Beginning in January, it was the most loaded lineup of monster trucks in recent years doing battle for the Monster Nationals championships for Family Events. New looks, veteran drivers, and some intense competition in five different categories would welcome everyone beginning with the mid-January kickoff.
Now, after months of action, the final night, and final round of action would decide titles, and crown champions.
The Schottenstein Center in Columbus, Ohio, welcomed five monsters to action on Saturday night. Leading the way was current points leader, Mark Hall, and the Raminator, which on this night was sporting a new set of shallow-trimmed Firestone tires, fresh off the assembly line. Teammate Mat Dishman was alongside in his bright red and silver Rammunition. Eric Tack was making his final appearance of the season in the Lucas Oil Bigfoot truck, while newcomer Brandon Derrow would make his lone appearance this season in Bad News. The War Wizard was ready to rock the Ohio crowd as well, but this time instead of the red Willy's Coupe, it was the deep purple and yellow hues of lead driver Randy Moore in attendance.
The crowd filed in for the lone night of action, ready to see who would be the top runner on the night. What they didn't expect was the most dominating performance of the year by one team, and one truck.
Like every event the Monster Nationals tour has all year, the night started off with the wheelie competition. Fresh cars were going to give the drivers a chance to reach for the sky, hoping to make the crowd stand in awe. All five trucks looked to the ceiling on their efforts, but Hall would start out the night on a strong note by taking home the first competition of the night.
From looking to the sky to creating a little smoke, the donut competition was next. All the trucks had shallow-cut tires, meaning they all had a chance to lay down rubber, and scream the motors as loud as possible. Every truck was doing their best to make that happen, but Hall had the smoke rolling from the tires as well as the Ram logos on the body. That was more than enough to make it 2 for 2 on the night.
Up next, the teams were looking to go skyward again, but rather than looking for height, it was about distance. Up next was the long jump.
The running start gave every team a chance to get momentum up and clear the stacks of cars on their hit. But, just like has been constant all season long, the Raminator launched the Heavy Duty truck once again took home the win, nearly sweeping the entire year of competitions in that category.
But up next was when the real trophies would be given out. With the cars crushed down a lot more, it meant that reaction time and power would be the name of the game, as it was time to determine the final racing champion of the season. By this time the concrete was not as slick, especially on the starting line, as rubber began laying down, meaning more grip on the launch. This would be an advantage for everyone, and it also meant yet another victory for the black Ram. Hall was breaking down the competition like a break dancer on the floor during a dance contest. At that point with his racing win, Hall was 4 of 4 on the night, and with one competition to go, the entire field was on alert, wanting to prevent the first, and what could be the only sweep of the entire season.
Freestyle would be the final round of action on the night. The racing lanes of cars were crushed down, but the van stack in the center was still fresh, so there was still a chance to get big air, but momentum was going to be key on this night.
Dishman ran hard, making the Ram 1500 scream loud and proud. Moore made his War Wizard coupe proud to represent the team, while Derrow showed once more why he is an up and coming star on the monster truck tour. Tack made the Raptor-bodied Bigfoot a top contender, pulling off some impressive launches and wheelstands. But, there was no doubt that this night belonged to one truck, one driver, and officially one champion.
Hall and his all-new Raminator were on a tear all season, as the new designed chassis would take everything thrown at it, and still would want more. The Raminator soared in wheelies, screamed in donuts, flew in the long jump, knocked off everyone in racing, and finally to end the night the Heavy Duty Ram stood tall in freestyle, completing the only complete sweep of the night by one truck and driver.
It was only appropriate because heading into the weekend, Hall was leading in points. At the end of the night, Hall would officially be crowned both the racing and freestyle champion of the 2014 Monster Nationals season, continuing his streak of wins with the Family Events promoters dating back to 2012. It would be the first championships won by the all-new chassis Hall debuted in early January, and already heading into the outdoor season, it's expected to once again be dominant.
Family Events is now shifting gears from the Monster Nationals tour, although there will be a few of those events over the course of the spring and summer, to the 4-Wheel Jamboree Series. That season will kick off on May 16-18 at the Allen County Fairgrounds in Lima, Ohio, as the quest for the outdoor championship begins.
For full results for Columbus and the entire Monster Nationals season, visit MonsterNationals.com, and for all the information on the 4-Wheel Jamboree plus everything Family Events has to offer in their series of events, visit FamilyEvents.com and follow them on Twitter (twitter.com/4WheelJamboree).