Lineup:

    Aftershock – Bob Robbins
    Grave Digger – Gary Porter
    Heart Breaker – Kaila Savage
    Krazy Train – Roger Cardot
    Mechanical Mischief – Jim Burns
    Samson – Dan Patrick
    Spiderman – Whit Tarlton
    Stone Crusher – Darren Migues

    Friday Night – Wheelie Contest:

    Stone Crusher – Darren Migues

    Friday Night – Racing:

    Stone Crusher – Darren Migues

    Friday Night – Donut Contest:

    Grave Digger – Gary Porter

    Friday Night – Freestyle:

    Grave Digger – Gary Porter

    Saturday Afternoon – Wheelie Contest:

    Stone Crusher – Darren Migues

    Saturday Afternoon – Racing:

    Grave Digger – Gary Porter

    Saturday Afternoon – Donut Contest:

    Grave Digger – Gary Porter

    Saturday Afternoon – Freestyle:

    Grave Digger – Gary Porter

    Saturday Night – Wheelie Contest:

    Stone Crusher – Darren Migues

    Saturday Night – Racing:

    Samson – Dan Patrick

    Saturday Night – Donut Contest:

    Grave Digger – Gary Porter

    Saturday Night – Freestyle:

    Stone Crusher – Darren Migues

  • Tulsa, Oklahoma – BOK Center – 02/04-05/11

    Truck/Driver Lineup:

    Air Force Afterburner – Damon Bradshaw
    Bounty Hunter – Jay McPherson
    Full Boar – Ed Eckert
    Grave Digger – Pablo Huffaker
    Tail Gator – Doug Noelke
    TMNT – Aaron Basl

    Saturday Night – Wheelie Contest:

    Grave Digger – Pablo Huffaker

    Saturday Night – Racing:

    Grave Digger – Pablo Huffaker

    Saturday Night – Donut Contest:

    Grave Digger – Pablo Huffaker

    Saturday Night – Freestyle:

    Grave Digger – Pablo Huffaker

  • Fargo, North Dakota – Fargodome – 02/04-05/11

    Truck/Driver Lineup:

    Black Stallion – Mike Vaters
    Bounty Hunter – Jimmy Creten
    El Toro Loco – Bari Musawwir
    Grave Digger – Rod Schmidt
    Iron Warrior – Trey Meyers
    Monster Mutt Dalmation – Candace Jolly
    Nitro Circus – Cam McQueen
    Scarlet Bandit – Dawn Creten

    Friday Night – Wheelie Contest:

    Grave Digger – Rod Schmidt

    Friday Night – Racing:

    Nitro Circus – Cam McQueen

    Friday Night – Freestyle:

    Bounty Hunter – Jimmy Creten

    Saturday Afternoon – Wheelie Contest:

    Grave Digger – Rod Schmidt

    Saturday Afternoon – Racing:

    Bounty Hunter – Jimmy Creten

    Saturday Afternoon – Freestyle:

    Bounty Hunter – Jimmy Creten

    Saturday Night – Wheelie Contest:

    Nitro Circus – Cam McQueen

    Saturday Night – Racing:

    Bounty Hunter – Jimmy Creten

    Saturday Night – Freestyle:

    Grave Digger – Rod Schmidt

  • Charleston, West Virginia – Charleston Civic Center – 02/04-05/11

    Truck/Driver Lineup:

    El Toro Loco – Joey Parnell
    Grave Digger – Randy Brown
    Grinder – Frank Krmel
    Iron Man – Lee O’Donnell
    Rap Attack – Dave Rappach
    Triple XXX – R.B. Mohler

    Friday Night – Wheelie Contest:

    Grinder – Frank Krmel

    Friday Night – Racing:

    Grinder – Frank Krmel

    Friday Night – Freestyle:

    Grinder – Frank Krmel

    Saturday Afternoon – Wheelie Contest:

    Rap Attack – Dave Rappach

    Saturday Afternoon – Racing:

    Grinder – Frank Krmel

    Saturday Afternoon – Freestyle:

    Grave Digger – Randy Brown

    Saturday Night – Wheelie Contest:

    Rap Attack – Dave Rappach

    Saturday Night – Racing:

    Grinder – Frank Krmel

    Saturday Night – Freestyle:

    Grave Digger – Randy Brown

  • Hampton, Virginia – Hampton Coliseum – 02/04-05/11

    Truck/Driver Lineup:

    Black Stallion – Jimmy Tracey
    Grave Digger The Legend – Adam Anderson
    Hotsy Raminator – Steve Macklyn
    Iron Man – Scott Buetow
    Predator – Robert Parker
    Prowler – Lenny Kuilder

