Entering the final day of the 4-Wheel Jamboree at the Ozark Empire Fairgrounds, the Missouri fans did not know what to expect when the monster trucks took to the track. Entering the final show of the weekend, so many different drivers were in the focus of everyone. The Hall Brothers got their third win of the season on Saturday night, while Team Bigfoot got their second in the afternoon. Then in freestyle, it was a battle among many faces with Jim Koehler, Dave Radzierez and Hall all in the winner's circle.
No real favorite has shown to be ahead of the class, and entering the final show on Sunday in Springfield, everyone was ready to go for the win.
The hot conditions didn't make things any easier as the Missouri sun kept beating down on the grounds, making the asphalt extremely sticky. But, as the racing rounds went forward, it came down to the top teams that have dominated the 4-Wheel Jamboree for many years. In one lane, Hall brought his Raminator to the line for the second time all weekend in the finals, and in the other lane it was Larry Swim in the Lucas Oil Bigfoot. Both trucks took a handle to the J-Hook course all weekend. Swim himself actually made his truck a lot lighter during the race. The night before in freestyle, Swim put the truck on it's side.
On Sunday, the body was already loose from some of the mounts, and so during the final round, he took a corner so hard it shed half the Raptor body off as if he was peeling the shell off a crab leg.
The lighter weight, unfortunately, made little difference.
For the second consecutive day, it was Hall taking his black Ram Heavy Duty to victory, his second consecutive of the weekend and the second for him this season. He also becomes the second repeat winner of the season, with teammate Mat Dishman taking two wins in Lima last month. Even with the second win, it still appears that no clear favorite in the racing category is being shown, and will take more races to see if someone breaks away.
When it came to freestyle, however, it definitely seems as though someone is breaking away from the pack.
For the second straight day, Jim Koehler had his 1957 Bel-Air flying high and running strong in front of the Missouri faithful. He even decided to add in some dirt to his run, as on one jump he launched right into the deep mud pit right in the center of the track. It was more than enough to take home another freestyle trophy on the season. But, he still wasn't the one that stole the show.
Out rolled the XDP Diesel of Dave Radzierez, as he would get a few jumps under his belt as the boost began to build in the turbos. At the end of the track, a dirt wall with three stacked cars. All the preparation for the weekend came down to just one moment. The man known as "Diesel Dave" then lined up the 2010 Ford Super Duty and went for it all, going after his second backflip in as many attempts.
This time, the ramp held up perfectly, as the cars stayed exactly where they were designed. Radzierez hit the throttle, the black smoke pouring from the big exhaust, and around the truck went. No nose plant, no extra throttle, no hiccups. It was the perfect stunt, with the perfect outcome.
Radzierez pulled off the flip for the second time, and despite him not being declared the winner of freestyle, to the fans, he was the one that again won over the crowd.
For all the competitors, there is not much time to relax. The teams are already getting prepared for the next jamboree weekend that is happening in just over two weeks. It is considered the biggest show of the summer from any promoter. More spectators, more participants, and for many, it is the most fun. Up next on the docket for the 4-Wheel Jamboree tour is a return trip to the Bloomsburg Fairgrounds in Bloomsburg, Pennsylvania, the one time all year the quiet college town turns into a loud party of engines, and the local citizens that live along the fairground race track get to construct their own grandstands.
Follow the jamboree tour on Twitter (@4WheelJamboree) and on Facebook. Full results from the mud bog, tough trucks, and the show-and-shine will be on their website, 4WheelJamboree.com, along with all the information on the upcoming jamboree.
Author Note: For the third consecutive year, the Family Events Promotion Company has authorized me to be there as a media member, so I will have an all-access look at the jamboree, which will mark my 25th year of being a monster truck fan, and the 25th year of attending this jamboree.
Follow me on Twitter and on Facebook for a look inside at what this show has to offer.
CURRENT STANDINGS (After 7 of 15 races), 40 points awarded for each round
- Rammunition, Mat Dishman-960
- Raminator, Mark Hall-920
- Lucas Oil Bigfoot, Larry Swim-920
- Summit Bigfoot, Dan Runte-800
- Avenger, Jim Koehler-720
- Mopar Muscle, Mike Miller-560
- The General, Steve Koehler-320
- War Wizard, Randy Moore-320
- XDP, Dave Radzierez-320