Saturday in Lima could be summed up in two words: rain and mud. The weather in Ohio made the 4-Wheel Jamboree a bit more difficult. Everyone went from shining their trucks to simply trying to dry them off. Those that decided to hit the mud pit in the infield got a lot more than they bargained for. Trucks needed power washed to get all the mud out from the hardest places, and the drivers themselves needed to spend a lot of time with a shower head along some Irish Spring and Tide to get the mud off their skin and clothes.
For those that were ready to see the monsters go head-to-head on the S-course the track crew configured, there was no doubt it was highly unlikely.
With the rain in the afternoon and the infield turned into a muddy ice rink, the Family Events team decided to let all the trucks freestyle, so that no fan would leave thinking these 10,000-pound beasts would not get the chance to perform.
Finally the final day of the weekend rolled around, and looking up at the skies, every fan that had a ticket was feeling extremely happy. The sun was shining down on the Allen County Fairgrounds, and the monster teams were already getting prepared for the afternoon. The biggest tool that was getting used since the previous night: garden hose and a pressure washer. Each team was trying to keep any caked-on mud from binding any key components to make the trucks perform. Others had a bit more maintenance to do, namely the crew on Team Scream.
After breaking a wheel off in Friday’s freestyle, the crew went back to work on Steve Koehler’s General Tire machine to fix another broken wheel from Saturday’s performance.
By the time the final show had rolled around in the afternoon, Family Events was still deciding whether it would be best to run a racing program or if the track conditions, even with all the sun that was beating down on the course, would cause them to elect to run freestyle only. In the end, it was decided that the safety of the drivers and their equipment was the big priority. So, the fans would get to see all eight trucks come out and perform in freestyle. There was still mud on the track, but it was nowhere near what the previous day’s conditions were.
Josh Gibson and Mat Dishman each had stellar runs in the Retro Bigfoot and Rammunition machines, and then Larry Swim would show why he is a master of the wheelstand in his Lucas Oil Bigfoot.
Koehler was finally able to put together a run that ended with all four tires still remaining on the truck, something the team is extremely happy about when they return to Michigan to get repairs completed before going to the next show. The weekend’s only race winner, Dan Runte in the “Racing Stripe” Summit Bigfoot, would show that his new beast is more than capable of being a dominant machine in the outdoor tour. Last year’s champion, Mark Hall in Raminator, then showed the HEMI fans he could get the job done.
The final two runs came from a truck that rolls coal, and another that had a classic look.
Dave Radzierez had the XDP Ford blowing smoke out the stack for his entire run, but ended early as more electrical woes seemed to hamper his performance. With more shows outside of Family Events on the horizon, he elected to play it safe and call it a weekend. Finally, “Mr. Excitement” was taking to the infield as Jim Koehler brought out the lime green Avenger Bel-Air and showed that even with mud on the tires, and pretty much every other part of the truck, he still knew exactly how to thrill the people that helped make him the fan favorite he is today.
The opening weekend to the 4-Wheel Jamboree season did not go exactly as planned for anyone. Not the drivers, the fans, and the promoter. However, everyone adapted to the conditions and made the most of what the wet weekend could provide.
For the teams, the 4-Wheel Jamboree season has just begun, and now the teams have a layoff until the next round of action. The layoff will last for nearly two months until the roar of the engines come to life again. Family Events is gearing up for their second show of the year at a venue that for the last 27 years has provided unforgettable moments, and some spooky wrecks at the same time. Come July 10-12, the 4-Wheel Jamboree will make a return for the 28th time to the Bloomsburg Fairgrounds in Bloomsburg, Pennsylvania.
The Bigfoot team is already gearing up for another round of letting their fans decide exactly how Runte’s truck will look. The Lima jamboree is the only weekend that the “Racing Stripes” design would be run. Another three choices will be made for the people to vote on, with the highest tally being the paint scheme that Bigfoot #21 will run for that one weekend.
Once again, this site will have coverage from the Bloomsburg weekend in-person, including some behind the scenes interviews with drivers, crews, and some of the Family Events team that put together the jamboree weekend events.
Be sure to check out the Bigfoot (bigfoot4x4inc) and the 4-Wheel Jamboree Facebook pages for the link to vote on the next body for Runte’s truck, along with all the information on the Bloomsburg jamboree. Then be ready for the full weekend of coverage with All About Horsepower providing photos, videos, and interviews of the next round of competition.
STANDINGS FOLLOWING LIMA (One Race Event held due to weather):
40 Points for each round. Racing winner gets additional 40 points.
- Summit Bigfoot, Dan Runte: 160*
- Lucas Oil Bigfoot, Larry Swim: 120*
- Avenger, Jim Koehler: 80**
- Raminator, Mark Hall: 80
- Retro Bigfoot, Josh Gibson: 40
- Rammunition, Mat Dishman: 40
- The General, Steve Koehler: 40
- XDP, Dave Radzierez: 40
*Freestyle Event winner