    Friday Night – Wheelie Contest:

    Grave Digger The Legend – Adam Anderson

    Friday Night – Racing:

    Hotsy Raminator – Steve Macklyn

    Friday Night – Freestyle:

    Grave Digger The Legend – Adam Anderson

    Saturday Afternoon – Wheelie Contest:

    Grave Digger The Legend – Adam Anderson

    Saturday Afternoon – Racing:

    Grave Digger The Legend – Adam Anderson

    Saturday Afternoon – Freestyle:

    Grave Digger The Legend – Adam Anderson

    Saturday Night – Wheelie Contest:

    Grave Digger The Legend – Adam Anderson

    Saturday Night – Racing:

    Grave Digger The Legend – Adam Anderson

    Saturday Night – Freestyle:

    Grave Digger The Legend – Adam Anderson

  • Tallahassee, Florida – Leon Civic Center – 02/04-05/11

    Truck/Driver Lineup:

    Bad News Travels Fast – Bruce Haney
    Batman – Norm Miller
    Desperado – Drew Haygood
    Instigator – Lionel Easler
    Maximum Destruction – Kreg Christensen
    Reptoid – Jim Jack

    Friday Night – Wheelie Contest:

    Maximum Destruction – Kreg Christensen

    Friday Night – Racing:

    Maximum Destruction – Kreg Christensen

    Friday Night – Donut Contest:

    Maximum Destruction – Kreg Christensen

    Friday Night – Freestyle:

    Maximum Destruction – Kreg Christensen

    Saturday Night – Wheelie Contest:

    Maximum Destruction – Kreg Christensen

    Saturday Night – Racing:

    Maximum Destruction – Kreg Christensen

    Saturday Night – Donut Contest:

    Maximum Destruction – Kreg Christensen

    Saturday Night – Freestyle:

    Maximum Destruction – Kreg Christensen

  • Edmonton, Alberta, Canada – Rexall Place – 02/04-05/11

    Truck/Driver Lineup:

    Dragon’s Breath – Becky McDonough
    Grave Digger – Charlie Pauken
    Grave Digger The Legend – Tony Farrell
    Monster Mutt Rottweiler – Charles Benns
    Sheer Insanity – Ged Barcroft
    TNT – Kathy Wills

    Friday Night – Wheelie Contest:

    Grave Digger – Charlie Pauken

    Friday Night – Racing:

    Monster Mutt Rottweiler – Charles Benns

    Friday Night – Freestyle:

    Grave Digger – Charlie Pauken

    Saturday Afternoon – Wheelie Contest:

    Grave Digger – Charlie Pauken

    Saturday Afternoon – Racing:

    Grave Digger – Charlie Pauken

    Saturday Afternoon – Freestyle:

    Grave Digger – Charlie Pauken

    Saturday Night – Wheelie Contest:

    Grave Digger – Charlie Pauken

    Saturday Night – Racing:

    Grave Digger – Charlie Pauken

    Saturday Night – Freestyle:

    Grave Digger – Charlie Pauken

MONSTER NATIONALS – Family Events

  • Corbin, Kentucky – The Arena – 02/04-05/11

    Truck/Driver Lineup:

    Chalkboard Chuck – Jeff Hatten
    Lucas Oil Stabilizer – Bobby Holman
    Star Marshall – Dave Radzierez
    Stomper – Joe Nichter

    Friday Night – Wheelie Contest:

    Lucas Oil Stabilizer – Bobby Holman

    Friday Night – Racing:

    Stomper – Joe Nichter

    Friday Night – Freestyle:

    Lucas Oil Stabilizer – Bobby Holman

    Saturday Night – Wheelie Contest:

    Lucas Oil Stabilizer – Bobby Holman

    Saturday Night – Racing:

    Lucas Oil Stabilizer – Bobby Holman

    Saturday Night – Freestyle:

    Stomper – Joe Nichter

  • Champaign, Illinois – Assembly Hall – 02/05/11

    Truck/Driver Lineup:

    Crushstation – Greg Winchenbach
    E3 Spark Plugs Bigfoot #15 – Rick Long
    Raminator – Mark Hall
    Rammunition – Mat Dishman

    Saturday Night – Wheelie Contest:

    Crushstation – Greg Winchenbach

    Saturday Night – Racing:

    E3 Spark Plugs Bigfoot #15 – Rick Long

    Saturday Night – Donut Contest:

    Raminator – Mark Hall

    Saturday Night – Freestyle:

