TMB TV: ActionTracks Episode 1.7 – Auburn, IN

Event:  GasGuzzy.com 4×4 Off Road Truck Show Challenge
Venue:  American Heritage Village
Location:  Auburn, Indiana
Date:  October 16th, 2010
Host:  Chris Parrish
Videographer:  Chris Parrish

Lineup: Iron Reaper Tank (Rick Romanini), Live Wire (Rick Romanini), Nitecrawler Tank (Andy Hoffman), Predator (Allen Pezo), Shotgun Harry (Jeff Cook), Uncle Slam (Rick Romanini) [Read more…]

Introducing Monster-Merch.com

Along with the debut of the all new TheMonsterBlog.com today, the TMB staff is very excited to introduce you to Monster-Merch.com. Monster Merch will be your source to find some of the best independent monster truck team merchandise online. TMB is launching Monster Merch as a vehicle for teams to promote and market their merchandise on one of the most visited monster truck websites online.

The difference between Monster Merch and other past monster truck merchandise ventures in that the goal is simply to connect fans with the teams themselves. Each team or organization has its own individual store on Monster-Merch.com, allowing fans to purchase directly through the teams themselves. Teams collect payment through their own Paypal accounts and ship orders directly to purchasers.

As we launch Monster-Merch.com today, we are proud to introduce our first two featured organizations – Greg Winchenbach’s Crushstation monster truck and TheMonsterBlog.com itself. These two stores are now online at Monster-Merch.com and you can start buying great t-shirts, hats, hero cards, decals and more from these two great organizations.

Purchasing through Monster-Merch.com is the best way for you fans to support your favorite independent teams and organizations – check out each individual online store by visiting Monster-Merch.com and get your MONSTER MERCH today!

Monster Truck Fall Shootout – Pontiac, MI – 11/13/10

Event:  Monster Truck Fall Shootout
Venue:  Pontiac Silverdome
Location:  Pontiac, Michigan
Date:  November 13th, 2010
Photographer:  Paul M. Harry

Lineup: Airborne Ranger (Joe Cypher), Bar’s Leaks Eliminator (Greg Adams), Big Dawg (Dale Gerding), Bounty Hunter (Ben Winslow), Raminator (Mark Hall), Rammunition (Mat Dishman), Rislone Defender (Zach Adams), Shell Camino (Shelley Kujat), Tail Gator (Doug Noelke), Virginia Giant (Diehl Wilson), War Wagon (Andy Hoffman) [Read more…]

Wow Moments: The Silverdome Lives

The 2010 season marked the return for one of the most prestigious venues in the history of monster trucks: The Pontiac Silverdome. TMB was fortunate enough to be part of both the inaugural event (Domination in the Dome) and this November’s “Monster Truck Fall Shootout”. Between the two shows, names including Bigfoot, Excaliber, and Virginia Giant made their return to the hallowed building to once again do battle.  Other story lines, including the return of Eric Tack to pilot Bigfoot 11 for the show and the rebirth of the “Michigan Ice Monster” added nostalgic flavor and got my wheels turning as to how the legacy of the Silverdome could be further amplified.

The Pontiac Silverdome 11/13/10

Would a promoter in today’s monster truck world be able to successfully market an old-school style monster truck show in the Silverdome, including a full on truck and tractor pull and mud bog, alongside a full on “Battle of the Monster Trucks” between some of the old school trucks that are being plucked from fence rows and revived today? Would the average fan in Detroit who is used to the fast paced and high flying nature of today’s monsters be interested in paying to attend a show that showcases the roots of monster trucks?  After seeing the immense success of Jeff Cook’s 4×4 Off Road Truck Show Challenge in Auburn, Indiana this past October, I think the answer is yes. What do you think? If you were given the opportunity to promote a show in the legendary Pontiac Silverdome, what style event would you promote and why?

TMB TV: ActionTracks Episode 1.6 – Wildwood, NJ (Part 2)

Event: Thunder on the Beach
Venue: The Wildwood Beach
Location: Wildwood, New Jersey
Date: October 1st-3rd, 2010
Host: Chris Parrish
Videographer: Chris Parrish

Lineup: Avenger (Jim Koehler), Bad Habit (Joe Sylvester), Black Stallion (Mike Vaters), Brutus (Chris Bergeron), Grave Digger (Gary Porter), Gun Slinger (Scott Hartsock), Spiderman (Whit Tarlton) [Read more…]

Wow Moments: Wildman Jeff Bringing Back Old School Fever

“In kindergarten, I used to draw pictures of trucks with big tires before monsters existed. My dad and school teachers laughed and said I was creative but didn’t take me serious.”

