TMB TV Episode 3.7 – Indianapolis, IN

Event:  4-Wheel Jamboree Nationals
Venue:  Indiana State Fairgrounds
Location:  Indianapolis, Indiana
Date:  September 17th-19th, 2010
Host:  Ross Z. Bonar
Videographers:  Colby Marshall, Kaedon Berry, Chris Parrish

Lineup:  Airdog Diesel (Dave Radzierez), Avenger (Jim Koehler / Rich Hilgendorf), General Tire (Chris Bergeron), High Maintenance (Jocelyn Perrin), Holman’s Beast (Bobby Holman), Ms Bigfoot #11 (Amber Walker), Raminator (Mark Hall), Rammunition (Mat Dishman), Retro Bigfoot #16 (Dan Runte), Tail Gator (Doug Noelke) [Read more…]

Monster Truck Fall Shootout at the Silverdome

(Pontiac, MI) Monster Trucks return to the Silverdome for an inaugural Monster Truck Fall Shootout!! This event will be a premiere motorsports show featuring monster trucks and quad racing and it’s going to be an annual event for the fans of high energy, high-impact motorsports entertainment. Discounted early bird tickets go on sale Wednesday October 14th. A $2 off discount per ticket will automatically be given for adult and kids tickets when purchased on line by November 12th.

The 1st Annual Fall Shootout is bringing monster trucks back to the Silverdome and includes a superstar lineup featuring Bounty Hunter, Raminator, Tail Gator, Virginia Giant, War Wagon, Big Dawg, Rammunition, Bar’s Leaks Eliminator, Airborne Ranger and Rislone Defender.

“We are very excited to start another motor sports tradition here at the Silverdome as we are filling dates at the dome with renewed life,” said Ryan Westlake, the event coordinator for the event. “In the Silverdome’s past life, monster truck events were second only to the Lions as far as annual attendance. We look forward to bringing things full circle with a fun and entertaining monster truck event that is easy to get to, easy to park at and affordable for the entire family.” Monster Trucks are the ultimate in automotive “Destruction.”

Extreme Air, Colossal Sky-Wheelies, Thundering Pogos and Devastating Crashes which are all part of the show as these 10,000 pound machines will fly through the air and around the stadium in true Silverdome style. The Monster Truck Fall Shootout will take place on November 13th, at 7:30 p.m. Tickets go on sale October 14th and will be available at the Silverdome box office, online at www.SilverdomeTickets.com or by calling 248-338-2500. All tickets are general admission. Please call the box office for information regarding Family and Friends Suite Experience rental suites at (248) 338-2500.

All tickets purchased online in advance will include FREE entry into the Fan Appreciation Pit Party, where fans can walk the track, take photos, get autographs from the competitors and have an unforgettable experience before the event at the Pit Party. Fans holding a pit pass and an event ticket will be allowed onto the floor of the Silverdome from 4-6 pm before the event.

Free pit passes will be included with all tickets purchased online through November 12th. Day
of purchases and walk-up Pit Passes will be $5 at the door.

4×4 Off Road Truck Show Challenge – Auburn, IN – 10/16/10

Event:  4×4 Off Road Truck Show Challenge
Venue:  American Heritage Village
Location:  Auburn, Indiana
Date:  October 16th, 2010
Photographer:  Paul M. Harry

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…]

4×4 Off Road Truck Show Challenge – Auburn, IN – 10/16/10

Event: 4×4 Off Road Truck Show Challenge
Venue: American Heritage Village
Location: Auburn, Indiana
Date: October 16th, 2010
Photographer: Michael Harry

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…]

Monster Spectacular Returns to Montreal w/14 Trucks, Figure 8 Racing

(Montreal, Quebec) The Monster Spectacular is returning to Olympic Stadium this Saturday night for one of the wildest events the Big O has ever seen – a 14 truck lineup and monster truck figure 8 racing!! The racing portion of the event will be unlike any other figure 8 ever seen as trucks will race together on the same course in a unique concept tested earlier this year at Quebec City Speedway. The lineup is stacked as always as Jimmy Creten in Bounty Hunter returns after sweeping last fall’s event while Team BIGFOOT sends new sensation team driver Amber Walker and Ms. Bigfoot north of the border for the first time to try and take him down. Also returning will be superstars Jim Koehler in Avenger, Chris Bergeron in Brutus and Mike Vaters in Black Stallion.