    Raminator – Mark Hall

MONSTER TRUCK WINTER NATIONALS – Checkered Flag Productions

  • Grand Island, Nebraska – Heartland Events Center – 02/04-05/11

    Truck/Driver Lineup:

    Barbarian – Devin Jones
    Bigfoot Bad Boy #14 – Larry Swim
    Triple XXX – Brandon Budd
    Screamin Demon – Dave Waple
    Viper – Rich Blackburne

    Friday Night – Wheelie Contest:

    Barbarian – Devin Jones

    Friday Night – Racing:

    Bigfoot Bad Boy #14 – Larry Swim

    Friday Night – Freestyle:

    Barbarian – Devin Jones

    Saturday Night – Wheelie Contest:

    Triple XXX – Brandon Budd

    Saturday Night – Racing:

    Viper – Rich Blackburne

    Saturday Night – Freestyle:

    Bigfoot Bad Boy #14 – Larry Swim

  • Loveland, Colorado – Budweiser Events Center – 02/05/11

    Truck/Driver Lineup:

    Fatal Attraction – Jeff Murphy
    Firestone Bigfoot #11 – Darron Schnell
    Ghost Ryder – Larry Quick
    Razin Kane – J.R. McNeal
    Toxic – Travis Petri

    Saturday Afternoon – Wheelie Contest:

    Ghost Ryder – Larry Quick

    Saturday Afternoon – Racing:

    Firestone Bigfoot #11 – Darron Schnell

    Saturday Afternoon – Freestyle:

    Ghost Ryder – Larry Quick

    Saturday Night – Wheelie Contest:

    Ghost Ryder – Larry Quick

    Saturday Night – Racing:

    Firestone Bigfoot #11 – Darron Schnell

    Saturday Night – Freestyle:

    Firestone Bigfoot #11 – Darron Schnell

MONSTER X TOUR – Monster Truck Entertainment

  • Redmond, Oregon – Deschutes County Fair & Expo Center – 02/05/11

    Truck/Driver Lineup:

    California Kid – Garrett Ladelle
    Gun Slinger – Russell Steeley
    Rock Star – Bill Payne
    Summit Bigfoot #16 – Dan Runte
    Titan – Donald Epidendio

    Saturday Afternoon – Wheelie Contest:

    California Kid – Garrett Ladelle

    Saturday Afternoon – Racing:

    Titan – Donald Epidendio

    Saturday Afternoon – Freestyle:

    Titan – Donald Epidendio

    Saturday Night – Wheelie Contest:

    Titan – Donald Epidendio

    Saturday Night – Racing:

    Summit Bigfoot #16 – Dan Runte

    Saturday Night – Freestyle:

    Rock Star – Bill Payne

MONSTER TRUCK THUNDER SLAM – AMP Live Events

  • Abilene, Texas – Taylor County Coliseum – 02/05/11

    Truck/Driver Lineup:

    Bigfoot #10 – Rodney Tweedy
    Nasty Boy – Ronnie Sturges
    Project X – Kevin Poore
    Unnamed & Untamed – Travis Sturges

    Saturday Afternoon – Wheelie Contest:

    Bigfoot #10 – Rodney Tweedy

    Saturday Afternoon – Freestyle:

    Bigfoot #10 – Rodney Tweedy

    Saturday Night – Wheelie Contest:

    Bigfoot #10 – Rodney Tweedy

    Saturday Night – Freestyle:

    Bigfoot #10 – Rodney Tweedy

KICKER MONSTER TRUCK NATIONALS – Cycle City Promotions

  • Amarillo, Texas – Amarillo National Center – 02/04-05/11

    Truck/Driver Lineup:

    Airborne Ranger – Joe Cypher
    Cyborg – Jack Koberna
    Incinerator – Ryan Rice
    Predator – Allen Pezo
    Pouncer – Ron Nelson

    Friday Night – Wheelie Contest:

    Airborne Ranger – Joe Cypher

    Friday Night – Racing:

    Predator – Allen Pezo

    Friday Night – Freestyle:

    Airborne Ranger – Joe Cypher

    Saturday Night – Wheelie Contest:

    Airborne Ranger – Joe Cypher

    Saturday Night – Racing:

    Predator – Allen Pezo

    Saturday Night – Freestyle:

    Airborne Ranger – Joe Cypher

CLASH OF THE MONSTERS – TBO Entertainment

  • Hattiesburg, Mississippi – Forest County Multi-Purpose Center – 02/04-05/11

    Truck/Driver Lineup:

    Ballistic – Mac Plecker
    Heavy Hitter – Derrick Anson
    Skull Force – Paul Winkleman
    Strait Jacket – Kevin King

