Predator Starts Strong – Pezo’s Thoughts

Predator Monster truckAllMonster.com was able to reach Allen Pezo of the Predator monster truck for comments about his racing victory this past weekend in Atlanta, Georgia.

“It felt great,” said Pezo. “I definitely gained some confidence; it has been awhile since I won at a televised show.”

The closest Pezo got to that goal last year was a racing final round appearance against Bounty Hunter in Jacksonville, Florida. In Atlanta, Pezo was second only to Dennis Anderson’s Grave Digger in qualifying. Pezo informed us that the team’s site, predatorracinginc.com, is being worked on and that the team is headed to Evansville, Indiana, Tampa Florida, Indianapolis, Indiana, University Park, Pennsylvania, and Minneapolis Minnesota in the coming weeks and months.

“I feel like things are going great now and it’s a good start to the season. I hope to get some more wins by year’s end,” he said.

We thank Allen and the entire Predator/Prowler racing team for their time.

The Biggest and the Best Monster Trucks from the UK

There are few motoring creations more awesome than the Monster Truck. The name itself breeds images of colossal scale and impending destruction. A hench and jagged frame, mind blowing suspension, and, in some cases, a painted set of growling teeth. The UK may be a tiny fraction of the US in size but it’s no let-down when it comes to creating vehicular beasts with wheels that weigh four times that of a baby elephant. Here are some household names in the world of UK Monster Trucks.

Swamp Thing – Driven by Tony Dixon

Swamp Thing is just the latest name for a Monster Truck which is steeped in history. Originally built in America and once known as Dragon Slayer, it is based on a Dan Patrick Chassis and weighs in at a mighty 5 tons. Following being shipped back to the UK and refurbished over a two year period, it emerged as Swamp Thing with a Ford 2004 F350 Super Duty Body paint, don by driver Tony Dixon himself. Swamp Thing is 11ft high, a massive 19ft long and boasts a methanol injected 540 cubic inch tall block, BDs Supercharger by RND Engineering.

Tony Dixon originally trained as a motor vehicle paint sprayer and has come a long way to the Monster Truck master he has become. He is currently working on BIGFOOT17, which is the first BIGFOOT Monster Truck project In the UK. He holds a number of accolades for his performances in various championships.

Video: Swamp Thing jumps clean over cars: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZGoZfJ_Sw5w

Podzilla – Driven by Drew Thornton

This Dino of a truck shares its name with a hydraulic lift system which moves metal storage containers in the US, giving some indication of its might. Based on a Chevy K1500, Podzilla produces 1350bhp on methanol that propels the 5 ton leviathan to speeds of 65mph within 6 seconds. It is said to be the first UK built Monster Truck.

Drew Thornton mans the wheel of Podzilla and has driven Monster Trucks professionally across Europe for over five years. He retired after coming 3rd in the European Monster Truck Championships in 2006, but has since been plucked from his rest by Santa Pod Raceway to drive Podzilla as an exhibition vehicle at the Nationals this summer. He will sit behind an 8 litre methanol off-shore power boat spec engine and 1000ft pounds of torque.

As tires the size of sheds aren’t in huge demand, most monster trucks need their tires shaved of excess weight as they don’t arrive perfect. Podzilla sits on light weight shaved tires which help reduce the overall weight by a quarter of a ton. The tires are a massive 66 inches in diameter and worth £1800 ($2700) a piece.

Video: Podzilla in action: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lTeV_LpQr78

Crusher – Driven by Lewis Cook

With a name resembling that of a bad-guy Transformer, Crusher is a perfect appetite-wetter for Monster Truck fans who love their destruction. Built in 2005, Crusher is a relatively young machine. The fiberglass version of a 1997 Ford F150 has received a few recent refurbishments and is a huge 10ft high, 12ft wide and a BDS supercharger with top hat methanol injection. The axels are of JCB origin but are heavily modified, as is the custom built ‘drop box’, motorsport engine and two-per-wheel fully adjustable air-over-oil shock absorbers. Crusher’s tires may have similar credentials as its rival Podzilla – at 66 inches in diameter – but they’re worth a combined £8000 ($12100).

The 4 wheel drive machine first competed at the UK Monster Truck Nationals at Santa Pod Raceway in 2008 and has since been a real favourite, due to grace the arena once again at this year’s finals in August. At the Nationals in 2011, current driver Lewis Cook fell victim to a miscalculated crush during a 90 second freestyle event in front of 10,000 fans and was stranded vertically for over 6 minutes before being rescued by a crane.

Video: Crusher’s vertical upset: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kSYs5NKdeqc 

Slingshot Monster Truck – Driven by Karl Swallow 

Karl Swallow was the legendary owner and driver of the mighty Slingshot – a beast that was the first European truck to jump a bus. He tragically suffered a heart attack last year and passed away in his prime. It didn’t deter him, however, as his passion for driving his massive truck took him through any pain he felt following a failed kidney transplant.

