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  • Indy 4-Wheel Jamboree Championship Weekend Recap

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    (By Ross Z. Bonar) The weekend marked the 30th Anniversary of the 4-Wheel Jamboree Nationals at the Indiana State Fairgrounds in Indianapolis, Indiana and how better to celebrate than with an incredible battle for the 2011 Monster Truck Thunder Drags season championship. Hall Brothers Racing entered the weekend looking to extend their decade of domination in this series to an unheard of eleventh year in a row, but 2011 would be their biggest challenge yet as legendary BIGFOOT driver Dan Runte entered the weekend 80 points ahead of Mark Hall and Raminator.

    In addition to the monster truck championship battle, Jamboree fans would be treated to the usual great lineup of entertainment, from show’n’shine trucks to mud bogs, tough trucks and everything in between. For the 30th Anniversary event, Family Events pulled out all the stops, bringing in 12 race trucks, the young star Kid KJ and the incredibly popular Megasaurus car-eating dinosaur. The monster truck lineup included:  E3 Spark Plugs Bigfoot #16, Raminator, Rammunition, Avenger, General Tire, Lucas Oil Stabilizer, Heavy Hitter, Star Marshal, Stomper, Black Knight, Airdog Diesel and Chalkboard Chuck.

    A great 12 truck lineup was assembled to celebrate the 30th Anniversary of the 4-Wheel Jamboree Nationals in Indianapolis, Indiana.

    A slight damper was cast on the weekend’s festivities however as Family Events was forced to make some layout changes due to the ongoing investigation into the Indiana State Fair stage collapse. The main grandstand was still closed and unavailable, so Family Events transported in temporary bleachers to accommodate the great crowds on hand for the event.

    The collapsed stage remains as the investigation continues into the cause of the terrible tragedy prior to the Sugarland concert at last month's Indiana State Fair.

    Those layout changes fortunately did not stop Head Track Official Lee Collins from putting together a wild S-course racing layout that featured a unique rhythm section not often seen in monster truck racing. This would be sure to present an interesting challenge for the drivers and another exciting twist in the title bout.

    With four shows scheduled for the weekend, three of those including side by side racing, the points picture could change in a heartbeat. See below for the standings entering the weeekned:

    Point Standings – Entering the Weekend

    1st – Bigfoot – 1480
    2nd – Raminator – 1400
    3rd – Rammunition – 1240
    4th – General Tire – 1120
    5th – Lucas Oil Stabilizer – 880
    6th – Avenger – 880
    7th – Star Marshal – 800
    8th – Chalkboard Chuck – 640
    9th – Crushstation – 600
    10th – Samson – 440
    11th – Black Knight – 240

    Also presented here is the Family Events point scale:

    How Points Are Awarded

    1st – 200 points
    2nd – 160 points
    Semi-Finals – 120 points
    1st Round – 80 points

    Action kicked off Friday night with a freestyle-only warm-up to the weekend’s competition and all the trucks put on a great show for the fans in attendance.

    The real action got started Saturday afternoon as the trucks took to the S-course for some intense side by side racing. The focus was on the championship contenders in round one as Mark Hall in Raminator made quick work of Bobby Holman in Lucas Oil Stabilizer while Dan Runte in Bigfoot dodged the powerful punch of the Heavy Hitter, taking out the impressive rookie Derick Anson in a close race. Mat Dishman looked strong in Rammunition as he took down Bryan Wright in Black Knight while Dave Radzierez cruised to victory in the Star Marshal when Chris Bergeron in General Tire was unable to make the call.

    The semi-final round began with Raminator taking on Star Marshal for a trip to the finals and Mark Hall laid down a solid pass to defeat Razeriez. That win put the pressure on Runte as he had to race Mat Dishman in Rammunition. The two waged a great battle but Dishman used the big momentum off the outside lane coming to the line to edge out Runte and knock out Bigfoot. This would effectively close the point gap to 40 as Hall moved on to the finals.

    In the all Hall Brothers Racing finale, Hall would have the chance to tie it all up by taking down his teammate. But in monster truck racing, there aren’t any team orders and Dishman would pull out all the stops to try and beat the boss. In another great battle, Dishman used the outside lane once again to carry incredible speed coming to the line, leaving Raminator in the dust and taking his third win of the 2011 General Tire Monster Truck Thunder Drags season. The race would be a missed opportunity for Hall as he exited the first race of the weekend still 40 points behind Runte.

    A Hall Brothers Racing showdown in the finals of the Saturday afternoon race would see Mat Dishman in Rammunition in victory lane.