    Friday Night – Wheelie Contest:

    Ballistic – Mac Plecker

    Friday Night – Racing:

    Heavy Hitter – Derrick Anson

    Friday Night – Freestyle:

    Ballistic – Mac Plecker

    Saturday Night – Wheelie Contest:

    Ballistic – Mac Plecker

    Saturday Night – Racing:

    Heavy Hitter – Derrick Anson

    Saturday Night – Freestyle:

    Ballistic – Mac Plecker

    Sunday Afternoon – Wheelie Contest:

    Ballistic – Mac Plecker

    Sunday Afternoon – Racing:

    Heavy Hitter – Derrick Anson

    Sunday Afternoon – Freestyle:

    Ballistic – Mac Plecker

MONSTER TRUCKS XL TOUR – Super T Events

  • Green Bay, Wisconsin – Brown County Coliseum – 02/04-05/11

    Truck/Driver Lineup:

    Hurricane Force – Steven Thompson
    Rock Solid – Melissa Stathas
    Royal Purple – Joey Stathas
    Shell Camino – Shelley Kujat
    Storm Damage – Tim Missentzis

    Friday Night – Wheelie Contest:

    Storm Damage – Tim Missentzis

    Friday Night – Racing:

    Storm Damage – Tim Missentzis

    Friday Night – Freestyle:

    Shell Camino – Shelley Kujat

    Saturday Afternoon – Wheelie Contest:

    Storm Damage – Tim Missentzis

    Saturday Afternoon – Racing:

    Storm Damage – Tim Missentzis

    Saturday Afternoon – Freestyle:

    Shell Camino – Shelley Kujat

    Saturday Night – Wheelie Contest:

    Storm Damage – Tim Missentzis

    Saturday Night – Racing:

    Shell Camino – Shelley Kujat

    Saturday Night – Freestyle:

    Shell Camino – Shelley Kujat

EXTREME MONSTER TRUCK NATIONALS – Jim Morris

  • Dayton, Ohio – Hara Arena – 02/04-05/11

    Truck/Driver Lineup:

    Brute Force – Jerry Perry
    Crashmaster – Jeremy Perry
    Equalizer – Mike Hawkins
    Hot Tamale – Isaiah Morales
    Ice – Amy Perry

    Friday Night – Wheelie Contest:

    Ice – Amy Perry

    Friday Night – Donut Contest:

    Brute Force – Jerry Perry

    Friday Night – Freestyle:

    Brute Force – Jerry Perry

    Saturday Night – Wheelie Contest:

    Ice – Amy Perry

    Saturday Night – Donut Contest:

    Brute Force – Jerry Perry

    Saturday Night – Freestyle:

    Tie – Brute Force – Jerry Perry
    Tie – Equalizer – Mike Hawkins

OUTLAW MONSTER TRUCK SPECTACULAR – Outlaw Monster Trucks

  • Bryan, Texas – Brazos County Expo Center – 02/05/11

    Truck/Driver Lineup:

    Dragonfly – Jimmy Stevens
    Geter Done – Mitch Tulachka
    RoboMachine – Shane Phreed
    Twisted Dragon – Chris Rogers

    Saturday Afternoon – Wheelie Contest:

    Dragonfly – Jimmy Stevens

    Saturday Afternoon – Racing:

    Dragonfly – Chris Rogers

    Saturday Afternoon – Freestyle:

    Geter Done – Mitch Tulachka

    Saturday Night – Wheelie Contest:

    Geter Done – Mitch Tulachka

    Saturday Night – Racing:

    Geter Done – Mitch Tulachka

    Saturday Night – Freestyle:

    Twisted Dragon – Chris Rogers

Monster Photos: Monster Jam – Anaheim, CA #2 2011

Event: Monster Jam
Venue: Angel Stadium of Anaheim
Location: Anaheim, California
Date: January 29th, 2011
Photographer: Susan Clemens Woolley, www.123EventPhotography.com

Lineup: Backwards Bob (Rick Swanson), Captain USA (Jeff Bainter), El Matador (Daron Basl), Grave Digger (Pablo Huffaker), Grave Digger The Legend (Tony Farrell), Jurassic Attack (Scott Anderson), King Krunch (David Smith), Maniac (Don Frankish), Monster Mutt Rottweiler (Charles Benns), Obsession (Jeff Jones), Shocker (Pat Gerber), The Patriot (Dan Rodoni), Time Flys (Kelvin Ramer), TMNT (Ryan Huffaker), Tropical Thunder (Andrew Peckhum) [Read more…]