The mind of Jeff Cook was afflicted with the idea of oversized trucks at an early age. It all began when Jeff’s young eyes became fixated on a Peterson’s 4 Wheel and Off-Road magazine cover of Bigfoot with 48 inch tires. The rest is history. TMB’s Kaedon Berry took time to interview the mastermind behind the War Wagon monster truck and, most recently, the old school inspired “Shotgun Harry” truck.

Kaedon: Thanks for taking the time to let us monster truck enthusiasts hear a few pages from your monster truck career, Jeff.

Jeff: It’s my pleasure; I started just like all of the hardcore monster truck fans today. I would learn of a new truck out in the monster truck scene and study it. Pretty soon I would be able to tell you any stat about the truck, driver, and so on. I remember doing a show at Myrtle Beach where King Kong rolled on top of police cars. I did that show for Deihl Wilson in 1999 and it was so awesome to stand on that straight away and see that big 76 sign and knowing the history of that situation of the roll over onto those brand new police cars. . I enjoy relating to the fans on that level.

Kaedon: The evolution from normal 4×4’s to monster trucks took the nation by storm. Illustrate for us how you got drawn in to the monster truck scene.

Jeff: From a very young age, I always wanted to put bigger tires on trucks. In kindergarten, I used to draw pictures of trucks with big tires before monsters existed. My dad and school teachers laughed and said I was creative but didn’t take me serious. Back in those days, 35 inch Ground Hogs were the biggest tires you could get and those were massive! I used to keep up with the increase in tire size through my subscription of Peterson’s 4 Wheel and Off-Road Magazine. When I got the issue with Bigfoot on 48 inch tires, I remember thinking how awesome it was and became fixated on it. I lived for that throughout all of my schooling and decided I wanted to build a monster truck.

We had a few guys in from my area that were involved with monster trucks, namely Scott Hess and Kirk Dabney. Scott’s truck “Hercules” started out as a show truck and progressed to a full-fledged 66 inch tire truck. Scott would crawl in that truck and just launch it 20 feet in the air and the landings used to scare me half to death! He was one of my heroes! Kirk ended up in our town and ended up renting a shop from my dad. From there I would hang around and keep my nose in things helping with anything I could. Dad and I started doing paint work for Kirk when he started buying more trucks. Eventually I got the chance to drive Kirk’s original Overkill truck named “Thunderstruck” in 1991. I did shows primarily with the Thunder Nationals series and Chris Arel in Canada through 1992.

At the end of 1992, Marty Garza called me and asked if I wanted to drive the new, Maximum Overkill truck that he and Jerry Richmond had put together. I was beyond excited to drive a new style truck with tons of horsepower and eagerly accepted. Throughout the first quarter of 1993, I campaigned that truck and was pretty successful. Then one day, there was an accidental fire in the shop housing the trucks, ultimately destroying all of them. It wasn’t something you wanted to remember at the time. In fact, I don’t even think I have any pictures of the rubble. We are all so depressed and shocked by the situation. Marty told me to stay optimistic and that they were going to build a truck for me to drive. As flattered as I was, I knew it would be tough on Marty to get a truck together for me and made the decision and told him to take care of Jerry Richmond and to get back on his feet.

I wasn’t sure what I wanted to do after the situation, but Aaron Paulburn (formerly of the Thunder Nationals Tour) came to me and said, “Jeff, why don’t you build your own truck?” At that point in my career, I had been working on the monster I’d started in high school in my minimal spare time and thought I might want to finish it. Aaron laughed and told me I should instead build a race truck instead of an outdated, leaf sprung Scout monster truck. He finally talked me into it. We had spent time putting our heads together to come up with a unique concept. I was an avid hot rod fan, so we came up with the use of a 55 Chevy. He asked me what I was going to name it, and I had no clue. Aaron told me, “Name it war wagon, have it done by July, and meet me at my show in Mansfield, Ohio, and you’ll have a full schedule next year.” Throughout the spring and Summer I worked feverishly to complete that truck. By July 1993, War Wagon was competing at its first show.

