PHOTO CREDIT: Monster Nationals Facebook Page
The unique idea for the Monster Nationals tour this season was to have five different winners in each show. With wheelies, donuts, long jump, racing and freestyle portions of the show, it gave all the drivers a chance to win not just once on the night, but up to five different times.
Last weekend the victories were spread out for the majority among four different drivers, and with four of the five drivers from a week ago in attendance in Madison, Wisconsin, there was a strong chance that a similar occurrence could happen.
However, with three shows over the course of the weekend, no one expected what was to happen.
It all started on Friday night at the Alliant Energy Center. The fresh cars were set to get their first taste of a crush in the wheelie contest, and on this night it was all-Hemi power as Mark Hall put the reworked Raminator atop the standings. After that came the chance for the trucks to scream tire on the concrete, and the Hall Brothers didn't disappoint as teammate Mat Dishman had the Michelin Mega X Bib tires screaming on his Rammunition to get the second win of the night.
The third event was one that Hall dominated the week prior, and looked to do again, as he would launch the Ram Heavy Duty to another long jump victory. But then, it got down to business. The racing portion was about to begin, and the five trucks in attendance wanted the first big trophy really bad.
But, like the previous event, no one was stopping Hall, as in the finals he would out muscle his teammate to get his third win of the night.
Not wanting to settle for just one big trophy, Hall then put on a clinic in freestyle, making the 2000-horsepower truck sing loud and proud, as he would take the final trophy home, making Hall Brothers Racing 5 for 5 on the night, and putting notice to everyone else that if they were to get wins, it would be hard to come by.
Saturday night was a case of deja vu back in Madison, literally.
In every aspect of the show from Friday night, it happened again on Saturday. Hall would take the wheelie contest for the second time, then Dishman once more took the donuts. To end it all, Hall would take home yet another long jump contest, then win racing, and then freestyle. It was 10 for 10 at that point for the Ram team, and with one day left in the weekend, every driver and team was just hoping luck would come their way and bring home at least one victory away from the powerful duo in the Ram machines.
Finally, after two days of waiting, the fans attending Sunday's shows got to see some fresh faces taking home the trophies.
It started off in the wheelie contest as for the first time since the opening weekend, Eric Tack powered the Lucas Oil Bigfoot entry to the win, the first he's had since last Sunday in Sioux City, Iowa. The donut contest again didn't go to the Hall Brothers, as instead it was the new truck that made the tires squeal on the pavement to take home the win, Jim Burns in Mechanical Mischief.
Tack then showed that his Bigfoot truck could not only go sky-high, but also launch like a rocket. He would end the streak of Hall's long-jump wins by taking home the Sunday trophy.
Sunday's racing finals came down to the Hall Brothers entries again, and it would be the closest battle of the entire weekend. Hall vs. Dishman for years has been a great battle, and on the concrete was no different. But, unlike the previous two nights, it would be Dishman barely edging out Hall to take the racing win, but did so at a cost. When the truck landed after the finish line, the right-rear tire and wheel broke off, ending his night rather abruptly, but doing so with a win made it worth it.
Down to just four trucks for freestyle, it was up to Hall to possibly take home the final trophy of the weekend, and did not disappoint. With his teammate out, Hall made sure everyone remembered that the Raminator was still the top dog in this yard, taking home the freestyle win, and what would be the 12th win of the weekend for the Hall Brothers team.
With the Ram team sweeping 80 percent of the wins in Madison, including nine by Hall, the Raminator looks like the one to beat so far in the season, and with two weeks to get prepared for the next round of action, the competition is hoping to go full-bore and stop momentum.
That will be rather difficult at the next stop, because for Hall and Dishman, it's not a quick trip. February 8 is the next event for the "Monster Nite Out" tour, and it's in Champaign, Illinois, the home base for the Hall Brothers.
For information on the Monster Nationals, including ticket prices for the next event at the State Farm Center, visit MonsterNationals.com, and also visit their Facebook page for more inside information on what's happening at the events.