The Insider: TMB Leaderboard – January 2011

The first edition of the TMB Leaderboard for 2011 is out following the completion of the first month of the new year. Based on all of the information gathered through the Results Tracker, we are able to statistically see who some of the top performing drivers have been in 2011. A total of 174 drivers have competed in monster truck events in the month of January with an incredible 102 different drivers scoring a competition win. See below for the top 5 drivers in each category:

Total Wheelie/Donut/Long Jump Wins

1)  Carl Van Horn – Grave Digger – 14
2)  Gary Porter – Grave Digger – 11
3)  Adam Anderson – Grave Digger The Legend – 9
—-Eric Tack – Bigfoot Bad Boy #14 – 9
—-Mac Plecker – Ballistic – 9

Total Racing Wins

1)  Gary Porter – Grave Digger – 10
2)  Carl Van Horn – Grave Digger – 8
—-Rodney Tweedy – Bigfoot #10 – 8
4)  Rick Long – E3 Spark Plugs Bigfoot #15 – 7
—-Derrick Anson – Heavy Hitter – 7

Racing Win Percentage

1)  Gary Porter – Grave Digger – 91%
2)  Carl Van Horn – Grave Digger – 80%
3)  Rick Long – E3 Spark Plugs Bigfoot #15 – 78%
4)  Rodney Tweedy – Bigfoot #10 – 73%
5)  Donald Epidendio – Titan – 67%
—-Marc MacDonald – El Toro Loco – 67%

Total Freestyle Wins

1)  Carl Van Horn – Grave Digger – 9
—-Mac Plecker – Ballistic – 9
3)  Adam Anderson – Grave Digger The Legend – 8
—-Jimmy Creten – Bounty Hunter – 8
—-Bill Payne – Rock Star – 8
—-Gary Porter – Grave Digger – 8

Freestyle Win Percentage

1)  Rob French – Twisted Dragon – 100%
2)  Carl Van Horn – Grave Digger – 90%
3)  Larry Quick – Ghost Ryder – 83%
4)  Adam Anderson – Grave Digger The Legend – 80%
—-Chad Tingler – Grave Digger – 80%

Combined Racing/Freestyle Wins

1)  Gary Porter – Grave Digger – 18
2)  Carl Van Horn – Grave Digger – 17
3)  Jimmy Creten – Bounty Hunter – 13
4)  Adam Anderson – Grave Digger The Legend – 12
—-Mac Plecker – Ballistic – 12
—-Rodney Tweedy – Bigfoot #10 – 12

Combined Racing/Freestyle Win Percentage

1)  Carl Van Horn – Grave Digger – 85%
2)  Rob French – Twisted Dragon – 83%
3)  Gary Porter – Grave Digger – 82%
4)  Eric Tack – Bigfoot Bad Boy #14 – 69%
5)  Rick Long – E3 Spark Plugs Bigfoot #15 – 61%

Several driver names pop up continuously on the above list, including Gary Porter who is once again dominating the Freestyle Mania tour for Monster Jam. Carl Van Horn and Adam Anderson have been nearly unstoppable in their respective events so far this year as well. The only non-Feld driver running Monster Jam full time to appear on this list is none other than Jimmy Creten in his amazing new Bounty Hunter machine, as he has been dominating in freestyle so far in 2011.

Branching out to the rest of the industry, Bigfoot drivers Rodney Tweedy, Rick Long and Eric Tack also appear several times on the above list. Tweedy and Long have been on fire in racing as Tweedy has spent time on the Monster X Tour and the AMP Tour while Long is defending his Monster Nationals Racing Championship. Tack has simply decimated the competition on the CFP tour but will now step out of the seat as 2-time champion Larry Swim returns to begin February.

Mac Plecker with Ballistic has once again had an incredible start to the season on the TBO tour but rookie driver Derrick Anson in Heavy Hitter has given him a run for his money and made the list with an impressive 7 racing victories. Rob French is the only driver running a full schedule to be unbeaten in freestyle as he has won all 7 events in which he and the Twisted Dragon have competed, running primarily for Outlaw Monster Trucks and the Road 2 Destruction Tour.

Championship Updates

Monster Nation – The championship battle for 2011 is wide open as the tour only has Beaumont, Texas left in the middle of this month. Devin Jones in Barbarian and Doug Noelke in Tail Gator have the most wins but with Barbarian not attending the finale Beaumont, Noelke would seem to have a slightest of edges over Mike Hawkins, Isaiah Morales and JR McNeal. Essentially it will come down to whichever driver has the best overall performance in the three show Beaumont weekend as they enter neck and neck.