    Here is a look at the racing bracket results and points after race #1:

    Round One

    Raminator def. Lucas Oil Stabilizer
    Star Marshal def. General Tire (General Tire unable to make call)
    Bigfoot def. Heavy Hitter
    Rammunition def. Black Knight

    Semi-Finals

    Raminator def. Star Marshal
    Rammunition def. Bigfoot

    Final Round

    Rammunition def. Raminator

    Unofficial Point Standings – After Saturday Afternoon Race

    1st – Bigfoot – 1600
    2nd – Raminator – 1560
    3rd – Rammunition – 1440
    4th – General Tire – 1200
    5th – Lucas Oil Stabilizer – 960
    6th – Star Marshal – 920
    7th – Avenger – 880
    8th – Chalkboard Chuck – 640
    9th – Crushstation – 600
    10th – Samson – 440
    11th – Black Knight – 320
    12th – Heavy Hitter – 80

    Kid KJ impressed all weekend as he continues to improve, pulling off some great moves in his mini monster truck, the Monster Bear.

    After a great freestyle display from all the trucks to close out the afternoon event, the teams would go to work on the trucks with one race under their belts and a better idea of the adjustments needed to improve on the setups for the evening race. The focus in round one would continue to be on Bigfoot and Raminator with the gap close to just 40 points.

    Rich Hilgendorf leads the way in freestyle Saturday afternoon with a great performance from the Avenger.

    Round one racing would see Dan Runte in Bigfoot make quick work of Joe Nichter in Stomper while Mark Hall in Raminator would receive a bye run when Rich Hilgendorf in Avenger was unable to make the call due to rear steering issues. Derick Anson in Heavy Hitter made Mat Dishman sweat in their match-up as he was pulling away when the truck swung wide in the final turn, making contact with and knocking over the giant O’Reilly’s inflatable to the delight of the crowd. Dishman would go on to win. “Hillbilly” would be back behind the wheel of the Black Knight and was very solid in his win over Bobby Holman in Chalkboard Chuck.

    The semi-finals would see what might have been one of the most important races of the weekend as the two championship contenders went head to head. If Runte could win it, he would move back to 80 points ahead of Hall, while if Raminator won, the points race would be all tied up. Both trucks charged off the line, but Runte made great time through the rhythm section, entering the final turn very close on the inside. With a perfect turn, Runte was able to put the power down and leave Raminator behind, taking a huge win to move on to the finals. In the other semi-final match-up, “Hillbilly” in Black Knight made Mat Dishman work for it but lost it in the final turn as Rammunition powered by for the victory.

    With an 80 point lead going into the final round, Runte could effectively wrap up the championship with a win in the finals. If he could carry a 120 point lead into the final race, he would need only to start and even if Hall won the Sunday event, the points would result in a tie for the championship. The tiebreaker would be # of race wins on the season and that would go to Runte and Bigfoot with 5 wins.

    Not being exactly aware of the math, Dan Runte did know that a win in the finals would be huge and had Bigfoot on kill, ready to try and take down Mat Dishman and Rammunition. Dishman had looked great all weekend in the outside lane coming to the finish and that is the lane he had for the finals. The trucks stayed near even to the final turn where Runte whipped Bigfoot around in a perfect turn allowing him to get the power down as Dishman came charging hard on the outside. At the line, it was Runte taking the win by about a truck length but Rammunition came flying by in the air leaving the trucks side by side as they landed.

    Dan Runte in Bigfoot takes a decisive final round victory Saturday night in Indy, while Mat Dishman charges hard toward the shutdown area.

    Both trucks took hard landings but Bigfoot landed sideways, breaking a sway bar and sending the truck towards Rammunition. Runte gave a great effort to gather up Bigfoot but it would be to no avail as the trucks made contact, sending both out of control. There was no saving Bigfoot as Runte went for a hard rollover onto the cab and then back onto the wheels. Dishman continued on trying to save the truck but finally the tires caught in the dirt sending Rammunition over hard onto the cage.

    Bigfoot and Rammunition make contact in the shutdown area which would send both trucks out of control and over onto their lid.

    Track officials and crew members and drivers ran to the trucks as thankfully both drivers emerged slightly shaken up but otherwise unscathed from the hard crash. Officials made a quick review to ensure the call was correct, and yes it was Bigfoot by a truck length at the finish line taking the win and all but wrapping up the championship.