Making their first trip to Olympic Stadium will be the Straight Up Racing team out of Washington as freestyle juggernaut Bill Payne will make his final appearance in the current Rock Star chassis before scrapping it and debuting a new piece next season. Joining him will be team truck California Kid and rounding out the lineup will be big names including the “monstah lobstah” Crushstation, Bad Habit, Aftershock, Illuminator, Iron Warrior, Siberian Express and the debut of The Red Baron.

As if all that monster truck excitement wasn’t enough, the Monster Spectacular in Montreal never fails to have an amazing support card as this year’s event will feature the North American Autocross Championship and much more.

If you haven’t got your tickets already, head on over to www.MonsterSpectacular.com and get them now as this is one event you just don’t want to miss!!

Inaugural 4×4 Off Road Truck Show Challenge A Huge Success

The first ever Gas Guzzy 4×4 Off Road Truck Show Challenge was held to the delight of a massive crowd at the American Heritage Village in Auburn, Indiana. This event was the first of its kind as it celebrated the early history of monster trucks with nostalgia style car crushing, monster tank machines and even monster trucks floating across a 12 acre pond. In addition, a huge turnout of mud bog and obstacle course competitors were on hand to keep the action going all day long, along with a great assembly of beautiful show’n’shine machines.

The stars of the event were the “old school” monsters as monster truck veteran Allen Pezo brought out his newly restored original Predator truck, event organizer Jeff Cook had the newly completed nostalgia truck Shotgun Harry on hand and Andy Hoffman from just down the road in Huntington showed up with his Nitecrawler tank. Rick Romanini out of Michigan was a huge part of the event, showing up with a collection of old school machines including the original Duraliner Giant, now called Uncle Slam; the original Polar Bear which had been named Live Wire; the original Star Trax Tank now called the Iron Reaper; and the only mud truck that managed to defeat the deep bog all day, Johnny Law.

The nostalgia car crushing was incredibly popular with the fans, the monster tanks got them on their feet and cheering as Andy Hoffman blasted the mud bog in Nitecrawler and the highlight of the day was the 12 acre pond float where Predator, Shotgun Harry and and an old school style Chevrolet driven by Jeremy Hosmin all successfully floated from one end of the pond to the other.

The event was a blast from the past and the fans on hand were delighted by seeing how monster trucks got started – for some, it was reliving moments they had seen in person many years before and for others who were too young to remember or even not yet born, it was a chance to experience the glory days of monster trucks. Everyone walked away already anticipating the next event as it is sure that there will be other monster truck people dusting off old chassis and beginning to restore them just so they can be a part of the fun next year.

This Inaugural 4×4 Off Road Truck Show Challenge was an important test for promoter Jeff Cook and his Gas Guzzy Events & Marketing as after its huge success, now they can begin to slowly expand the concept and hope to bring a taste of nostalgia monster truckin’ to fans in more places each year.

TheMonsterBlog.com staff was out in force for the event as Ross Z. Bonar co-hosted the event with Jeff Perrin of Perrin Motorsports while Colby Marshall, Kaedon Berry and Chris Parrish filmed for episodes of TMB TV’s MT Unlimited and ActionTracks. Superphotographer Paul M. Harry captured all the action for a huge photo gallery. It was great to have nearly all of the TMB staff in one place again this year and it was a reminder of how lucky we are to have not only a very talented group but more importantly, a great group of people in our little family.

Stay tuned for coverage from this great event here on the site and on our Facebook page. A huge thanks to Jeff Cook and all his friends/family with Gas Guzzy Events for a historic event and to Allen Pezo, Andy Hoffman, and Rick Romanini for their great respect of monster truck history in keeping these old school machines alive.

Fans do us a favor and go check out and bookmark www.GasGuzzy.com and also www.WildmanJeff.com and stay tuned for all the developments they have in growing this nostalgia event.