Monster Nationals -2011 is all Rick Long versus Bobby Holman for both Monster Nationals titles. Long has taken a nearly insurmountable lead in the racing category with 6 wins to Bobby’s 1 so far. Freestyle however will be a tight battle as Holman has taken 4 wins in the Lucas Oil Stabilizer to 3 wins for Long and Bigfoot.

Checkered Flag Productions – Have yet to see any point standings posted out of the CFP camp, but that doesn’t much matter as Eric Tack has won nearly every competition he has run in Bigfoot Bad Boy #14. With points going to the truck rather than the driver this year, it’s all but a certainty that Eric Tack/Larry Swim will combine to give Bigfoot Bad Boy the best point total by a massive margin going into the finals in Pocatello.

AMP Tour – In the past couple years, AMP has awarded championships for both racing and freestyle. We have yet to hear their plans for this year, but if they do so once again, there will be quite the battle for those titles as the Monster Truck Thunder Drags has been very competitive this year. In racing, Rodney Tweedy in Bigfoot #10, Travis Sturges in Unnamed & Untamed and rookie driver Travis Petri in Toxic each have 2 wins a piece to lead that category. In freestyle, Larry Quick and Ghost Ryder and rookie driver Darron Schnell in Bigfoot #10 are tied with 3 wins each.

Rookie of the Year Update

After no surprise that Ryan Anderson ran away with Rookie of the Year honors in 2010, this season is different in that it is completely wide open. Monster Jam has many candidates for Rookie of the Year including:  off-road champion Todd Leduc, former rockcrawler Nicole Johnson, and long time crew chief Becky McDonough, along with Bari Mussawir, Joey Parnell and Scott Buetow. In addition to the new Monster Jam drivers, established teams are bringing new blood into the spot including: Darron Schnell with Bigfoot, Jaff Hatten with Team Beast, Morgan Kane for Steve Sims and Jimmy Tracey for Mike Vaters. Several new independent owner/drivers are in the race as well, including: Travis Petri in Toxic, JR McNeal in Razin Kane, Jeff Murphy in Fatal Attraction and Derrick Anson in Heavy Hitter. Take a look at some of each drivers’ accomplishments thus far in 2011:

– Todd Leduc, Blue Thunder – first ever major stadium racing win in Phoenix, Arizona this past weekend.
– Nicole Johnson, Tasmanian Devil – three arena racing victories
– Darron Schnell, Firestone Bigfoot #11 – three wheelie wins, 1 racing win and 3 freestyle wins along with being a candidate for save of the year after an incredible save in Fayetteville
– Derrick Anson, Heavy Hitter – seven racing victories on the TBO Tour
– Becky McDonough, Dragon’s Breath; Travis Petri, Toxic; Jimmy Tracey, Black Stallion; Morgan Kane, Mopar Magic; and JR McNeal, Razin Kane – each of these drivers have also found victory lane in at least one racing/freestyle competiton.

The new season is very young but the early leaders have to be Leduc, Schnell, Johnson and Anson as they are finding victory lane with regularity in just the first month of their first full season in monster trucks.

We hope you’ve enjoyed this look around the monster truck industry with January completed, stay tuned to the TMB Results Tracker to see what drivers are putting wins on the board each week. Watch for an updated TMB Leaderboard article following the completion of each month as we bring recognition to outstanding performance all throughout 2011!

TMB TV: MT Unlimited Episode 2.1 – Fresno, CA 2011

Event: Monster X Tour
Venue: Selland Arena
Location: Fresno, California
Date: January 14th-15th, 2011
Host: Colby Marshall
Videographer: Colby Marshall

Lineup: Black Knight (“Hillbilly”), California Kid (Garrett Ladelle), Play’n 4 Keeps (Tony Canedo), Rock Star (Bill Payne), Summit Bigfoot #16 (Dan Runte), Titan (Donald Epidendio) [Read more…]

In Focus: Eric Tack

We caught up with Eric Tack, legendary former Bigfoot driver who has returned to fill in for the injured Larry Swim, and he’s going to be our subject of second installment of In Focus. Eric drove for Team Bigfoot in the ’90’s and early ’00’s, but stepped out of the seat and has made a few come back appearances in recent years. Eric is currently piloting the Bigfoot Bad Boy #14 on the Monster Truck Winter Nationals series until regular driver Larry Swim is able to return.

Legendary BIGFOOT driver Eric Tack celebrates a big freestyle win at last April's Pontiac Silverdome event.

Chris Parrish: Eric, you’re back in the saddle driving Bigfoot again after a lengthy break, what’s it like to be back?

