The season is drawing to a close for the Monster Nationals, and as the final event draws near, the competition seems to want a victory even more. After five weekends of action, the tour stayed in the state of Illinois, but headed indoors to the Sears Centre Arena in Hoffman Estates.
The lineup looked similar to the one the previous weekend, but missing in action was the Predator. Raminator, Rammunition, Bigfoot, Samson and War Wizard all make the trip, and with two events on the weekend, each were looking to get another win on the season.
Friday night's action kicked off with the wheelie contest, and each driver made their best effort to send the machines skyward. All five trucks launched to the roof, but it was Eric Tack sending the Ford Raptor Bigfoot to the first victory of the night.
Up next on the night came the donut contest, one that a week ago was not done due to the dirt surface. This was when Mark Hall decided to turn up the heat on his fellow drivers, as he screamed the HEMI-backed machine into a smoky cyclone, getting the big win for the team. He would then embark on soaring the black Ram Heavy Duty a long distance as he would continue his dominance this season in the long jump contest.
But then, the big trophies were on the line. It was back to straight-line, reaction time mattering most, racing inside the arena.
RPMs went high in each round, the trucks building up heat and increasing horsepower with each round. But, Hall would not be denied again as he would cruise to yet another racing victory, extending a long streak of wins in that category this season and bringing home yet another tall piece of hardware.
Hall would complete a strong night as he would then make the black beast sing loud and proud as he would again win freestyle, completing a run of winning 4 of 5 events on the night.
Focus then switched to the next night of action, and teams were already making adjustments to get better traction and more horsepower to the tacky concrete surface. One team that was taking their time, however, was the Bigfoot crew. Friday night, Tack and the team lost the motor in Bigfoot #14 Friday night, and with only one show on the schedule for Saturday, the team took their time in taking out the broken motor and replacing it with a fresh 572 cubic-inch Ford powerplant. The team did not have the truck displayed at the afternoon pit party, as repairs were still going on, but the team knew the truck would be ready and at 100% for the night's event.
As with the previous night, the wheelie contest would kick off the festivities. In a surprise, it would be Vern House in the War Wizard taking home the win, one of a few he's had on the year.
The time then came to light some tire in the donut contest. The Hall Brothers team would again dominate, but instead it was Mat Dishman in the Rammunition making his Michelin Mega X tires scream to victory.
But then, Hall decided his time had arrived. Starting with the long jump, Hall went on yet another tear inside the Sears Centre Arena.
At the end of the night, once again Hall would take home both big pieces of hardware, taking home both racing and freestyle along with his long jump victory. On the weekend, Hall would win 70 percent of the competitions, another strong showing for the Raminator team.
With one final show left on the season, Hall has the championship all but wrapped up, but don't think the other teams will just lay down to let him win it. There will be intense competition at the final show, with each driver hoping to play spoiler at the end of the night.
The final show for the Monster Nationals winter tour will be March 29 at the Schottenstein Center in Columbus, Ohio. Samson will not be in attendance for this particular show, but it will be a five-truck lineup. Joining the usuall cast of characters in Bigfoot, Hall Brothers and the War Wizard will be up and coming driver Brandon Derrow in Bad News Travels Fast, a young man who was a paper boy but is now living his dream after buying the Bad News truck from it's former owner a few years ago. He has shown to go hard and fast in the events he's been a part of this last year, so watch for him to be a lurking driver to spoil everyone's party.
For all the latest news, and the ticket information for the event in Columbus, visit MonsterNationals.com.