Home / Archives / Hall Brothers Stake Claim at Monster Nationals Championship in Week Two
Mark Hall came on strong in week two.
Mark Hall came on strong in week two.

Hall Brothers Stake Claim at Monster Nationals Championship in Week Two

DSCN3266The first weekend of the Monster Nationals saw both the Hall Brothers Racing team and Team Bigfoot go tooth-and-nail over three shows to see who would be the better bunch out of the two.  In one show it would be the team celebrating 40 years in the business with the edge, then the next it would be the Ram bunch taking over.  At the end of the weekend in Sioux City, Iowa, Bigfoot held a slight lead in overall victories, while holding the points lead in racing.

One week later, the five-truck field would go indoors once again at the Alliant Energy Center in Madison, Wisconsin, to do battle once again in a 3-show weekend.

Following a spectacular two-hour pit party, the first show of the weekend was under way, and would kick off with the wheelie contest.  Right out of the box, Kevin Koszala would launch the Retro Bigfoot piece skyward, after having his weekend end a little early a week ago thanks to a rollover.  As good as the launch was, the one that would take the victory to start the weekend was teammate Josh Gibson, who’s Birthday Bigfoot had the fans feeling happy since their own messages were put on the chalkboard paint that adorned the body.

After a cool-down period, things got loud since up next was the donut contest.  This one would go the other direction, as the Hall Brothers would get their first win of the night by getting the victory thanks to a tire-smoking run by Mat Dishman in the Rammunition.

What was unexpected was how that victory would then yield an omen to how the rest of the night would progress.

Already having the cars smashed down from the wheelies, it made the next round of competition easier.  With a longer starting area, it was time for every truck to go for distance in the long jump portion of the show.  Horsepower would be an advantage since it would mean more power to the pavement, and for Dishman it was plenty to get his Firestone tires to grip and send him flying.

After another cool-down period, it was time to really get down to business because the big victories were on the line.  The pavement near the starting line began to have a bit more grip than before, as the tires began laying some rubber down.  It was time for side-by-side racing, and at this point the Halls made sure that they were going to be the overall victors on the night.

It wasn’t Dishman, however, that would gain that victory.  He would make it to the finals, but instead it was teammate and Guinness World Record holder, Mark Hall, in his record-setting Raminator.  In an ironic twist, this would be Hall’s first racing victory in the Monster Nationals tour this season, as he was shut out a week ago in Iowa.

Finally, the time had come for the part that many fans show up to see.  It was time to freestyle, and when Koszala started the night, it was clear that everyone in the line-up was going for broke to start the night.  Koszala was strong, as was teammates Gibson and Rick Long.  Dishman still showed he could make his red and silver Ram make noise, but the first show of the weekend was all about the man flying the champion flag.  Hall made the Ram Heavy Duty launch hard, slide like on a dirt track, and even showed that he didn’t need to go forward to make a move.  The only one to pull off a reverse jump made it a unique twist to his run, and was enough to give him the freestyle victory, sweeping the big trophies for show one.

Two shows remain for the Bigfoot team to get back in the hunt, one on Saturday at 7:30 p.m. and a Sunday matinee at 1:30 p.m.

Friday Night Results:

  • Wheelie Contest:  Josh Gibson, Birthday Bigfoot
  • Donut Contest:  Mat Dishman, Rammunition
  • Long-Jump:  Mat Dishman, Rammunition
  • ​Racing Finals:  Mark Hall, Raminator def. Mat Dishman, Rammunition
  • ​Freestyle:  Mark Hall, Raminator

 

The long wait for the next show over the weekend had all five drivers ready to conquer the track.  Even after one night conditions change since the concrete of the Alliant Energy Center was worn in, so every truck was going to get better grip on the night, and that would mean even better action for the Saturday night program.

Right off the get-go, the fresh cars that were set up to start the wheelie contest were attacked with vengeance.  Each driver hoped they had what it took to start the night off right, but the man that was on a streak started out his night by following up how the previous night ended.  Mark Hall stood the grey and black Raminator to the ceiling, coasting right across the car stack, securing the first win of the night.

Every truck then had the chance to make the rubber meet the pavement, while also burning down the house as the donut contest followed.  Hall seemed to really want to get the victory after seeing his teammate accomplish the victory the night prior.  Already having been known in years past to make his truck spin tire while having the engine scream as lout as possible, he lived up to that expectation as he would go 2-for-2 on the night, taking the donut portion of the show.

Hall’s streak would come to an end in the long-jump portion of the show, as it was Kevin Koszala taking his Retro Bigfoot to the skies to get the Bigfoot crew on the board for victories on the night.

The main portion of the night would follow intermission, as all five drivers were looking to go side-by-side in their quest for victory.  Since Hall won the previous night, rules state the racing winner from the previous event would get the automatic bye into the semi-finals.  The other four would compete to get into the semis, and when the field was reduced, all three Bigfoot trucks were eliminated.  With Koszala, Josh Gibson and Rick Long looking on from the pits, Hall and Mat Dishman would line-up in the quest to get the needed points to get each back into the title hunt.  In the end, Dishman had the better launch off the line, and that would give him the racing win on the night.  At the same time, the victory would give the Halls the overall win on the night since they had over 50 percent of the victories.