Karl was involved in the Monster Truck Racing Association Europe from the beginning and later served as a Director. In November 2011 he performed in Slingshot in front of more than 30,000 fans in the Bahrain Motor Show, a feat which he called a ‘great honor’ and one he wished to repeat.

He will be remembered for being the first European driver to run in the USA and for taking his aspirated truck to third place in the 2004 series. He had an incredible driving style which earned him a legion of fans, with wide open assaults on freestyle obstacles.

Video: Tribute to Karl’s legendary antics:  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kWeNNzOdcMg

Now time for something a little different…

Armour Gedden – Driven by Steve Murty

If there was ever a Truck to fear it was this. Steve Murty is the driver of this monster on treads and sells the machine as a ‘Car Crushing Tank,’ and it does exactly what it says on the tin. Painted up like a super villain brandishing a skull and crossbones, this is one you won’t want to miss.

Video: Armour Gedden arrives: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ef4dfWMlZJc or http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fmgM74XFmB0

About the Author

Abby Driver is a Multi-Journalism graduate from Bournemouth University. Currently working in London, Abby writes for a number of different publications and websites including car finance specialists Creditplus.co.uk. For more cool, fun and interesting articles about the world of motoring please visit the Creditplus blog.

Rochester and Houston Weekend Results

In Rochester, New York’s Thunder Nationals to kick off the new season, Carl VanHorn made his driving debut in Grave Digger XIV and won the Wheelie, Donut, and Freestyle competitions, while Mike Vaters’ Black Stallion won Racing. Reports are that VanHorn scored a 29 in Freestyle and perfect 30’s in Wheelie and Donut, and Vaters and VanHorn both had near vertical sky wheelies in the Wheelie portion.

Night two in Rochester, New York saw more of the same, identical to the first night-Carl VanHorn in Grave Digger XIV won the Wheelie, Donut, and Freestyle competitions, while Mike Vaters’ Black Stallion won racing in the finals against Grave Digger. The Broker (Jim Leahy) and Iron Warrior (Trey Myers) each broke during the Donut contest, with Iron Warrior returning in time for Racing. Ed Eckert’s Full Boar was also in attendance, and spun a solid donut in addition to defeating Vaters’ Black Stallion the previous night.

Reports coming in from the Houston, Texas Monster Jam last night indicate that Tony Farrell’s Blue Thunder took the racing victory, while Lupe Soza and El Toro Loco got the freestyle victory after rolling in racing, shedding the body during his freestyle run. Pablo Huffaker rolled early in his freestyle run and was officially scored a 26, then allowed to restart and continue for the fans, who gave him an “unofficial 30” upon completion of his second run (it was not his official score).
Other reports include Phil Foster (Maximum Destruction) and Chris Bergeron (Brutus) with solid runs and saves in freestyle, and Bounty Hunter knocking a turning pole over, putting himself out of racing. More to come soon from both Houston and Rochester!

In Rochester, New York, the final day of action saw Grave Digger (Carl VanHorn) win the wheelie contest, but break multiple parts in the rear of the truck, putting him out until racing, where Black Stallion took the victory and weekend sweep of that portion of competition.

Black Stallion and Iron Warrior Report

Trey Myers was kind enough to fill us in on what the Black Stallion/Iron Warrior team has been up to lately, and they have been very busy! With the news of the team purchasing the former American Dream chassis, Myers elaborated on what the team’s plans are for it.

“We plan on making that truck an excellent one,” said Myers. “This year is its 16th birthday (the chassis was the former Taurus Racer), and when it was originally built, it was built as the best truck out there. We want to return it to being that.”

Myers also mentioned that the truck is currently in the shop waiting to be powder coated, and that the team will insert new shocks, possibly the same setup as the current Black Stallion, as well as a “big motor” that is used on Black Stallion.

The team was headed to their first show in Rochester, New York as we spoke with them, and Myers is excited about driving Iron Warrior full-time there.

“I am definitely looking forward to it. We updated some things on Iron Warrior and redid the shocks a bit. It has the same combination but is set up better, and I hope it all works out,” he said.

The team also plans on their Monster Motorsports promotion company expanding for the summer season. We thank Trey Myers and the entire Black Stallion/Iron Warrior team for their time.

Ready to Go! Phil Foster Monster Profile

Hot Wheels and  Maximum Destruction monster trucksPhil Foster was kind enough to do an interview with us for the newest Monster Profile, and had some interesting things to say! Foster discussed his feelings about his new ride in the second Maximum Destruction truck, Team Meents’ search for drivers, some up and coming talent in their stable of drivers, and more! We thank Foster and Tom Meents Racing for their time and support.