Eric Tack: It’s just another walk in the park, actually. It’s fun to sit back in the truck again and enjoy the thrill and excitement of it.

CP: We’re going to venture through your career. How did you get started with Bigfoot and did you work with any other teams before that?

ET: No, actually, years ago John Piant and Dan Runte were in Pittsburgh and I talked to them, and that was where I first made contact with Bigfoot. That would be back in ‘88 or ‘89. That was right when Dan started, I know. I used to race motor cross back in the old Camel Mud & Monster days. I talked to Dan and at that time, they had a deal where an insurance clause wouldn’t allow you to work for them until you were 25, so I had to put it off for a couple years. I talked to Jim Kramer in Bloomsburg, PA one year and he said the insurance thing went away, so I sent in my resume and two weeks later I was working for Bigfoot.

CP: What was the first Bigfoot you drove in a show?

ET: It would have been Bigfoot #8 in Illinois. No, I’ve got to back up there. It would have been Bigfoot #9, which had a Snake Bite body on it, in Craig, CO. That would have been my first show.

Tack has been on fire since stepping into the Bigfoot Bad Boy ride, winning nearly every event he has competed in during the first month of the year.

CP: Do you have a highlight in your career? Any particular high moment?

ET: Yeah, working for Zane (Rettew of Checkered Flag Productions). Not prompted there at all, he’s not standing close or anything (laughing). Really, wining the 2000 PRO MT championship would have been one. Jumping the airplane (In Firestone Wilderness) would have been a big one. Doing a lot of neat shows and meeting a lot of neat people.

CP: Speaking of the airplane jump, tell us a little bit about that. Thoughts, feelings… you’re jumping over an AIRPLANE in a MONSTER TRUCK!

ET: We did a bunch of test jumps out in the test field down at Bigfoot. I think I jumped 13 times just to make sure I could get the height and distance. Then there was about a month and a half until we actually did the jump. So, there was a lot of anxiety waiting and realizing what was going on.

CP: When did you get out of the sport?

ET: I think November 2003 was my last show. That’s when I moved from St. Louis and left Bigfoot full time and moved back to Butler, PA. I bought my dad’s excavating business and have been digging ditches ever since.

CP: Did you miss monster trucks during that time?

ET: It’s an addiction. I guess I’ve heard it before, you can take the boy out of the truck, but you can’t take the truck out of the boy. It’s something that you do miss, but running equipment you do get somewhat of the same satisfaction, but you don’t have as big of crowds.

Tack has typically made a cameo appearance here and there since stepping away from the sport, as he did here piloting Raminator in Canfield, Ohio in 2008.

CP: You stepped away for a while, but you’ve appeared to be willing to jump back in the seat. Would you have any interest in running a truck full time?

ET: I’d probably consider it, but running a business back home in the winter months right now, we’re slow and we’re just depending on the snow coming down because we plow snow, too. You kind of fill in, in between doing that. But, in the summer months when we’re busy, I don’t know how easy it would be to run full time.

CP: The deal running the Bigfoot Bad Boy in Larry’s place during first quarter really works out well for you?

ET: Yeah, it kind of all came all together. When Bob Trent called and told me the situation and asked about it, it was great to know that they felt they could call and put me in that position.

CP: Throughout your career, who do you think was your biggest rival?

ET: Oohh…probably Dan(Runte)….within the Bigfoot organization. There are a lot of great drivers I’ve met out there. Gary Porter and Dan Patrick are probably two of the top ones, other than the Bigfoot drivers.

CP: You’ve mentioned that it’s hard to really get out of the sport, it’s always a part of you…what’s the biggest benefit to being out of the sport?

ET: None.. (laughter)….

CP: You’ve seen a lot of developments through your career in the industry. Is there any one item that you consider to be the biggest improvement in the sport?

ET: I’d say lately, probably the specialized seats that are custom made to the driver. That’s a huge, huge step. When I was at Bigfoot, Jim Kramer and I started the shocks that they are running now, and they have fine tuned them since. The shocks were a big step, but these ISP seats that Bigfoot runs, that’s a huge safety step.

CP: Where do you see the sport going in the future? Do you have any thoughts on where it might be heading?

ET: Well, I watch TV and watch Feld do their thing and watch all the promoters do theirs. I don’t know how much bigger you can go with it. (They’re) pushing the extremes of the trucks. I guess you can only go bigger.

Tack rides a wheelie over the massive center stack at the Pontiac Silverdome in Bigfoot #11. When the Bad Boy stint is over, who knows where Tack will turn up next?

