Monster Photos: BIGFOOT 4×4 Autism Speaks Benefit Crush – Hazelwood, MO 2014

Event Information

Event: Autism Speaks’ Light It Up Blue With BIGFOOT
Venue: BIGFOOT 4×4, Inc.
Location: Hazelwood, Missouri
Date: April 2nd, 2014
Photographer: Danny Maass

Truck Lineup

Odyssey Battery Bigfoot #20 (Jim Kramer), Summit Bigfoot #19 (Chris Ludwig) [Read more…]

Monster Photos: Monster X Tour – Fort Wayne, IN 2014

Event Information

Event: Monster X Tour
Venue: Allen County War Memorial Coliseum
Location: Fort Wayne, Indiana
Date: March 15th, 2014
Photographer: Paul Harry

Truck Lineup

Ballistic (Mac Plecker), California Kid (Justin Cluster), Firestone Bigfoot #11 (Kevin Koszala), Nite Stalker (Dalton Van Skyhawk), Odyssey Battery Bigfoot #20 (Jim Kramer), Reverse Racer (Robert Brett) [Read more…]

TMB TV: MT Unlimited Moment – Odyssey Battery Bigfoot #20 Car Crush

Event: BIGFOOT 4×4 Autism Speaks Benefit
Venue: Midwest 4-Wheel Drive
Location: Hazelwood, Missouri
Date: April 17th, 2013
Videographer: Colby Marshall

Lineup: Odyssey Battery Bigfoot #20 – Jim Kramer [Read more…]

The Allen Report: Autism Speaks – Phoenix, AZ 2013

(Coverage By Christopher Allen, Photos By Jim Allen)

Weekend Recap

At the time of this writing, just days remain before the first ever Stadium Super Trucks race at University of Phoenix Stadium. But before that, Team Bigfoot had some special audience members to please: Young people with autism. On World Autism Awareness Day dozens of families gathered in the stadium’s parking lot to watch Bigfoot #20 crush cars to benefit the team’s newest sponsor, Autism Speaks.

Driving duties went to Monster Truck Hall of Famer Jim Kramer. And there was no problem whatsoever with noise. Bigfoot #20 is the worlds first and, thus far, only all electric powered monster truck. So the biggest noise came from the cars themselves as the 66 inch tall tires rolled right over them. The night culminated in the unveiling of Team Bigfoot’s Autism Speaks body, complete with the company’s signature puzzle piece logo. The families must have loved it because they clapped and cheered and took many pictures of the new body.

Now the curtain is about to rise on Robby Gordon’s reboot of stadium off road racing, and more highlights are on the way from us here at “The Allen Report” from just that event. That being said, thank you for reading, thanks so much to University of Phoenix Stadium for hosting this touching event, enjoy the photos and cheer on!

Photo Gallery

All content copyright TheMonsterBlog.com 2013.

Monster Photos: Odyssey Battery BIGFOOT #20 Test Session – Hazelwood, MO

Event: Odyssey Battery BIGFOOT #20 Test Session
Venue: BIGFOOT 4×4
Location: Hazelwood, Missouri
Date: November 8th, 2012
Photographer: Danny Maass

Lineup: Odyssey Battery Bigfoot #20 (Jim Kramer) [Read more…]

BIGFOOT’s Jim Kramer Leads 2012 Hall of Fame Class

(Hazelwood, MO – Team BIGFOOT PR) – Legendary BIGFOOT driver Jim Kramer, one of the most successful and pioneering drivers in the history of monster trucks, led the 2012 class of inductees into the International Monster Truck Museum Hall of Fame this past weekend in Auburn, Indiana.

Kramer, who now joins longtime-friend and BIGFOOT creator Bob Chandler in the Hall of Fame, was the only member of the 2012 class to receive the virtual unanimous thumbs-up for induction from the voting committee, not to mention the overwhelming support for his induction from the industry and its fans on the whole.

Jim Kramer received the most votes of any nominee in the 2012 IMTM Hall of Fame Class.

With 2012 being Kramer’s 30th anniversary with the BIGFOOT team, nearly half of which was spent in the spotlight as one of the team’s most successful drivers, it is fitting that a man who has contributed so much to both his team and industry should find himself inducted into the Hall of Fame in only its second year of operation.

