Dirt’s Monster Half Mile was the site for some great Monster Truck Racing on Saturday night. Diehl of Robinson sponsored the Monster Mania event which featured Krazy Train, Backdraft, Bigfoot, Raminator, Aftershock and Rap Attack. The night also showcased UTV racing and a Figure 8 demo derby.
Before the main event, fans were able to take rides around Pittsburgh Pennsylvania’s Motor Speedway in a monster truck and get up close and personal in a pit party where the could meet the drivers and stand next to their favorite monster trucks. After the pit party, the monster trucks made their way to the track and started off the night’s event with a wheelie competition. Getting some huge air, Bigfoot was declared the winner. Next was the side-by-side elimination racing. The first race featured the Raminator vs. Backdraft. At the drop of the green flag, Raminator took the early lead and was easily able to defeat Backdraft. In the next race, Butler’s Eric Tack, driving Bigfoot, claimed the win after Krazy Train stalled. In the final elimination, Aftershock was the winner when Rap Attack experienced mechanical problems.
UTV racing was showcased next in a race that determined how the three drivers would line up in the main event. Joe Sylvester of Canfield, OH, dominated from the start and took the first place position. Previously, Sylvester broke the world record in monster truck jumps by jumping an incredible 237 feet! Traveling all the way from California, Brian Osborne – Lucas Oil’s UTV Rookie of the Year – finished second and local driver, Gary Meyers of Burgettstown, finished third. Later that night, Sylvester came out on top again, completing the 6 lap race to take first, followed by Osborne and Meyers.
The monster trucks were back at it again in the semi-finals, and in the end it would be Raminator versus Bigfoot.
Next up was the Figure 8 demo derby race. Four drivers were on hand to compete in the 15 lap event – Sam McGurvey, Kurt Halbedl, Andrew Loria and Josh Langer. McGurvey took the early lead and lapped the cars of Langer and Halbedl. Loria remained in pursuit of the lead and was finally able to overcome McGurvey after McGurvey’s left front tire went flat. In the end it was Loria, McGurvey, Langer and Halbedl. This was Andrew Loria’s fourth Figure 8 demo derby win.
In the head-to-head final event, Mark Hall of Champaign, IL, was in the Ramintor and was competing against Eric Tack from Butler, PA in Bigfoot. Bigfoot grabbed some huge air but he was not able to beat the Raminator, who was strong all night long.
After a brief intermission, the monster trucks were ready for the fan favorite freestyle event. Leading off was Bigfoot who put on a solid performance, crushing cars and getting big air over the dirt jumps. Next up was Ty Cornelius in Backdraft, who came out with the siren blaring and the lights flashing to the delight of the fans. Not to be outdone, Krazy Train, driven by Lloyd Twitchel of Rochester, NY, followed by blowing the train whistle and getting some great hang time over the jumps. He finished up his performance with some doughnuts in the dirt. Buffalo, New York’s Bob Robbins in Aftershock didn’t waste any time, doing doughnuts early in his performance and doing wheelies, putting it all on the table. The Raminator, with the ram’s red eyes glowing, started strong again but ended up with a left front flat tire and had to retire for the night. Finally, last year’s freestyle winner, Dave Rappach in the Rap Attack, capped off a great night of monster truck performances by going all out and putting on a great show until he rolled the truck and ended up on his roof. Dave was okay and was declared the winner of the freestyle event again by the fans.