The biggest outdoor monster truck promoter is set to kick off it's season finale this weekend. It's the biggest event of their season, happening in a city that could be the motorsports capital of the world. This year, the General Tire Monster Truck Thunder Drags will be a big part of the entire 3-day weekend.
But, on one day of the weekend, the racing and freestyle championship will take a back seat to what has become the most anticipated day of the year in the industry.
This weekend is the O'Reilly Auto Parts 4-Wheel Jamboree at the Indiana State Fairgrounds in Indianapolis, Indiana. This event in years past has provided memories of championship runs, unbelievable heartache, and multiple memories. Drivers such as Fred Shafer, Andy Brass and Eric Meagher have all gone to victory in front of some of the most diehard fans the industry has.
Now, this year's championship in the Thunder Drags will be a battle among teammates, as the man sitting in the third position is focused on another aspect of the weekend (more on that to come).
Atop the standings right now is Mark Hall, the driver of the Raminator. His 2012 Ram Heavy Duty has been on a roll since the second jamboree show of the season, held in Lima, Ohio. Since the second day of that event, Hall has won five of the last six events, including taking 3 of 4 at the last jamboree in Bloomsburg, Pennsylvania. He currently has a 3-round lead on second place, who happens to be teammate Mat Dishman in the Rammunition Ram 1500.
Last year, these two both waged war in the weekend's first racing event, making it to the finals, but it was Dishman pulling out the victory on the S-course that was constructed.
Hall is trying to win back the championship he held for 4 years running and 10 of the last 11 years. Dishman, meanwhile, is looking for his first championship as a driver. Dishman is at the wheel of the truck that did win the 2006 Thunder Drags championship, so there a lot on the line for him as well.
Currently, Hall holds a 3-round lead over Dishman, with 40 points for each round victory. This could come down to the last day if both wage a battle that's expected. There will be no team orders to give one driver the title over the other, as once the trucks pull to the line, it's all about getting to the finish line.
But, despite going for that championship, there is one event that fans from across the country have been waiting for. The man that all season was battling for a championship is putting his title hopes in the back of his mind, as his goal is to get back a world record.
Dan Runte, the man who pilots the E3 Spark Plugs Bigfoot #18, is bringing the radical desert-race truck to the Indy Jamboree to attempt to shatter the world record monster truck long jump. Runte is keeping his truck in the pits, as he will not risk blowing a motor, transmission, or any other part of the truck before the jump.
He certainly will have a huge support staff as along with him, as the entire fleet of race trucks will be in attendance for this historic moment.
Joining Runte will be J.R. Adams, who will be showing off the Firestone/MLB body on Bigfoot #10, which was the first Bigfoot truck to don both a Chevrolet body and engine. Darron Schnell, who has been on tour with Runte for most of the summer, will be competing in the Thunder Drags as he will have "Bigfoot Bessie" roaring in his Vi-Cor #11 truck. Sophomore driver Kyle Doyle returns to Indy for the first time as a Bigfoot driver as he'll be displaying his #14 chassis, complete with the Firestone Destination Summer body.
The sponsors keep rolling in as the #15 chassis will have the Odyssey Batteries body on display, and then the "Bad Boy" attitude will be represented as Larry Swim's #16 truck will have the second E3 Spark Plugs body bolted on, and possibly will be the truck raced during the weekend.
One more truck is slated to make it's public debut as well in Indy, and that's the all-new Speed Energy Bigfoot #19, which is the truck that is a collaboration between Bigfoot and Robby Gordon. The chassis is Gordon's CRD that he purchased, and has been fitted with a Merlin Chevrolet engine and a desert-style body like #18, but this one also has a Chevrolet nose piece and is painted very bright orange, in honor of the brand of motor and the sponsor.
But, the final day of the jamboree belongs to Runte. Family Events has put his launch ramp at the back of the infield, away from the racing and freestyle obstacles. There is no possibility of the ramp being compromised as part of the competition.
The goal for Runte is simple: fly at least 209 feet. Joe Sylvester holds the current record at just over 208 feet, but the talk is that there's a chance that the jump could launch over 210, maybe more.
If weather conditions are presentable, and the truck is performing like it has since it debuted earlier this year, there is a strong chance that Guinness representatives will see a new record set at the biggest jamboree of the season, and possibly in history.
There is still time to get tickets, as the event kicks off on Friday and lasts through Sunday. Advance tickets are available online at FamilyEvents.com, and are also available at the door each day of the event.
But, judging by how historic this event is, there's a strong possibility that tickets for Sunday could possibly sell out. Get yours now, and witness both a champion crowned and possibly a record shattered.