Kramer began his career with BIGFOOT during the mid 1970’s, when he helped Chandler create the parent company that would eventually give birth to the BIGFOOT fleet of trucks, Midwest Four Wheel Drive & Performance Center in the St. Louis suburb of Ferguson, MO. After selling his stake in the company and taking a hiatus from the 4-wheel drive industry for a few years, Kramer returned at the beginning of the 1980’s to help Chandler campaign his growing fleet of BIGFOOT trucks, which were beginning to gain traction in the public eye.

The popularity of BIGFOOT soared in the 1980’s, largely in part due to Kramer’s aggressive driving style and charismatic on-camera personality that left the competition both frustrated, and admiring. In 1985, Kramer won the first-ever side-by-side monster truck racing event at the New Orleans Superdome, thus setting in motion the wheels that would carry the monster truck industry from a side-show halftime act at tractor pulls into a full-fledged legitimate motorsport.

Not only was Kramer at the tip of the spear as the team’s lead driver for most of the 80’s, but he also was the team’s point man for bringing up new talent through the ranks, a job that he still maintains to this day. Kramer also was and still is a huge proponent of monster truck safety, and his notable contributions include assisting in the development and testing of BIGFOOT #8 in 1989, which set a new standard for both driver and fan safety at the time of its debut.

“I’m extremely honored to be inducted into the Hall of Fame, alongside some of this sport’s truly great personalities,” said Kramer in a post-ceremony interview. “It truly humbles me to receive this recognition not just from the fans, who thank goodness have always stood by me, but from my peers and associates as well. I can’t say ‘thank you’ enough to everyone.”

Jim Kramer delivers his acceptance speech at the 2nd Annual IMTM Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony.

After accepting his award in the midst of a standing ovation, Kramer, who is well-known for his smooth delivery and collected demeanor when speaking in public, was notably moved during his acceptance speech. In fact, his voice could even be heard cracking a couple of times as he described the sacrifices that 30 years of racing has demanded from him, including time away from his family while campaigning BIGFOOT full-time in the 80’s.

“Jim is a great friend, a great competitor, and all of us at BIGFOOT are very proud of him, and very happy to see him enter the Hall of Fame after contributing so much to this sport,” said BIGFOOT creator Bob Chandler. “I’m extremely happy for him, he truly deserves this; he’s definitely earned it.”

With the 2012 Hall of Fame weekend having drawn to a close, Kramer will now shift his focus forward towards the 2013 season, which now stands less than two months away.

“We’ve got a lot of work to get done before we head out on the road and start racing again in January,” said Kramer. “We’ll be fielding at least one new race truck during the first quarter of 2013, possibly even two. And that’s not to mention BIGFOOT #20, the world’s first electric monster truck, we’ll likely be doing some stuff with that as well, seeing as how popular the truck was at the SEMA show during its public unveiling.”

“Who knows,” added Kramer, a wry smile crossing his face. “I might just suit up one more time and see what that electric truck’s got.”

For more information on Team BIGFOOT, check them out online at www.Bigfoot4x4.com!

Monster Photos: IMTM Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony & Reunion – Auburn, IN 2012

Event: 2nd Annual International Monster Truck Museum Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony & Reunion
Venue: International Monster Truck Museum @ The American Heritage Village
Location: Auburn, Indiana
Date: November 3rd, 2012
Photographer: Danny Maass

Hall of Fame Class of 2012: Jim Kramer (BIGFOOT 4×4), Mike Welch (Super Pete/Monster Mash/etc), George Carpenter (Promoter/Safety Director/Official/etc), Pablo Huffaker (King Krunch/Just Show’n Off/Grave Digger/etc), Dennis Anderson (Grave Digger) [Read more…]

Monster Truck Radio 10/08/12 – Summer Recap Show

Monster Truck Radio With Host Ross Z. Bonar & Co-Host Chris Parrish
Date: Monday, October 8th, 2012
Guest #1: Dennis Anderson, driver of Grave Digger
Guest #2: Jeff Cook, President of the International Monster Truck Museum & Hall of Fame
Guest #3: Jim Kramer, Vice President, Bigfoot 4×4
Guest #4: Rob French, driver of Formula 1-noni Iron Horse
Guest #5: Dan Rodoni, driver of The Patriot
Guest #6: Jeff Richards, Vice President, Monster Truck Entertainment [Read more…]