Shockwave Racing Monster Truck Announces 2005 Plans and New Paint Scheme

Shockwave Racing Monster TruckShockwave Racing sent us the following press release late Tuesday evening; we thank Matt from EMU for the photo and David Rife for the press release:

“On the second weekend in January in Salem, Virginia, the Quick Chek Foot Stores-sponsored Shockwave will debut a new paint scheme at the Checkered Flag Productions (CFP) event at the Salem Civic Center.The body is currently being painted and will be done just in time for Salem. For more information on Shockwave, you can visit www.shockwave4x4.com. Shockwave will be doing battle Friday and Saturday with Bigfoot, Towasaurus Wrex, Demon, Mopar Magic, and Blackjack. Shockwave will run with CFP in January, but will go to Clear Channel Entertainment (CCE) for February and then back to CFP in March for Dayton, Ohio.”

We thank the entire Shockwave Racing team for their support. Look for a Monster Profile with Phil Foster of Meents Racing tomorrow!

Wild Hair Sold!

Wild Hair SoldJason and Julie Witte of Wild Hair racing sent AllMonster.com a press release late Monday evening with the following information on their truck’s sale:

“Wild Hair Monster Truck has been sold to Ray and Kim Mowery of Extreme Attitude Racing, which is based out of  Virginia, they purchased the entire operation from Jason and Julie Witte.  Jason wants to thank everyone for their support over the years.  Jason will be driving the Wild Hair truck in the 2005 USHRA winter season.  We would like to give special thanks to the other drivers who have helped us out over the years and we would also like to thank Clear Channel Motorsports, Rich Schaeffer of the Monster Truck Challenge Series, all of our sponsors and especially the Wild Hair pit crew. We wish a successful future for Ray and Kim Mowery and the Wild Hair.”

 

Jason will be driving Wild Hair at:
Pontiac, Michigan January 15
Kansas City, Missouri January 21-23
Indianapolis, Indiana January 29
Houston, Texas February 5
St. Louis, Missouri February 12
Minneapolis, Minnesota February 19

We thank the Witte’s for their time and commitment to the sport, and wish them the best of luck in the 2005 racing season.

AllMonster.com is currently being redesigned for 2005 and hopes to be back at full strength by the end of the week. We thank you for your patience.

Catching Up with War Wizard

 

Scott Bryant was kind enough to send us an interview he did with Randy Moore of War Wizard Racing.  We thank Scott, Randy, and the entire War Wizard team for their time.

[Read more…]

Predator Racing Times Two!

Scott Bryant was kind enough to send us an interview with Allen and Diane Pezo of Predator Racing.

[Read more…]

Moto GP and Monsters

Monster trucks are intense, with some of the best rivalries and battles in any motor sport today. Whether it’s Ryan Anderson in Son Uva Digger taking on Tom Meents in Maximum Destruction or Dennis Anderson’s Grave Digger doing work against Damon Bradshaw’s Monster Energy, things are always going down at a monster truck event. Another great event is Moto GP. While it doesn’t have the fan base that a lot of other motor sports have, it is certainly growing in popularity.

Damon Bradshaw and Alex Blackwell both have experience in motocross, as does Frank Schettini of Big Dummy Motorsports. This two-wheel transition to monster trucks has been quite entertaining and farmed some great drivers from other forms of motorsports. Is a driver from Moto GP next? We will see, but an interesting phrase to note—“throttle rhythm is throttle rhythm” is a phrase I hear being used a lot, and it’s quite true. Some of the most successful drivers in any sport, monster trucks included, grew up on something with an engine constantly. Jon Zimmer started in Snocross. Many drivers, Meents and Tim Mente of Storm Damage included, started in mud bogging. George Balhan was a Quad Wars racer, and the Jolly sisters were swamp buggy racers. The list goes on for a long time.

I am a fan of people becoming drivers after working on trucks for a long time and earning their spot, but if not through that route, I’m definitely a fan of hiring drivers that have prior motorsports experience.  This will foster a better on-track product for the future of monster trucks, and I’m a fan of bringing people from Moto GP or wherever the talent is deemed quite transferrable to monster trucks. Whether it’s from within or outside monster trucks, I want to see a great product on track, as well as the sport growing. Don’t you?

It’s true that monster trucks are different, and there’s no denying that there is a learning curve. I would vote that a driver like Charlie Pauken come in after his full-time driving days are over and teach all the young drivers the “tricks of the trade” so that new drivers have some great training instead of being thrown into a big stadium, or small arena, and learning with a “trial by fire” attitude. Throttle rhythm is developed with seat time and by watching and learning and studying others. Pauken is the man for that job, and I sincerely hope to see his knowledge and teaching abilities be put to good use whenever the day comes that he isn’t thrilling fans worldwide. Paul Cohen, a great driver in his own right, learned from Pauken his rookie year. Frank Krmel was paired with Pauken and soaked up plenty of knowledge. The list goes on, and hopefully, so will the great driving—regardless of source! It would definitely be interesting to see a Moto GP driver make sense of a monster truck and take to the course. Hopefully that happens one day!