Photo Credit: Rajeana Bonar, TheMonsterBlog.com
After nearly a month layoff, the 4-Wheel Jamboree tour picked right back up in the state that can be considered the birthplace of monster trucks. Nine of the toughest machines made the trip to the Ozark Empire Fairgrounds for two days of competition, hitting the unique turning course set up on the pavement.
Entering the weekend, the focus was on the Hall Brothers team, specifically the Raminator of Mark Hall. After Lima, Hall held the points lead by a wide margin, thanks in part to his complete sweep of the weekend, winning 16 rounds of racing and all four finals.
But the field was ready to take him down, and included one jamboree newcomer that had a big name to uphold.
Representing Team Bigfoot for the first time in the 4-Wheel Jamboree tour was Kyle Doyle, who would pilot Bigfoot #14, wearing the black and red Firestone colors. Doyle got a new set of Firestone tires the previous weekend, however did not have time to cut them for competition, but still came out ready to take out the top guns on the tour.
The first show at 1 p.m. saw much of the same once again. Hall went directly into round 2 thanks to the odd number of trucks, then defeated Dave Radzierez in the XDP Diesel, followed by Derick Anson in the Heavy Hitter Chevrolet, and would meet his teammate Mat Dishman, driving the Rammunition, in the finals.
The shallow cut tires would work to perfection, as Hall powered his Ram to victory, his fifth straight of the tour and first of the weekend.
Freestyle for the afternoon was judged by the fans, and in both a surprising and not-so-surprising ending, it was Radzierez showing that he can muscle the XDP machine to some big air, and incredible cyclones. The highlight of the run came when he launched his Cummins-powered Ford skyward across the mud pit. He didn't quite make it across, causing the back of the truck to get a little dirty, but the fans were turned on by the run he put on.
As the afternoon wore on, everyone was focused on doing everything possible to get past Hall, who was going after an unheard of six-straight wins in jamboree competition. No driver has been that dominant on a jamboree circuit since Dan Runte won eight consecutive events in 1996 driving Bigfoot.
The 5:30 program started just like the afternoon, as Hall would get the bye into round 2 and take on Anson.
But then, the big upset of the day, and possibly of the series. Anson came so close, incredibly close, on many different occasions at the previous jamboree in Lima, Ohio, but just couldn't get past Hall in any race. Anson wanted the victory so bad, and lined up against the red Ram Heavy Duty one more time, hoping to pull off victory.
He would do just that, putting the Heavy Hitter across the line first, and ending the winning streak of Hall at 20 consecutive rounds.
In fact, for the first time, no Hall Brothers Racing trucks didn't make it to the semi-finals. Dishman was also eliminated in the second round by the Lucas Oil Stabilizer, driven by Bobby Holman. Dishman defeated his teammate, Mike Miller in Hotsy, in the previous round. In the semi-finals, it would be Holman defeating the River Rat and then Anson taking victory over Doyle. Anson would lock down the win after Holman slid out in the corner, his first ever victory on the jamboree circuit.
Freestyle for the evening again was judged by the fans, but this time there was no doubt about who would take the victory.
After not even making a final all day, Team Bigfoot got to witness Doyle put Bigfoot #14 through it's paces, showing that even one of the oldest trucks on the Bigfoot fleet could still get the job done (Bigfoot #14 was built in late-1993). The highlight of the night was Doyle launching the truck off the jammer stack, sending the truck nearly to the moon.
A great ending to an exciting day for the jamboree fans.
One more day is left for the event, with the monsters taking to the track one final time at 3:30 p.m. CT.
Follow 4-Wheel Jamboree on Twitter (@4WheelJamboree) and also be sure to follow The Monster Blog on Facebook for up-to-date results. Visit AllAboutHorsepower.com for the complete wrap-up of the day's event.