    After a lengthy cleanup on the track and darkness consuming the Indiana State Fairgrounds, the decision was made by track officials to cancel freestyle in the interest of safety. With the layout changes due to the closing of the main grandstand, the big lights atop the grandstand were unavailable leaving much of the track in near complete darkness.

    Here are the full results and resulting point standings after race #2:

    Round One

    Bigfoot def. Stomper
    Raminator def. Avenger (Avenger unable to make call)
    Rammunition def. Heavy Hitter
    Black Knight def. Chalkboard Chuck

    Semi-Finals

    Bigfoot def. Raminator
    Rammunition def. Black Knight

    Final Round

    Bigfoot def. Rammunition

    Unofficial Point Standings – After Saturday Night Race

    1st – Bigfoot – 1800
    2nd – Raminator – 1680
    3rd – Rammunition – 1600
    4th – General Tire – 1200
    5th – Lucas Oil Stabilizer – 960
    6th – Avenger – 960
    7th – Star Marshal – 920
    8th – Chalkboard Chuck – 720
    9th – Crushstation – 600
    Tie – 10th – Samson – 440
    Tie – 10th – Black Knight – 440
    13th – Heavy Hitter – 160
    14th – Stomper – 80

    To clinch the championship title, Runte and the Bigfoot team would at least have to make an appearance in round one in the final race on Sunday. As the team checked over the truck, they found several spots in the chassis that would need welding and immediately sent out calls to team drivers Larry Swim and Darron Schnell to be on standby to bring Bigfoot #14 and Bigfoot #11 from their display events to Indianapolis for Runte to compete in on Sunday. After further review of the damage, the team decided to make the repairs to #16 and working through the night and into the morning, the truck was ready to race on Sunday.

    The very first race would see the championship decided without question or need for a tiebreaker as Dan Runte and Bigfoot cruised to an easy victory over Joe Nichter in Stomper. With the teams not 100% of the points math in the pits, all Mark Hall knew was that he needed to win and hope for the best, and he began that quest by marching to victory over Rich Hilgendorf in Avenger. Derick Anson in Heavy Hitter continued to impress as he defeated Mat Dishman in Rammunition, while Bobby Holman scored his first round win of the weekend, driving Chalkboard Chuck to the victory over Black Knight.

    Even though the championship math had already been decided, this was still not certain in the pits setting up a huge match-up between Bigfoot and Raminator in the semi-finals. In what was probably the closest race of the entire weekend, Dan Runte edged Mark Hall by less than a tire length to erase any doubt as he moved on to the finals and was officially announced by Family Events to the crowd as the 2011 General Tire Monster Truck Thunder Drags Champion. Derick Anson cruised to the win over Chalkboard Chuck and was looking to really make an impression with a win in the finals.

    Dan Runte defeats Mark Hall in the closest race of the weekend in the Sunday semi-finals.

    The championship battle started close going into Indy, but Dan Runte like the legend and champion he is, never faltered and now entered the final round with the opportunity to celebrate the title with yet another win on the season. Anson was looking to spoil the Bigfoot party and gave a great effort, giving Runte all he could handle. As they came out of the final turn, Runte began to pull away and took the big win. Bigfoot cruised by the stands as they crowd saluted Dan Runte as the Sunday racing victor and the 2011 General Tire Monster Truck Thunder Drags champion.

    Dan Runte takes the final win of the weekend on Sunday, taking down the impressive Derick Anson in Heavy Hitter.

    Freestyle would see great efforts from all the trucks and drivers as they closed out a great 30th Anniversary of the 4-Wheel Jamboree Nationals at the Indiana State Fairgrounds.

    Chris Bergeron lets it all hang out in the General Tire machine in the Sunday freestyle finale.

    Here are the bracket results from the final race and the unofficial final season point standings:

    Round One

    Bigfoot def. Stomper
    Raminator def. Avenger
    Heavy Hitter def. Rammunition
    Chalkboard Chuck def. Black Knight

    Semi-Finals

    Bigfoot def. Raminator
    Heavy Hitter def. Chalkboard Chuck

    Final Round

    Bigfoot def. Heavy Hitter

    Unofficial Point Standings – After Sunday Afternoon Race

    1st – Bigfoot – 2000
    2nd – Raminator – 1800
    3rd – Rammunition – 1680
    4th – General Tire – 1200
    5th – Lucas Oil Stabilizer – 960
    6th – Avenger – 740
    7th – Star Marshal – 920
    8th – Chalkboard Chuck – 840
    9th – Crushstation – 600
    Tie – 10th – Samson – 440
    Tie – 10th – Black Knight – 520
    13th – Heavy Hitter – 320
    14th – Stomper – 160

    All of us at TheMonsterBlog.com would like to send a big congratulations to Dan Runte and all of Team BIGFOOT on their 2011 General Tire Monster Truck Thunder Drags title. We would also like to salute Hall Brothers Racing on their incredible 10 year streak of winning that championship. Although the streak may have ended, there is no denying that their decade of domination is one of the greatest feats in monster truck history.

