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.
[to top of second column]
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
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.
[By NILA SMITH]