Kaedon: The War Wagon truck was always a front runner on the Indoor Circuit and is still touring regularly today. Talk about your time with the War Wagon and what you accomplished.

Jeff: I toured with the first War Wagon chassis through the end of the 1996 season. I began construction of the new War Wagon tube frame truck in late 1996 and began touring with it in the winter of 1997. I wanted to build a truck that was conducive to the smaller confines of the arenas I was used to running in the Thunder Nationals series. Some guys criticized me for building a squared cradle saying that it was obsolete and that it was pointless to take that step “backwards”. I envisioned a truck that would be a wheelie machine and be pointed vertical and was confident that my idea was going to work. I have many fond memories of lining up to a stack of cars and standing the truck up into a vertical wheelie and finish by walking all the way across the arena. I continued to tour the Thunder Nationals Tour and transitioned to my good friend’s (The late and great George Eisenhart) series: Monster Nationals. In 1999, I started my fire truck business, 1st Attack Engineering, and it began to be where I was burning the candle at both ends. I would work during the week at the business then thrash to get the truck ready for a show on Friday and it became exhausting. As the business really took off, I decided that I would refocus my attention to work and spending time with my wife and kids at home in Auburn.

Kaedon: It’s been said that once a person has entered the realm of monster trucks that it’s in their blood forever. After your stint out of the industry, you built various 4×4 creations such as “Lil’ Squirt” and “Silly Willy”, but out of nowhere, you debuted the truck you’d been working on for years, Shotgun Harry. What possessed you to complete the first truck you ever started?

Jeff: George Eisenhart and I were very close friends. We’d talk with each other multiple times every day and be sounding posts for each other for our business ventures, both in and out of monster trucks. In 2008 and 2009, We had talked about me making a reentry into the sport of monster truck racing with a new race truck and so forth. When George’s accident happened, I, like many who knew George, were devastated and I had to soul search for the direction I wanted to go with my monster truck career. I loved being on the road and meeting new fans and seeing all my friends, but I also wanted to involve my family who was gracious enough to put up with me being on the road alone with the War Wagon all those years. I’d made up my mind that I was going to finish what I started in the truck I started in high school.

I went to my Grandmother’s and pulled the truck out her barn, down the road, and into my shop. My son and I worked on the truck consistently and I decided I wanted to get back to my old school roots within the truck’s design. I originally wanted to put a truck body on it and throw in a blown motor. I instead stuck with my original plan of making it a family play toy and installed four, 73 inch tires and a diesel engine. To continue on with this theme, I wanted to come up with something kid friendly. My son and I are avidly into Cowboy shooting scenes and we came up with a cowboy character named “Shotgun Harry”. The truck that got me into monster trucks in a fun way and not so much in a competitive way was finally finished. I didn’t realize how excited people would be until we debuted it in Lima at the 4 Wheel Jamboree . It’s fun to see just how into the old school side of monster trucks people still are and we’re working on some things in the future that will greatly appeal to all old school fans alike so stay tuned!

TMB would like to thank Jeff for his time and hospitality. The big news with Wildman Jeff doesn’t stop with just the Schotgun Harry truck as Jeff is currently working organizing an old school style event, which is tentatively scheduled for October 16th in Auburn, Indiana.  For more information regarding “Wildman” Jeff Cook, 1st Attack Engineering, and the Shotgun Harry Monster Truck, visit www.WildmanJeff.com.

Joe Sylvester & Bad Habit Break Long Jump World Record

(Bad Habit PR – By Joe Sylvester) This past Sunday’s accomplishment was a result of planning and preparations by myself, my crew, and my family over the past couple years. We made it happen despite many set backs and hurdles.

The trouble started 1 week before we began the testing for the jump. After hitting the very last jump of the last show I was doing before my world record testing, the Chevrolet engine in BAD HABIT let loose and completely blew up leaving me without a motor. Thanks to John Kyle and APD Racing Engines in Genoa, Oh, BAD HABIT was back up and running with a newer, stronger, better running motor than ever!