    Stay tuned for an incredible amount of TMB coverage coming your way from the 30th Indianapolis 4-Wheel Jamboree Nationals. You’ll see photo galleries from Danny Maass and Paul Harry, a highlight video from Colby Marshall and full event coverage in two episodes of Chris Parrish’s ActionTracks. Be sure to check out the TMB Facebook for more teaser photos from the weekend’s action.

    A big thanks to everyone with Family Events for their hospitality this weekend and to all the teams and drivers for their great efforts this season, and also a big tip of the hat to new head track official Lee Collins on really taking some of the racing at the Jamborees to the next level this year with some great track designs including the unique S-track this weekend in Indy.

    After such an incredible season of General Tire Monster Truck Thunder Drags racing, we’re already counting down to Springfield, Missouri in 2012 where the chase for another championship will begin anew!

    (Article by Ross Z. Bonar, Photos By Danny Maass & Bob Chandler, Video Footage By Ross Z. Bonar & Michael Harry)

    Video of the Week – 09/17/11

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    Week Ending: September 17th, 2011
    Truck(s) Featured: E3 Spark Plugs Bigfoot #16 (Dan Runte), Rammunition (Mat Dishman)
    Video Type: TMB Video
    Courtesy: www.YouTube.com

    Description: The incredible final round of Saturday night’s racing in Indianapolis where Dan Runte and Mat Dishman wage an epic battle and then both crash after making contact after the finish line!

    Team BIGFOOT & Firestone Will Debut New Look at Indy 500

    The new look Firestone BIGFOOT that will debut at the 2011 Indianapolis 500.

    (Hazelwood, MO – BIGFOOT 4×4 PR) – Team BIGFOOT will debut an all-new paint scheme in Indianapolis this week in celebration of Firestone’s 100 Years of Racing. The truck will stand as one of the focal points of Firestone’s corporate exhibit in the garage area of the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, which will be open for viewing May 9th through the 31st. This all-new paint job features plenty of red, white, and blue as well as a checkered flag motif and custom Firestone graphics that pay homage to both Firestone and BIGFOOT’s legendary racing history.

    The new look Firestone BIGFOOT that will debut at the 2011 Indianapolis 500.

    “We’re thrilled to present BIGFOOT to all of the great racing fans from around the world who will be in Indianapolis to enjoy the Indy 500 and all of the surrounding activities,” said BIGFOOT Vice President Bob Trent. “Firestone has taken BIGFOOT to some awesome places over the years, and Indy is certainly one of our favorites.”

    He went on to add that “BIGFOOT will also be bringing all of its fine sponsors to Indy as well. In some forms of racing, special paint jobs don’t always incorporate all of a team’s sponsors. That is definitely not the case with our Firestone 100 Years of Racing BIGFOOT. Our entire logo and decal placement is consistent with that found on our touring fleet of competition and display BIGFOOT trucks. This is just one of the many ways for us to say ‘thank you’ to the fine companies that help keep us atop the industry.”

    BIGFOOT helps celebrate Firestone's 100 Years of Racing.

    The Firestone 100 Years of Racing BIGFOOT paint scheme will appear in Indianapolis atop the team’s BIGFOOT #8 chassis, which to this day stands as one of the most successful and vital monster trucks of all time.

    “BIGFOOT #8 has one of the richest racing histories in our fleet of trucks,” said Trent. “We felt that it would be fitting to represent our team, our industry, and all of our sponsors with one of the most important trucks in history. We hope to see everyone there!”

    For more information on Team BIGFOOT, check out their website at www.Bigfoot4x4.com.

    Monster Photos – Monster Jam – Indianapolis, IN 2011

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    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

    Monster Photos – Monster Jam – Indianapolis, IN 2011

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    Event: Monster Jam
    Venue: Lucas Oil Stadium
    Location: Indianapolis, Indiana
    Date: January 29th, 2011
    Photographer: Michael Harry

    Lineup: Air Force Afterburner (Damon Bradshaw), Bad Habit (Joe Sylvester), Black Stallion (Mike Vaters), Bounty Hunter (Jimmy Creten), Dragon’s Breath (Becky McDonough), Grave Digger (Charlie Pauken), Ground Pounder (Chris Ryan), Iron Outlaw (Ben Winslow), Iron Warrior (Trey Meyers), Lucas Oil Crusader (Linsey Weenk), Maximum Destruction (Tom Meents), Michigan Ice Monster (Chris Lagana), Rap Attack (Dave Rappach), Superman (Chad Fortune) [Read more...]

