The final day of the 4-Wheel Jamboree is a day where everyone seems to let their hair down, and let loose. It’s the final day to relax with friends, family, and enjoy a four-wheel drive event before reality sets in and work starts again come Monday.
For the General Tire Monster Truck Thunder Drags, the work began when the teams rolled in before the show, and will continue once they return to the shop.
But for the final show, everyone got the opportunity to let loose, as two final victories were on the line.
The repairs from the carnage on Saturday night were all repaired. The Hall Brothers team took a safe route after seeing two steering lines break, one each on the Rammunition of Mat Dishman and Raminator of Mark Hall, and put a lock in the rear steer for racing. With the track being straight-line, the rear steering was not used, so it made for less hassle for the drivers.
Vinny Venom and his crew got the steering ram fixed on the Snake Bite Raptor, although one very clear piece missing was the right-rear bedside. But in a pleasant occurrence, the Venom crew of Denver Echternkamp were able to get the Chevrolet ready to go, but it was clearly not at 100%. Echternkamp said prior to the final show that his truck was running without any water in the cooling system, and his transmission had lost first gear. So in order to make it through the afternoon, he needed to just run as little as possible.
For him, the 3:30 p.m. show would create a slight hiccup in that, as he would draw the bye-run in the first round, meaning one extra run on the engine.
But in a theme that seemed to be recurring from the previous day was breakage.
In the first round, the Snake Bite machine would fall to Rammunition, but instead of pulling back into the pits, Venom immediately went to the exit at the turn 4 area of the Allen County Fairgrounds infield. It was unclear what was incorrect with the machine, but it was enough to know that the crew needed to work on it back at the hauler. The team did not want to leave Lima early and head back to Viper Valley, Vermont, without at least trying to get the truck to put on a show for the Ohio fans.
One run later, the nemesis to the Snake would fall. Larry Swim had the General Tire machine of Dale Benear covered, but immediately after the win he killed the truck, because something went wrong.
Bob Trent, who was overseeing the Bigfoot operation all weekend, and former driver Dan Runte got on the radio and were informed it was bad. The rear driveshaft in the #21 chassis let go, and it was clear how bad it was as the truck was towed off. The big piece of iron was flopping around in the safety cage it was encased in, and the breakage was enough to sit Swim out of the next round, and the remainder of the afternoon.
Back in the racing bracket, it would come down to team trucks as both Benear and Dishman would make the finals, ensuring that for three races over the opening weekend, three different winners would come of it.
On this afternoon, the Ram Rebel would accomplish it as Dishman would claim the final win of the weekend in racing, and the first of the season for Hall Brothers Racing.
Before freestyle would take place, and during a break following the tough truck action, a rumble from the pit area began coming alive. Many fans began looking left, and the crowd roared as the “Red and Green Striking Machine” of Vinny Venom then roared back to the pits, ensuring that the fangs would be coming out for the final freestyle of the weekend.
Track crews were at work overnight to remove the tire obstacle that was set up for the side-X-side course. Originally they were going to leave it and remove the rock pile plus the log setup, but the tires were set right under a power line. One hit by any truck and someone was likely getting shocked. Now with the tires gone, there was very little risk of that.
The first truck to decide to take after it was Doug Noelke in the Tail Gator, and he had the machine roaring the entire run, kicking up dust in the Ohio sunshine. Meanwhile, even with a run that ended short, Benear got the General RAM 1500 to pull a slap wheelie.
But the two trucks that would battle it out the most would be Hall and Venom. Each would attack the course harder than they would the entire weekend, neither yielding a bit. Hall even took on the concrete hill that the side-X-side riders had, clearing it like a speed bump. But, the crowd response to Venom for coming out after having repaired the truck to compete was overwhelming. Officials decided to give the win to the Snake, giving him three overall wins on the weekend.
The lone tough break came on the final run. Dishman’s win meant he went last in freestyle. He would pull the best wheelstand of the entire weekend, but it seemed to cost him.
Right after, Dishman pulled to the pit area. The truck wasn’t broken, but he was running it very slow. He would pull off, and sign autographs after, but Dishman seemed off. To those in line, they may not have noticed it, but many that knew the young man could tell he didn’t feel right. It was a strong feeling, and looked to be serious. The crew heard on the radio that right after landing the wheelie, “My shocks must not be working. I felt all of that.” Mat’s wife then said he hurt his back, which in one of these massive trucks, even with all the suspension and safety, it can happen. Whether there was more to it is uncertain, but Dishman was clearly not feeling well, even with a successful weekend.
- Round 1: Raminator def. Tail Gator; Rammunition def. Snake Bite; Lucas Oil Bigfoot def. General Tire*; Venom BYE RUN
*General Tire moved to semi-finals after breakage to Lucas Oil Bigfoot.
- Semi-Finals: Rammunition def. Raminator; General Tire def. Venom
- Finals: Rammunition def. General Tire
- Freestyle: Vinny Venom, Snake Bite
Now that the opening weekend is done, the jamboree folks both in the competition and in the officiating can take a long break to relax, because the next big show is not for nearly two months. But, it is the biggest show of the summer for any monster truck promoter.
The three-day extravaganza that is the Lucas Oil 4-Wheel Jamboree returns to action the weekend of July 8-10, with some of the most driven and most enthusiastic fans in the country.
It is a trip west onto Interstate 80 to the college town of Bloomsburg, Pennsylvania, and the yearly event that is the A&A Auto Stores Summer 4-Wheel Jamboree, an event that is now entering it’s 29th year. It is the same field of trucks, but it will be a new opportunity to win, and an even larger infield to run on, with very little in the way of power poles, concrete barriers, and industrial tires.
Tickets are available for advance purchase at $18 for adults and $10 for children age 3-12, with kids under the age of 3 free with a paid adult, online at 4WheelJamboree.com. Advance purchase tickets will also be available at both A&A Auto Stores plus Jack Williams Tire & Auto Service Center 30 days before the event.
Tickets will be available at the gate, with kids’ tickets remaining the same, but adults will be $20 beginning on July 8.
Follow the Jamboree on Instagram, Facebook, Twitter and YouTube for all the new events, and latest happenings from Family Events.
- Mat Dishman-Rammunition, 320 (points)
- Vinny Venom-Snake Bite, 280
- Larry Swim-Lucas Oil Bigfoot, 240
- Mark Hall-Raminator, 240
- Dale Benear-The General, 240
- Doug Noelke-Tail Gator, 200
- Denver Echtenkamp-Venom, 160
Special Thanks to:
- Paul Monroe-Competition Director and Safety Coordinator
- Lee Collins-Lead Track Official
- Emily Boden and Leah Burdette-Media Relations
- Jeff Luckey-Luckey Photography
- Paul and Michael Harry-TheMonsterBlog.com
- Doug and Brenda Noelke-Tail Gator
- Mark and Tim Hall, Dale Benear, June Hall, Mat Dishman-Hall Brothers Racing
- Larry Swim, Bob Trent-Bigfoot 4×4
- Vinny Venom-Snake Bite
- Monster Truck Racing Association