With the new motor in the truck, myself and my two crew members Kyle and Scott got on the road to Columbus, Pa. We arrived at the Miller Farm, site of the Cornfield 500, around 5pm Monday evening and while Kyle and Scott got the truck ready for Tuesday’s testing, Blair and I finished preparing the take off jump. Speed tests went well on Tuesday but the first jump test did not. With my new APD engine not even at full throttle, I hit the take off ramp and flew about 60 feet high in the air and landed straight down on the front of the truck at the 195 foot mark. The impact ripped the right front wheel off BAD HABIT sending it into 5 violent flips. After the truck came to rest around the 300 foot mark, the front axle housiong was bent, the body was completely destroyed, the wheely bar and sway bar bar assembly was completely ripped off the back of the chassis, a shock shaft was bent, a 4-link bar was bent, a tire was flat, the front tie rod was bent and ripped off, and a front steering ram was torn apart. Not to mention I had one heck of a headache.

Although most would have thrown in the towel after a crash like this, we put our heads down and got to work, 17 hrs a day until Sunday to be exact. Big thanks to Kyle, Scott, Mike, my family, and the Cornfield 500 staff for all lending a helping hand to getting BAD HABIT back together in time for the big jump on Sunday.

After heavy rains all day and night Saturday, it was looking doubtful that it was going to be dry enough for the jump Sunday. The sun came through and the winds picked up and the track dried out very well in time for the jump. After making a couple runs past the great crowd and a short speed pass down the runway, I took to the newly redesigned take off ramp without hesitation. I would also like to thank Gary Bauer for his help rebuilding my takeoff ramp so that we could avoid another disaster like Tuesday. Wound out to about 75 mph, BAD HABIT flew through the air perfectly and landed at 197 feet which would not be enough to beat the current record.

The truck was still in good shape and after letting it cool down a bit and changing the pitch of the takeoff just a little, I took to the ramp for a second try at the record. Hitting almost 79mph on this run, the truck once again flew through the air perfectly and this time landed at 208 feet! A New World Record! To see all the action including interviews, the big crash from Tuesday, and the record jump on Sunday, go to www.dirtvision.com where you can purchase the 1-hr paper view special!

This has been a dream come true and I cant thank everyone enough who has helped and supported me through the entire process!!  Watch out for more on the edge stunts in the future as well as a full length DVD from Joe Sylvester Motorsports and the BAD HABIT Monster Truck, more information at www.BadHabit4x4.com!

Introducing “TMB TV: MT Unlimited” Video Series

TMB TV is proud to unveil our second brand new series, MT Unlimited, produced in conjunction with our own Colby Marshall and Bite Me Productions Studios!!  Colby is introducing another great new format to the TMB TV family of video coverage, as MT Unlimited will focus not only on all the great action of events, but also go behind the scenes with a unique interview format that puts the drivers, crews and industry personnel front and center.

Much like last week’s debut of ActionTracks, we kick off the series with one of the biggest events of the year, the Maverik Clash of the Titans from Rocky Mountain Raceway in Salt Lake City, Utah. 12 trucks and the only figure 8 monster truck racing of the year featuring intense battles between Bigfoot, Bounty Hunter, Amsoil Shock Therapy, Obsession and many more.

A big thanks to Colby for the awesome work on this new series and also to the RMR staff for welcoming us at their event. Click the link below to start enjoying all of the exciting new content from TMB TV’s MT Unlimited!!

CLICK HERE TO VIEW TMB TV: MT UNLIMITED EPISODE 1.1

Introducing “TMB TV: ActionTracks” Video Series

TMB TV is proud to unveil a brand new series produced in conjunction with our own Chris Parrish and CP Action Art, ActionTracks!! Chris has put together a great new format in a spinoff of TMB’s popular TMB TV series that features great monster truck action, interviews and features.

What better way to debut this new series than by covering one of the summer’s premiere events, the Monster Truck Challenge from Bristol Motor Speedway!! By clicking the link below, you’ll see eight of the top monster trucks in the country do battle in the infield of one of the most famous race tracks in the world.

A big thanks to Chris for his great work on the new series and to the MTC staff for their hospitality, click the link below to enjoy all the action!!

CLICK HERE TO VIEW TMB TV: ACTIONTRACKS EPISODE 1.1

Introducing the Toxic Monster Truck

Look out monster truck fans, there’s a new force breaking into the industry as Petri Motorsports has unveiled the brand new machine they simply call TOXIC. Petri Motorsports is based out of Sardinia, New York and is owned by three brothers, Larry, Travis and Dan Petri. The brothers own a construction business called Mountain View Builders and all come from a motorsports background, having raced locally in the past. For their new motorsports venture they wanted to try something a little more extreme.