    Monster Photos – Monster Jam – Indianapolis, IN 2011

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    Event: Monster Jam
    Venue: Lucas Oil Stadium
    Location: Indianapolis, Indiana
    Date: January 29th, 2011
    Photographer: Paul M. Harry

    Lineup: Air Force Afterburner (Damon Bradshaw), Bad Habit (Joe Sylvester), Black Stallion (Mike Vaters), Bounty Hunter (Jimmy Creten), Dragon’s Breath (Becky McDonough), Grave Digger (Charlie Pauken), Ground Pounder (Chris Ryan), Iron Outlaw (Ben Winslow), Iron Warrior (Trey Meyers), Lucas Oil Crusader (Linsey Weenk), Maximum Destruction (Tom Meents), Michigan Ice Monster (Chris Lagana), Rap Attack (Dave Rappach), Superman (Chad Fortune) [Read more...]

    Monster Photos – Monster Jam – Indianapolis, IN 2011

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    Event: Monster Jam
    Venue: Lucas Oil Stadium
    Location: Indianapolis, Indiana
    Date: January 29th, 2011
    Photographer: Chris Parrish

    Lineup: Air Force Afterburner (Damon Bradshaw), Bad Habit (Joe Sylvester), Black Stallion (Mike Vaters), Bounty Hunter (Jimmy Creten), Dragon’s Breath (Becky McDonough), Grave Digger (Charlie Pauken), Ground Pounder (Chris Ryan), Iron Outlaw (Ben Winslow), Iron Warrior (Trey Meyers), Lucas Oil Crusader (Linsey Weenk), Maximum Destruction (Tom Meents), Michigan Ice Monster (Chris Lagana), Rap Attack (Dave Rappach), Superman (Chad Fortune) [Read more...]

    TMB TV: MT Unlimited Episode 1.3 – Double Feature

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    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...]

    Video of the Week – 09/25/10

    Week Ending:  September 25th, 2010
    Truck(s) Featured:  Raminator (Mark Hall), Tail Gator (Doug Noelke)
    Video Type:  TMB TV Preview Video
    Courtesy:  www.YouTube.com

    Description:  The 2010 Indy 4-Wheel Jamboree Nationals featured a wild new track design similar to that used in some of the West Coast baseball stadium Monster Jam events. The race course delivered an outstanding final round Friday night as Mark Hall and Doug Noelke battled to the finish.

    TMB TV Episode 2.14 – Indianapolis, IN

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    Events:  4-Wheel Jamboree Nationals & Midwest 4-Wheel Drive Open House
    Venues:  Indiana State Fairgrounds & Midwest 4-Wheel Drive
    Locations:  Indianapolis, Indiana & Hazelwood, Missouri
    Dates:  September 18th-19th & September 26th, 2009
    Host:  Ross Z. Bonar, Colby Marshall
    Videographer:  Colby Marshall, Ross Z. Bonar

    Lineup (Indianapolis):  Avenger (Jim Koehler), Bigfoot #16 (Dan Runte), Brutus (Chris Bergeron), General Tire (Steve Koehler), High Maintenance (Jocelyn Perrin), Raminator (Mark Hall), Rammunition (Geremie Dishman), Spike (Rich Hilgendorf)
    Lineup (Hazelwood):  Bigfoot #10 (Rodney Tweedy), Bigfoot #15 (Rick Long), Snake Bite #14 (Larry Swim) [Read more...]

    TMB TV Episode 1.8 – Indianapolis, IN

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    Event:   4-Wheel Jamboree Nationals
    Venue:  Indiana State Fairgrounds
    Location:  Indianapolis, Indiana
    Date:  September 20th-21st, 2008
    Host:  Kyle Doyle
    Videographer:  Colby Marshall

    Lineup: Avenger (Jim Koehler), Big Dawg (Chris Ludwig), Hushpower Diesel (Dave Radzierez), Raminator (Mark Hall), Rammunition (Geremie Dishman), Spike (Chris Bergeron), Summit Bigfoot #16 (Dan Runte), Tail Gator (Doug Noelke) [Read more...]