As stated in an earlier post, I ventured back in time this weekend as I stepped into Lucas Oil Stadium to rekindle my childhood love affair with Monster Trucks. And yes, that deserves to be capitalized. My condescending friends however, were yet to be convinced. As I attempted to use logic during the drive to downtown Indianapolis, I just couldn’t get them to admit they were excited and looking forward to the night’s festivities. “Why do people like to watch racing?” I asked. For the possibility of seeing “the big one” – a huge wreck wiping out half the field. So what is not to like about an event specifically designed to give audiences just what they want…mass carnage??
Arriving late and entering the gate just as qualifying for the racing portion was getting under way, we quickly scuttled to our seats. While snaking through the arena during the trek to our section, I couldn’t help but notice the announcer make a comment about Grave Digger pulling off the track. Super. After laboring up the most ridiculous incline of stairs ever known to man, we plopped down in our seats just as the pre-game entertainment was wrapping up and the first pairing of trucks were approaching the starting lines to begin the tournament style single-elimination racing bracket. Panting and sweating, we stripped off our jackets and tried to catch our breath before it was pounded out of our lungs from the raw energy created by 600 hp man-made wonders-of-the-world.
Racing was under way, and arguably the most well-known and popular truck in the world was in the pits getting the rear end taken out. There were still plenty of trucks left to entertain, but they’re just not the same. The final races pitted the usual suspects against one another: Maximum Destruction, Bounty Hunter, Superman, Black Stallion, and new-comer Lucas Oil Crusader (who managed to pull the upset of the evening – insert conspiracy theories here). All went off without too much excitement minus a save that included not one, but two, near rollovers by the same truck in a 5 second span. As the driver entered a turn with entirely too much speed, inertia and physics kicked in causing the truck to roll over onto 2 wheels. Once the truck was flat on the side of its rims, the driver quickly counter-steered and stood on the throttle preventing the monstrous vehicle from rolling completely onto its roof. It did, however, cause the truck to slingshot in the other direction immediately rolling onto the opposite wheels, garnering the same reaction from the driver. This time, with a little more subtlety, the truck was righted with no damage other than blowing a tire off of its massive rim.
While we waited for the arena to be rearranged for the freestyle portion of the night, we were blessed with the display of a freestyle motocross group pulling off insane stunts 45 feet over the stadium’s floor. During this intermission, I decided to brave the stairway to heaven and conquered it by returning just in the nick of time with nachos and a Coke. The group I was with had been fairly unimpressed up to this point, but I assured them it was just getting good. Freestyle opened up with the bottom-feeders of the line-up, and my friends were still not on the edge of their seats. That’s when, during another quick rearrangement, we looked down and noticed they had placed a motor home in the path of destruction. What?! Yes, that there’s a RV. The competition instantly sky-rocketed to enthralling. The recreational vehicle was quickly transformed into splinters as Monster Truck after Monster Truck jumped over, smashed into, and spun out on the wood chipped remains. Once the driver’s started testing the physical limits of their trucks, the mechanical failures started picking off the beasts one by one.
The Iron Outlaw ran into some steering issues after landing hard and awkward on the front end causing what appeared to be the tie-rod snapping like a twig.
Superman managed to find a way to wedge himself on the edge of a bright blue bus, then blew his engine while pointlessly revving the not-so-super powered truck to the point of oblivion.
The Lucas Oil Crusader obviously failed high school physics by not realizing that Monster Trucks and momentum do not go well together when not moving in a straight line. Hence, he spent some time upside down in his truck to think about things for a little while.