After attending a number of events over the last few years including last year’s Monster Jam World Finals in Las Vegas, the trio decided to make the plunge into monster truck racing full force. Wanting only the best equipment, they placed a call to legendary driver and builder Dan Patrick and put in an order for a turn key truck with all the latest innovations from Patrick Enterprises.

With the building of the truck underway, the brothers set to work in finding a name for their new ride that would stand out and be noticed. After considering a number of possibilities, an idea came that was instantly agreed upon. They chose a name that would be memorable and would allow for one wild paint scheme – Toxic. Vinyl Images out of St. Louis, MO came up with just what they were looking for, a design that is unique and exciting that will give the truck its own identity.

With great work by both Patrick Enterprises and Vinyl Images resulting in a beautiful, state of the art machine, the brothers have set to work testing the truck and fine tuning the setup. They are now ready to go racing and the Toxic machine is available for booking. The short term goal for the team is to start running events and learning the truck’s limits and then long term, shoot for becoming a top team in the industry.

For more information on Petri Motorsports and their hot new ride, check out their website at www.ToxicMonsterTruck.com. Promoters interested in bringing Toxic out to their new event can contact the team through email at petri@toxicmonstertruck.com. Thanks to Larry Petri and the Petri Motorsports team for all the info on their new venture and for the great pics, look out for the Toxic monster truck, coming to an event near you!!

Monster Photos: 4-Wheel Jamboree Nationals – Lima, OH 2010

Event Information

Event: 4-Wheel Jamboree Nationals
Venue: Allen County Fairgrounds
Location: Lima, Ohio
Date: May 14th-16th, 2013
Photographer: Paul M. Harry

Truck Lineup

Airdog Diesel (Dave Radzierez), Avenger (Rich Hilgendorf), General Tire (Chris Bergeron), Holman’s Beast (Bobby Holman), Mrs. Bigfoot #11 (Amber Walker), Raminator (Mark Hall), Rammunition (Mat Dishman), Retro Bigfoot #16 (Dan Runte), Tail Gator (Doug Noelke)
[Read more…]

Monster Photos: Monsters on the Beach – Virginia Beach, VA 2010

Event Information

Event: Monsters on the Beach
Venue: Virginia Beach Boardwalk
Location: Virginia Beach, VA
Date: May 7th-9th, 2010
Photographer: Ross Z. Bonar

Truck Lineup

Bad Habit (Joe Sylvester), Crushstation (Greg Winchenbach), Grave Digger (Randy Brown), Gun Slinger (Scott Hartsock), Mopar Magic (Chris Baker), Stone Crusher (Steve Sims), Virginia Giant (Diehl Wilson)
[Read more…]

Monster Photos: 4-Wheel Jamboree Nationals – Springfield, MO 2010

Event Information

Event: 4-Wheel Jamboree Nationals
Venue: Missouri Events & Entertainment Center
Location: Springfield, Missouri
Date: May 1st-2nd, 2013
Photographer: Ross Z. Bonar

Truck Lineup

Avenger (Jim Koehler), General Tire (Chris Bergeron), Ms. Bigfoot #11 (Amber Walker), Raminator (Mark Hall), Rammunition (Geremie Dishman), Retro Bigfoot #16 (Dan Runte)
[Read more…]

Monster Photos: Monstergeddon – Odessa, MO 2008

Event Information

Event: Monstergeddon
Venue: I-70 Speedway
Location: Odessa, Missouri
Date: August 23rd, 2008
Photographer: Ross Z. Bonar

Truck Lineup

Barbarian (Devin Jones), Big Dawg (Dale Gerding), Brute Force (John White), Monster Patrol (DJ Hickman), Ozz Monster (David Brown), Tail Gator (Doug Noelke) [Read more…]

Monster Photos: MEGA Monster Truck Tour – Sedalia, MO 2008

Event Information

Event: MEGA Monster Truck Tour
Venue: Missouri State Fairgrounds
Location: Sedalia, Missouri
Date: June 28th, 2008
Photographer: Ross Z. Bonar

Truck Lineup

Bearfoot (Doug Charles), Bounty Hunter (Jimmy Creten), El Matador (Daron Basl), King Krunch (David Smith), Viper (Rich Blackburne) [Read more…]