CP: You mentioned watching it on TV. Do you keep up with the sport while you’re away from the seat?

ET: A little bit. I’m not computer oriented, so I don’t do the internet stuff, but when it’s on TV and I have time to watch, I flip through and watch it.

CP: Is there anything about the sport you don’t like these days?

ET: Down time.

CP: On a personal level, what’s your daily driver? What does a monster truck driver drive during the week?

ET: I start the morning in an F-150, then either move to a super duty or an International dump truck in the afternoon.

CP: Do you have any hobbies? I understand that you follow the Steelers.

ET: Oh, of course!

CP: Any other hobbies?

ET: I like to hunt and fish, ride quads, and just spend time with family.

CP: Pittsburgh fan all around?

ET: Ah, yes. Ehh…except for baseball. We won’t go there.

CP: Do you have a favorite monster truck?

ET: Blue. There is only one monster truck isn’t there?

We’ve got to thank Eric Tack for his time and participation. Eric has done a great job filling in for Larry Swim in Bigfoot Bad Boy. He has put on an excellent show everywhere he’s traveled, filling the Bad Boy shoes perfectly and we can only hope to continue to seeing Eric in the seat in some capacity in the future after Larry’s return sometime in February.

We hope you enjoyed another edition of In Focus, stay tuned next month as we detail another of the industry’s top personalities.

Photos courtesy Ross Z. Bonar and Paul M. Harry.

Monster Photos – Monster Jam – Indianapolis, IN 2011

Monster Jam made its annual visit to downtown Indianapolis last weekend as 14 trucks competed in racing and freestyle at the beautiful new palace that is Lucas Oil Stadium. Fittingly, it was Monster Jam driver Linsey Weenk who took the big racing win in Feld’s new Lucas Oil sponsored truck, the Crusader. Freestyle would see strong runs from several drivers but when defending Freestyle World Champion Charlie Pauken is on his game, there is no stopping the Grave Digger as Chuckie took the big win.

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TMB was out in force for the big event in Indy as Chris Parrish, Paul Harry and Michael Harry were all shooting photos. Check out the links below to see all of their great work and a big thanks to all the guys for their efforts!

Photos By Chris Parrish

Photos By Paul M. Harry

Photos By Michael Harry

Wow Moments: R.O.R. – Monster Trucks’ Most Realistic Game is Free?

The world of monster truck gaming has evolved once again with the fruition of Rigs of Rods. For those not familiar with monster truck’s newest and most realistic game, Rigs of Rods, or R.O.R., is an open source vehicle simulator based on soft-body physics. In layman’s terms, Rigs of Rods consists of realistic trucks and tracks with physics that are unmatched in previous monster truck games, including those in the Monster Jam series and Monster Truck Madness 2.

Rigs Of Rods: Monster Truck Gaming Taken To A Whole New Level!

With a reasonable gaming computer and a little patience for downloading, the realm of Rigs of Rods will have you riding slap wheelies, landing monster sky wheelies, and spinning cyclone donuts in no time! R.O.R. features replica tracks including the Indianapolis 4 Wheel Jamboree, Orlando’s Citrus Bowl, and even a rendition of the World Finals held at Sam Boyd Stadium. In addition, Rigs of Rods allows its users to pilot over 80 of the top monster trucks in the world today. The count of new trucks grows consistently as the masterminds behind the success of Monster Truck Madness 2 have taken on the task of creating new and improved trucks to be used in game play.

Did I mention it was free? Rigs of Rods can be downloaded at www.rigsofrods.com. The site offers newcomers a “Beginner’s Guide” that contains tips, tricks, and troubleshooting that is invaluable to setting up and playing the game. When the game is installed and you’re ready to download various truck and track packs, visit www.sim-monsters.com and their download sections. There you will find the trucks and tracks mentioned above as well as leagues to allow you the opportunity to strut your stuff against other R.O.R. enthusiasts. Remember, when saving new trucks and tracks, make sure you enter the streams folder within the Rigs of Rods main folder first, then the “final” folder, and finally, place them in either the terrains or vehicles folder. Last but not least, on the Rigs of Rods configurator, remember to “clear cache” and “regen cache”, which are both located under the “Advanced” tab, to ensure your new trucks and tracks will be installed for gameplay.

The monster truck gaming world has been revolutionized by Rigs of Rods. I encourage you to install the game and play it. We here at TMB love to dabble in R.O.R. when time permits and want to hear what you think about the game. What could be done differently to better the game? What do you like the least? Most? Speak your mind…

Photos Courtesy of www.Sim-Monsters.com and Video Courtesy of www.YouTube.com.