Still, the Foot team was not backing down and they knew freestyle was the time to make their fans overjoyed.  However, Hall was on a streak of two straight freestyle victories dating back to last weekend, and he was not one to back down from making it a possible three straight.

His truck, in only the second year of competition, has been broken in well, and Hall is looking even better behind the wheel.  He would drift, launch, spin cyclones, and again use the reverse maneuver to get the crowd on his side, and that was enough to lock in the freestyle victory.  In the second show alone, Hall would take three competitions, and thus far has won half of the competitions through the weekend.  Considering the struggles he experienced last weekend, Hall is not wanting this momentum he’s attained to leave.

One show remains on Sunday, which will be a special matinee start of 1:30 p.m.

Saturday Night Results:

  • Wheelie Contest:  Mark Hall, Raminator
  • Donut Contest:  Mark Hall, Raminator
  • ​Long-Jump:  Kevin Koszala, Retro Bigfoot
  • Racing Finals:  Mat Dishman, Rammunition, def. Mark Hall, Raminator
  • Freestyle:  Mark Hall, Raminator

 

As Sunday rolled around for the final show of the weekend, the Hall Brothers team was on a tear over the course of the first two shows.  Having an 8-2 advantage in wins over the course of the weekend put the focus squarely on the Raminator and Rammunition machines.  The Bigfoot group had struggled to get wins all weekend long, but were not going down without a fight.

The final show would be six hours earlier than the previous two nights, with a 1:30 p.m. start.  Up first on the docket was the wheelie contest.  At that point the Bigfoot team only had one win in the opening round in Madison, but the newest driver on the fleet made sure that it was doubled.  Josh Gibson stood the Birthday Bigfoot straight up on the cars, to the point where the tailgate would come loose from the mounts.  It was more than enough for the young man to achieve the first win of the afternoon.

The donut contest, however, the entire weekend was where the Hall Brothers team had the big stranglehold.  The new-design chassis have shown that they can hook up on the concrete and the powerful HEMI engines roar to life when the throttle is to the floor.  For the afternoon program, Mat Dishman had the Rammunition screaming the loudest as he would win his second donut contest of the weekend.

However, Mark Hall was not going to leave Madison without at least one more victory.  When it came time for the long jump, he was ready to sky the Ram Heavy Duty across the floor.  He would do just that and win his first event of the afternoon, and it would prepare him for the main events that were to follow.

One advantage for Hall was that due to him winning the night before, he would get a bye-run in the first round of racing.  With the odd-numbered field for the Monster Nationals this year, that was the rule that determined which truck would have the single run into the semi-finals.

Hall would advance to the finals, and would go up against Gibson for the final racing trophy of the weekend.  Despite a strong launch by the blue Ford, Hall had just enough to nip Gibson at the line to take his second racing trophy in Madison, Wisconsin.  After struggling in the racing portion of the show a week ago, going 2-for-3 over the weekend was a great turn around, and showed that Hall is not backing down in his title defense.

Finally, after getting the floor cleared of any debris, it was time to hand out the final trophy of the weekend.  All five drivers knew that this was the final chance to make an impression on the fans, and there was no holding back.  What may have surprised, at least in the eyes of some, was who would walk away with the trophy.  After only winning two contests the entire weekend, ironically each being the first contest of the night, Gibson made his Birthday Bigfoot, complete with messages written by the fans on the body, stand proud at the end of the afternoon as freestyle champion.

Sunday Afternoon Results:

  • Wheelie Contest:  Josh Gibson, Birthday Bigfoot
  • Donut Contest:  Mat Dishman, Rammunition
  • Long-Jump:  Mark Hall, Raminator
  • Racing Finals:  Mark Hall, Raminator, def. Josh Gibson, Birthday Bigfoot
  • Freestyle:  Josh Gibson, Birthday Bigfoot

 

With the Hall Brothers team taking 11 of 15 events over the weekend, they now hold an 18-12 advantage over the Bigfoot team.  Luckily for the team celebrating 40 years in the industry, they have a long time to rest up and get ready for the next Monster Nationals show.  The series is off for nearly a month till they are back at it on February 22 at the Convocation Center in DeKalb, Illinois, for a one-show weekend.

The show will begin at 3 p.m. however the doors will open two hours earlier for the pit party.  For ticket information for the event in DeKalb, and all other Monster Nationals events, follow their Facebook page (Monster Truck Nationals), and visit MonsterNationals.com.

 

RACING POINT STANDINGS

  1. Lucas Oil Bigfoot, Rick Long:  325
  2. Raminator, Mark Hall:  325
  3. Rammunition, Mat Dishman:  275
  4. Birthday Bigfoot, Josh Gibson:  275
  5. Retro Bigfoot, Kevin Koszala:  150

About Dustin Parks

Check Also

The 2011 jamboree finale was a wild one for Team Bigfoot.

Horsepower Rewind: The Battle and Battlescars of a Championship

When I decided to do a series looking back on some wild moments I had ...

Leave a Reply