It’s not uncommon for attrition to be part of a weekend of monster truck action. Parts will break, pieces need fixed, and damage needs repaired. It is part of the business, and the nature of what happens when these 10,000-pound beasts are pushed.
The Bloomsburg 4-Wheel Jamboree has seen a lot of attrition over the course of two days of action.
Spindles, axles, steering rams and tie-rods have been just a few of the items that have needed fixed. No teams have seen more trouble so far than those of XDP and Rammunition. Dave Radzierez broke the tie-rod on Friday night, then on Saturday broke two spindles on the right rear, along with an axle housing at the same location. Meanwhile, Mat Dishman had a spindle break on Friday, then find himself suffer from rear steer issues Saturday afternoon, and then had a planetary lock up in the Saturday night freestyle.
Jim Koehler had a rear axle lock up on him the same night, and the spookiest moment of them all was when Mark Hall was accidentally caught in an inferno when the pyrotechnics went off in the fireworks surrounding his truck. No major damage, but an expensive repair that was unexpected, and definitely left some emotions “hot.”
When Sunday came around, the big goal for everyone was attempting to keep Larry Swim from getting a complete sweep of the weekend.
No driver had swept the racing events at the Bloomsburg Fairgrounds since Swim’s teammate Dan Runte did it back in 1996. So the ultimate goal for everyone was to knock him off the podium. No one wanted it more than Hall, who was seeking his first win of the weekend, and also the continuation of a streak of 13 consecutive seasons of winning a racing bracket at Bloomsburg.
Unfortunately for Hall, that quest came to an abrupt halt in the first round.
Up against Koehler, Hall had a lead, and was looking strong in getting his first round-win of the weekend, his first since winning in the first round in the lone racing program in Lima, but entering the second corner he went wide, clipping the small jump right at the beginning. That was enough to high-side the truck and put the Ram Heavy Duty on the roof, handing Koehler the easy victory. It would end a streak dating back to when the Hall Brothers team began their partnership with Dodge/Ram back in 2002, and send the crew scurrying to the pits to get repairs under way to possibly freestyle later on.
Dishman, on the other hand, advanced to the finals after taking out Retro Bigfoot, driven by Josh Gibson, who nearly rolled himself on the opposite corner of Hall, and then taking out Koehler.
At the same time, Swim’s quest to make it a sweep would end in the semi-finals when Runte put the “Power Wheels” Summit Bigfoot across the line first, ensuring for the first time all weekend that the Bigfoot and Hall teams would compete in the final round.
On this afternoon, after all the breakage the previous two days, Dishman found the combination to have just enough to make it to the line, and take home the victory, his first of the season. In doing so, he ended the streak of the Bigfoot team of three consecutive Jamboree victories, but in doing so he experienced another planetary hub lock up, this one on the right rear. So more thrashing was needed to get both trucks ready to close out the weekend in freestyle.
Sunday Afternoon Results:
- Round 1: Lucas Oil Bigfoot def. XDP; Summit Bigfoot def. General Tire; Avenger def. Raminator (rollover in final turn); Rammunition def. Retro Bigfoot.
- Semi-Finals: Summit Bigfoot def. Lucas Oil Bigfoot; Rammunition def. Avenger.
- Finals: Rammunition def. Summit Bigfoot.
Just like on Saturday, breakage was plenty on this afternoon, but not mainly from the action on the track. Hall would come out fast and loud, soaring high and pulling off his first wheelstand of the weekend. It was enough to get the crowd roaring, but in his trip back to the pits he would cut the engine off quickly, as officials began running to the truck. A fire had developed behind his seat, and he was quickly removed from the truck.
Dishman was able to get the truck repaired to do freestyle, and he would not disappoint anyone as he put on a mirror performance of his teammate.
The first, and truly only, breakage that happened on track didn’t result in a part that was easily seen to break, but more along the lines of felt. Radzierez was still trying to make a full run in XDP for his home state fans, but on his leap across the plateau he coasted to the end of the track. When he started the truck back up, it looked as though he had trouble moving the truck. A closer inspection when heading back to the pits showed that the PA-native was manually steering the front wheels, an indication that the power steering possibly was failing.
But after that, everyone would go full-throttle to the end. Runte would stop his run after a hard landing rung his bell it appeared, but then his teammate Swim put on another strong performance in the Lucas Oil machine.
Yet when it mattered most, it was Koehler that came out the strongest, putting on a show that he is known for. The 1957 Bel-Air was flying high, and slinging dirt, all over the track, and it would be enough to lock up the final freestyle victory on the weekend, his second in two days. Koehler now has the most freestyle victories on the season, and is in the running for that championship once again.
Now, the wait begins for the final weekend of action this season. It’s a long two-month layoff, but when the Family Events season is ready to crown it’s champions, they will do so at their biggest event of the year. The most spectators, the most participants, and the biggest infield to compete at. The final weekend for the season will be at the “Motorsports Capital of the World,” the home of the U.S. Nationals and the Brickyard. It is also the home base for Family Events.
From September 18-20, the Indiana State Fairgrounds in Indianapolis, Indiana, will host the biggest event of the season, the O’Reilly Auto Parts 4-Wheel Jamboree.
Swim’s lead over Runte is less than a round of competition, while Dishman is a full bracket back. The Foot team has major momentum heading into the final show of the year, with all three trucks in the top-five, surrounding the Hall Brothers trucks. Dishman still has a chance to spoil the party, while Hall will need to have every aspect of the Indianapolis weekend go perfect for him to become a four-time defending champion.
Get your tickets now at FamilyEvents.com, and check out the 4-Wheel Jamboree on both Facebook and Twitter for all the latest information.
STANDINGS FOLLOWING BLOOMSBURG:
40 Points for each round. Racing winner gets additional 40 points.
- Lucas Oil Bigfoot, Larry Swim: 520*
- Summit Bigfoot, Dan Runte: 480**
- Rammunition, Mat Dishman: 320
- Raminator, Mark Hall: 240
- Retro Bigfoot, Josh Gibson: 240*
- Avenger, Jim Koehler: 240***
- XDP, Dave Radzierez: 200
- The General, Steve Koehler: 160*
*Freestyle Event winner