Monster Truck Radio 06/25/12 – Jim Kramer

Monster Truck Radio With Hosts Ross Z. Bonar, Jeff Richards & Chris Parrish
Date: Monday, June 25th, 2012
Guest #1: Jim Kramer, legendary driver of BIGFOOT
Guest #2: N/A [Read more…]

Old Skool Motorsports Tour Kicks Off In Augusta

The premiere event for the new monster truck promoter, Old Skool Motorsports, provided a gathering of monster truck history, the likes of which probably hasn’t been seen since the early days of the sport. The location was Augusta, GA, typically known as the home of the Masters Golf Tournament. However, this weekend it would not be the quiet on the greens of Augusta National as the PGA’s best attempted to win the coveted green jacket that would be making headlines. Instead, it was Gordon Park Speedway, a 1/2 mile, high-banked, red Georgia clay oval making history with monster trucks! Needless to say, there would be no quiet in Augusta this weekend.

The event marked the return of Everett Jasmer’s USA-1 to the national spotlight. After 20 years of limited performances for the famous champion monster truck, Jasmer made the 21 hour journey from Ham Lake, MN to Augusta, GA, to kick off this premiere event. After 20 years, essentially out of any major spotlight, one would fear that the beautiful red, white and blue 1988 Chevy Silverado might have suffered the same fate as many other classic monster trucks from its time and rusted away to nothing. Fear not, Everett Jasmer has maintained the first world champion monster truck in impeccable form. I promise you that the truck is every bit as beautiful as it was when it won the first world championship in 1988. Jasmer would provide a very special role in this event.

The Augusta weekend would see the return of the beautiful 1988 championship winning USA-1 machine.

Old Skool Motorsports, as documented on previously on TMB, hopes to combine old school monster truck history with current monster truck technology and show a real progression of where the monster truck sport has been, currently is, and how it got there.

Between the old school ranks and new school race trucks, this event provided over 250 years of experience in the monster truck industry. Let me say that again for emphasis, 250 years! Where does all this experience come from you might ask? As we have mentioned, Everett Jasmer with his USA-1 was present, one of the original monster trucks. Clearly, not all of this experience could come from the presence of old school style trucks. The faces behind this event are Chandler Lloyd, former driver of the Overtime monster truck and Rodney Tweedy, former Champion Bigfoot pilot.

The racing field of monster trucks provided a vast amount of experience as well. Most of all, we have Bennett Clark in Outlaw Clydesdale. This is the man who used to drive the bright pink truck simply known as Clydesdale, rode Brahma bulls, and is still sporting his trademark black cowboy hat. Rarely to be outdone on experience, Allen Pezo, the man that began in the mid 80’s driving his Lone Eagle monster truck and has been behind the wheel of Predator for over two decades was present in his Predator race truck. On top of that, on hand was Mac Plecker in Ballistic, Lenny Kuilder in Prowler, Zach Adams in Defender and making her competitive debut was “Fancy” Nancy Weston in Black Knight. The event had innovators of the sport as well as newcomers just trying to make a name for themselves. And don’t forget that Kid KJ was on hand in his mini monster, Monster Bear, who is undeniably the future of the sport at seven years old.

Now as the reader, you may be thinking, “That is a lot of experience, but that doesn’t seem to quite add up.” Well, you are correct. There has been some omission to this point. A very special surprise appearance was in store for the fans at the Old Skool Motorsports show. While all participants were being introduced on the front stretch of Gordon Park Speedway, our special guests make their appearance over the banking in turn two. They are none other than Bob Chandler and Jim Kramer piloting THE ORIGINAL MONSTER TRUCK…BIGFOOT 1! This surprise proceeds to launch the crowd in Augusta into orbit as Jim Kramer pilots Bigfoot 1 down the frontstretch with monster truck icon Bob Chandler in the bed of the truck holding the American flag. The truck then eases to a stop, face to face with Everett Jasmer’s iconic USA-1 as Jasmer provides a salute, one icon to another. This is a sight that may have never been seen previously, the first monster truck and the first world champion face to face. This moment held many fans in captivation as well as many of the other monster truck competitors. The phrases “goosebumps” and “choked up” amongst others would frequent the lips of those present the remainder of the weekend. It was truly a magical moment.