First Ever 4×4 Off Road Truck Show Challenge This Weekend

Old school monster truck fans, get ready as the event you’ve been waiting for since the late 1980’s is coming to Auburn, Indiana Saturday, October 16th!! The first ever 4×4 Off Road Truck Show Challenge will be held at the American Heritage Village featuring “old school” monster trucks, mud bogs, show’n’shine, obstacle course racing and much more!!

This is one of the first throwback, nostalgia style monster truck events to ever be held and will feature old school monster trucks including Jeff Cook’s Shotgun Harry, Allen Pezo’s original Predator, Ron & Shelly Kujat’s Aces High and more! In addition to the old school trucks, monster tanks will be featured as well including Andy Hoffman’s Nitecrawler.

As if old school car crushing wasn’t enough, the Shotgun Harry and Predator trucks will attempt to float across a pond, something that hasn’t been seen in decades!! This one of a kind event is not to be missed by any true monster truck fan and the TMB crew will be out in force to cover it all, head on over to www.GasGuzzy.com to get more information and tickets to one of the fall’s biggest events

Monsters Tour of Destruction – Kawana, Queensland – 10/02/10

Event:  Monsters Tour of Destruction
Venue:  Stockland Park
Location:  Kawana, Queensland, Australia
Date:  October 2nd, 2010
Photographer:  Darryl Smith

Lineup:  Avenger Australia (Corey Clarke), Freakshow (Kreg Christensen), Outback Thunda 1 (Hayden McLeary), Outback Thunda 3 (Clive Featherby), Raptor’s Rampage (Kreg Christensen), Scooby Doo (Billy Featherby), Taz (Jaye Featherby) [Read more…]

Thunder on the Beach – Wildwood, NJ – 10/02-03/10

Event:  Thunder on the Beach
Venue:  The Wildwood Beach
Location:  Wildwood, New Jersey
Date:  October 2nd-3rd, 2010
Photographer:  Stephanie Cotnoir

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…]

BIGFOOT Speed Record Attempt – Norwalk, OH – 09/25/10

Event:  ADRL Ohio Drags
Venue:  Summit Motorsports Park
Location:  Norwalk, Ohio
Date:  September 25th, 2010
Photographer:  Paul M. Harry

Lineup:  Summit Bigfoot #10 (Rodney Tweedy), Summit Bigfoot #16 (Dan Runte) [Read more…]

TMB TV: MT Unlimited Episode 1.3 – Double Feature

Event: Monster Truck Show
Venue:  Indiana State Fairgrounds / Summit Motorsports Park
Location:  Indianapolis, Indiana / Norwalk, Ohio
Date: September 18th, 2010 / September 25th, 2010
Host: Colby Marshall
Videographer: Colby Marshall

Lineup:  High Maintenance (Jocelyn Perrin), Summit Bigfoot #10 (Rodney Tweedy), Summit Bigfoot #16 (Dan Runte) [Read more…]

Marvel Expands Deal With Feld Motor Sports

(New York, NY) Marvel Entertainment, LLC, a global character-based entertainment licensing company, announced today that it has expanded its partnership with Feld Motor Sports, the world leader in specialized arena and stadium-based motor sports family entertainment, to include new products featuring the Iron Man and Spider-Man custom-designed monster trucks that perform on the worldwide Monster Jam® tour.

The expanded partnership includes die-cast replicas of the Marvel monster trucks, at various scales, from Monster Jam’s die-cast toy partner Mattel. Feld Motor Sports also has category rights to produce trading cards, posters, calendar and other toys featuring replica images of Marvel touring trucks. Product will be launching at major retailers in the U.S. and Canada in early 2011. The expanded partnership also includes co-branded apparel, which will be launching for holiday 2010.

The Iron Man and Spider-Man custom-designed monster trucks made their official debut at Monster Jam — the world’s premier monster truck tour — earlier this year.

“This expanded partnership with Feld Motor Sports underscores our strategy to expand the reach and exposure of our brands to new audiences and through new entertainment formats. The new co-branded product will leverage the enormous appeal of the Monster Jam property — both in the stadiums/arenas and at retail — to bring the Marvel brand experience to their core family audience,” said Paul Gitter, President of Consumer Products for North America, Marvel Entertainment.

