Photo credited to TheMonsterBlog.com

The new 4-Wheel Jamboree season kicked off Saturday at the Ozark County Fairgrounds to a lot of anticipation of great competition.  The General Tire Monster Truck Thunder Drag title would go up for grabs starting on Saturday afternoon.

At the end of day one, it came down to only having one racing program, but many great highlights for the fans in Springfield, Missouri.

The afternoon racing program saw 10 trucks make thunder on the pavement to dirt race track.  The bracket came down to a veteran of the series against a rookie in the jamboree circuit.  Mat Dishman was in the drivers seat as he brought the Rammunition Dodge to the line to go up against Darron Schnell, piloting the Vi-Cor Bigfoot Bessie.

It was a close battle, but the Mossy Oak Rammunition was across the line first, taking the win in the opening round of competition.

The freestyle portion of the afternoon event was highlighted by two trucks.  First, making the trip from down under, was Australia's Clive Featherby in the Outback Thunda.  He was known in his home country for doing some incredible runs, as well as the few events he's done in the states.  The Aussie lived up to his billing, putting on a spectacular performance in his yellow and red machine.

But, stealing the thunder in the afternoon was series veteran Dan Runte in his brand new E3 Spark Plugs Bigfoot #18.  Already wanting to let his new trophy truck run wild in the open fairgrounds, Runte let it loose in his new ride, taking home the freestyle victory on Saturday afternoon.

The evening portion of the event was all set to occur, with the same line-up ready to race.  However, the mud bog event that was part of Saturday's festivities ran a bit long.  So, with the sun setting and little light to keep the track safe into the darkness, officials decided to make it a freestyle-only event.

That didn't phase Team Bigfoot, as the truck that was dominating was Schnell in his Vi-Cor #11.  He showed that despite only in his second year of driving, he can handle the big beast.  He was leading through all the competitors.

But then, out came his teammate.

Wanting to make an impression on the home-state fans, Runte roared his E3 Spark Plugs machine onto the track and unleashed yet another incredible freestyle for the fans.

Big air, momentum, non-stop action...Runte made sure his first outdoor event in his new truck left an impression.  He did just that as he swept both freestyle events on the opening day of the jamboree season.

If there was any indication how badly Runte wanted to go outdoor racing, the first day in Springfield is proof he's not messing around, and wants to get the second title for his new truck in just it's first year of competition.

One final day remains at the Springfield jamboree season-opener, so all 10 trucks will be in top form to finish the weekend strong.  With two weeks before the next jamboree event, all will be wanting to leave their mark in Springfield before putting on the hauling tires and going to the next city.

The final monster truck racing event kicks off at 3:30 p.m.