The first monster truck and the first championship winning monster truck.

Though the original monster truck would not see car crushing action this weekend, Everett Jasmer in USA-1 was intent on putting on a memorable display. Jasmer then proceeded to climb back into the cab of the USA-1 monster truck and began buckling down into that famous seat. Jasmer, known as one of the original few monster trucks, is the only one of those original icons in the sport to be performing with his truck to this day, and a performance he would provide. Once buckled in, Jasmer hits the ignition on the famous Chevy and the engine ROARS to life. The truck sounds exactly as potent as it did when it was flying the length of straightaways over old junkers. Everett then eases towards the cars to perform a simple car crush, but throttles the USA-1 truck and sends the front wheels high into the air. This would be a crush to remember. Jasmer would proceed to attack the obstacles numerous times before coming to rest on top of the junk cars, climbing out of the cab and saluting the crowd, much to their pleasure. Do not be fooled, the crowd in Augusta were not the only ones enjoying themselves. Each and every driver of the other monster trucks had their eyes intently locked on USA-1 on the fronstretch, it was also fully apparent that this moment was one that Everett Jasmer himself looked forward to so much.

The host of TMB TV's ActionTracks, Chris Parrish, interviews the legend himself, Everett Jasmer.

As show time approached the second day, I once again found myself awestruck and gaping at the wonder that is the beautiful USA-1 truck as it sat on display in front of the venue when Everett Jasmer walked up seemingly preparing to stage the truck for the evening’s event. Observing my dumbstruck facial expression, Everett proceeded to make the ultimate offer, “Jump in and I’ll give you a ride.” As I clamored up the tire with great effort, I tried to avoid falling into what would undoubtedly be a puddle of my own drool. Once in the cab, the resemblance to a stock pickup truck is apparent. The dash is fully intact, though standard gauges are replaced with carefully placed and fabricated racing gauges. Everett prepares to fire the truck and WHOOM the supercharged 572ci Chevy engine rips to life reverberating a sound unparalleled. The truck sits and growls, simply oozing the feel of horsepower. Slowly, the USA -1 truck eases into motion and we proceed to the staging position for the night’s events and straight into a memory I will never forget.

With all of the history that was taking place, as of Saturday evening one moment was still missing and I feared the opportunity might not arise. Then just before show time, the magic moment happens as Bigfoot 1 and USA-1 are staged side by side on the peak of the banking in turn number two providing the photographic moment that dreams are made of. I sprint over to turn two fearing that the opportunity may pass before I can click my camera into exhaustion. I am not the only one that notices this unique moment as several other drivers meander over and behold the sight. As the moment begins to pass, an emphatic exclamation point is placed on an unbelievable weekend that I will never forget.

Did we mention there were modern day monster trucks on hand as well? You'd understand if we'd forgotten.

On top of all the old school euphoria, there was modern day monster truck racing, freestyle and even a wheelie contest, as well as Dirty Dingus Magee, motocross and Kid KJ in his Monster Bear junior monster truck. There were outstanding performances and great action as Mac Plecker in Ballistic swept the entire weekend, however it was the compilation of several of the originators of the sport in one place that made this weekend most amazing. To see all of these historic faces casually mingling in the pit area over the course of the weekend, discussing anything and everything as if it was th 198o’s, was a memory of a lifetime. I cannot thank all of the participants enough for the memories they contributed to this weekend, but it would not have been possible without the efforts of Chandler Lloyd and Rodney Tweedy in organizing Old Skool Motorsports. Be sure to stay tuned to TheMonsterBlog.com for all of the exciting events coming soon from Old Skool Motorsports.

Next Event:
May 13-14, 2011 at the Sevier Co. Fairgrounds, Sevierville, TN

More Information:
www.OldSkoolMotorsports.com

Don’t forget you’ll see all the great action from the event, as well as interviews with Everett Jasmer, Bob Chandler and more on the next episode TMB TV’s ActionTracks premiering Wednesday, May 18th!

(Article & Photos By Chris Parrish)