”Expanding our partnership with Marvel to include die-cast toys at retail and inside the stadiums and arenas is a natural progression of our relationship,” said Charlie Mancuso, President of Feld Motor Sports. “We will continue to work with Marvel to grow our relationship at Monster Jam events even more to create lasting connections with our fans around the world.”

With more than 325 live performances a year at the world’s premier stadiums and arenas, Monster Jam has a family-oriented fan base of more than four million spectators. Monster Jam events blow the roof off traditional motor sports, featuring giant monster trucks competing in a thrilling, car-crushing frenzy. Monster Jam events are also televised on the SPEED Channel and CBS.

For more information on Advance Auto Parts Monster Jam, visit www.MonsterJam.com.

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.

Dan Runte & BIGFOOT Reclaim Monster Truck World Speed Record

Monster truck legends Dan Runte and Team BIGFOOT have reclaimed the World Record for fastest speed by a monster truck this weekend at the ADRL Summit Racing Equipment Ohio Drags IV at Summit Motorsports Park in Norwalk, Ohio.

This record has changed hands several times over the past couple years with Randy Moore and War Wizard first breaking Dan Runte & Team Bigfoot’s mark of 69.3 MPH by way of running a speed of 84.382 MPH in late 2005. Runte and Team Bigfoot reclaimed the record last year after running 84.49 MPH only to have Kirk Dabney and Extreme Overkill take it away only a month later with a speed of 84.92 MPH.

Team BIGFOOT traveled to Norwalk this weekend with the goal of retaking this record and would have two chances, one each night Friday and Saturday to make it happen. Runte charged down the track Friday night reaching a top speed of 86.06 MPH and retaking the crown! With still another opportunity to put the record further out of reach, the team improved upon the setup and Saturday night Runte and Bigfoot #16 ran an incredible 86.56 MPH to break the record once again!

TMB sends a big congratulations out to Dan Runte and Team Bigfoot on their great accomplishment this weekend in Norwalk. Our own Colby Marshall and Paul Harry were on hand for the event, so be watching for photo and video coverage coming soon. In the meantime, check out the video below courtesy of www.Bigfoot4x4.com to see Saturday night’s record setting run.

Hotsy Renews Deal With Hall Brothers Racing

(Champaign, IL) Hall Brothers Racing is proud to announce that Hotsy Pressure Washers has returned as primary sponsor of one of the RAMINATOR trucks and associate sponsor on the team’s entire fleet.

“I am very pleased that Hotsy has determined that the exposure we provide with RAMINATOR is a good value. In these tough economic times, we know companies have to make tough decisions. We are happy that Hotsy has chosen to renew with us and we look forward to a great partnership into the future” said team co-owner Tim Hall. “We have met a lot of great people through our association with Hotsy…dealers, customers, Hotsy users from all types of industries…and it has been great so far. We have a lot of Hotsy appearances planned already for 2011, so I am excited about the opportunities”.

Championship winning driver Mark Hall added “we get a lot of compliments on the cleanliness of our trucks and haulers…and it wouldn’t be possible without our Hotsy equipment. No matter how dirty the trucks get at an event, our Hotsy pressure washers get them sparkling clean every time. This is a very important element of our success.”

Robin Paul, marketing director for Hotsy, said “Hotsy has enjoyed our sponsorship with Hall Bros. Racing over the past few years, and are pleased to continue into 2011. Not only do we keep the RAMINATOR spotless for races, but we share similar characteristics – rugged durability, power, and performance – which make our sponsorship a perfect fit. The Hotsy RAMINATOR is one tough truck, just like Hotsy pressure washers. More and more people have been exposed to the Hotsy name as a result of our sponsorship, and the truck is a great draw for us at appearances around the country. Nothing can clean the RAMINATOR like a Hotsy!”

Hotsy joins RAM trucks as major sponsors of Hall Bros. Racing. “It looks like 2011 will be a great year for Hall Bros. Racing” said Tim Hall. “I can’t wait to get back out there!”

For more information on Hall Brothers Racing and the Raminator and Rammunition monster trucks, visit www.Raminator.com.