Thursday, June 19, 2014
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Monsters invade Lincoln on Father’s Day

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[June 19, 2014]  LINCOLN - Sunday evening Lincoln Speedway hosted its first ever Monster Truck show. In honor of Father’s Day, the special show was arranged for Lincoln truck fans by speedway owners Norm and Yvonne Horn, and their promoter Ken Dobson.

This is the first year the Horns have worked with Dobson, who is directly involved with race tracks in Jacksonville and Quincy. The six trucks participating in the show had spent the weekend doing shows at the Dobson tracks, with Sunday evening in Lincoln being their wrap up event.

The trucks in the show included the husband/wife team of Larry and Shannon Quick. The Quick’s hale from Aledo and drive "La Chica Loca" and "Ghost Ryder."

While Shannon may claim to be the crazy one in La Chica Loca, it was Larry in his Ghost Ryder that proved he was the craziest driver on the track. During his freestyle event, Quick quickly gained the favor of the audience when he went into his “smash everything in sight” mode. He started out running the traditional course, but ended taking on the piles of wrecked cars from the side. At one point he achieved a 90 degree stand with his back to the audience, showing them all that he was fearless behind the wheel.

Beginning the evening it was Shannon that got the excitement started though, when during her first run she put La Chica Loca on its roof in her first jump. After being brought back upright, the truck suffered a few mechanical problems that were quickly worked out and the Chica was back on the track in time for the bracket races.

The first ever monster truck is the "Bigfoot." The truck started out as one big blue vehicle that smashed cars at a ferocious rate.

Today, there are several versions of Bigfoot. On Sunday night it was the Firestone Bigfoot with driver Darron Schnell that impressed the audience with its ability to grab the “big air.” During the early part of the show, Schnell lifted the front end of the truck on several occasions during his jumps, making the truck bark at the moon, and bringing cheers from the audience.

During Freestyle, Schnell made an amazing jump and took ownership as being the truck to achieve the epitome of “big air” for the night.

Father and son team Greg and Zach Adams of Greencastle, Indiana also made some impressive runs during the night. The two drive the "Bars Leaks" and the "Rislone Defender."

The Raminator out of Champaign is no stranger to Lincoln. The truck often comes to the city as a special guest of Lincoln Chrysler Dodge Ram and draws plenty of attention in the dealership parking lot.

Sunday evening during the freestyle competition, driver Mike Miller was the first to do the ever popular “donut in the dirt,” which gained him a lot of applause from the grandstands.

Included in the program Sunday evening were a few heats of mini-van races. With three and four mini-vans on the track, first featuring lady drivers, then in later heats men; the audience got to see for themselves just who is the wildest driver, men or women. In the end the men may have won that distinction, primarily thanks to track owner Norm Horn.

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At a couple of points in the heats, Norm jumped into a little red compact, not a van, and chased the real racers around the tiny track. His antics included running off the track, kicking up dirt and making it impossible to see, and negotiating passes on curves. In his first time out, he might have won, but for some reason, he left the track right before the checkered flag.

Another fun feature came when two of the Monster truck drivers went into a dead heat around the mini-track in compacts. Again the ruckus on the track drew more attention than who actually won the race. For race fans the term “bump” is common, and those two were bumping all around.

In the final set of van races, it was the men driving, and things got a little heated. There was bumping and pushing going on around the curves, and the only “wreck” in the series of races came when one of the drivers flew head-on into a parked junk van that was part of the monster truck course.

There was one surprise visitor at the show. Just before the half-time intermission, a mud-bogger from Springfield showed up with his Geo Tracker. He told Horn he just wanted to see what his big-tired little truck would do on a monster truck course. While his vehicle with its large heavy cleated tires is intended to go through mud pits, he did get his fair share of 'air' as he took a round or two through the jump course.

At the end of the night it was nearly a tie as to who stole the show in the monster trucks. Bigfoot impressed everyone with his big air, but the crazy style of Ghost Ryder is what finally drew the largest applause from the audience, making him the star of the night.

After the evening of racing was finished, the six feature drivers spent some time near the souvenir stand. They signed autographs for fans before calling it a night and heading home for a few days off before the next shows.


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