Time is winding down on the season for the 4-Wheel Jamboree. The rainy, muddy, and miserable weekend in Lima led to a sticky, warm and muggy three days in Bloomsburg.
In hopes of finding a middle ground, the weatherman could not have been more perfect in deciding how the skies would look for the season finale.
The O’Reilly Auto Parts Fall 4-Wheel Jamboree found the perfect setting at the Indiana State Fairgrounds. Sun in the sky, comfortable air, with a chance of excellent crowds certainly looked excellent.
But that sunny weekend didn’t start out well for one team.
On the first day of his debut jamboree, Aaron Cain made a statement when he put his Quad Chaos machine on its side in the General Tire Monster Truck Thunder Drags freestyle competition.
Luckily for him, and crew chief Daniel Agosh, the repairs were mild, as it was mostly fiberglass. Although one of the handle bars was now broken.
Meanwhile, the Tail Gator team was at work in the morning finishing up repairs on the rear of the truck when Doug Noelke suffered his racing loss.
One team that wasn’t in need of repairs was the team from Colorado. The Snake Bite crew was riding high after Vinny Venom defeated Larry Swim in Bigfoot for the Friday victory. Despite being tied in points, Swim still held the advantage entering Saturday due to having three wins compared to the Snake’s two.
With a huge crowd ready for the next round of action on the asphalt inside the Hoosier Mile, they all were anticipating one intense afternoon.
What they got right away was one moment that left every jaw on the ground, and some worried.
Following Swim’s opening win, Cain came to the line to face his teammate, Jerry Beck in Dirt Crew.
Cain had the jump and crossed the finish about a truck length ahead of the dump truck, but that is when things really went sideways.
The monster quad suddenly cut hard to the left, and at such speed, control was a challenge.
Control stopped when Cain caught the edge and he went over…and over…and over once more. Cain rolled the monster ATV three times, breaking the fiberglass like it was paper, and flattening the rear tire.
Somehow, Cain emerged from the truck not only unhurt, but smiling. It was as if he wanted to go again. But, at least for the afternoon, his time at the wheel was over.
What wasn’t over was the battle at the top, as once again Swim and Venom were locked in the finals, with each truck in the same lane as the night prior.
The result…the same as the night prior.
Venom poured on the power in the Raptor Reptile and pushed to the second win of the weekend, setting up another possibility of a sweep.
More importantly, it gave him a one-round advantage on the Bigfoot team entering Sunday (more on that later).
Just to ensure that the crowd understood who the dominant truck and team were, Venom showed his skill in freestyle. His drift ability and his constant momentum took the afternoon win, giving him a complete sweep on the afternoon, and ensuring he was the man to beat in the motorsports capital of the world.
- Round 1: Snake Bite def. Tail Gator; Quad Chaos def. Dirt Crew; Bigfoot def. General Tire
- Semi-Finals: Bigfoot def. Dirt Crew (Quad Chaos unable to make call); Snake Bite def. Tail Gator
- Finals: Snake Bite def. Bigfoot
In between the two Saturday events, a special moment was held at the main stage.
With founder and leader, Jeff Cook, on the microphone, the time had arrived to reveal the newest inductees into the International Monster Truck Hall of Fame.
The list this year not only included drivers, but also the ones behind the scenes that helped make the sport as popular as it is now.
The Class of 2017 is:
- Jim Ries: Driver of the AM-PM Rocket and AM-PM Boss Chevrolets.
- Jeff Bainter: Creator and Driver of Hot Stuff and High Voltage, the original monster Jeeps, and current driver of Captain USA.
- Gary Cook: Champion owner of the 1989 World Champion Equalizer.
- Mike Gallaway: Announcer for ESPN alongside Ken Broo, and play by play announcer on TNN’s Motor Madness. Better known in the industry as the “Professor of Truck-ology.”
- Seth Doulton: Owner and Driver of the Copenhagen Skoal Bandit and Skoal Crusher.
Also in between the two events for the Saturday festivities was the crews all pitching in to get the Quad Chaos machine ready for the night show.
Even with all the body damage from the roll, the actual chassis was in strong shape.
By the time the 6:30 program began, an all freestyle spectacular, the Quad was set to ride again.
All the trucks for the evening performance put on a clinic, with Swim pulling his wheelstands in the Foot, and Venom drifting the Snake across the infield.
But, in this instance, the truck the fans loved the most actually went early in the lineup, while the sunset was fading in the background.
Beck was enjoying his entire weekend at the wheel of the Dirt Crew Ram, and decided to really go big on Saturday.
Every hit off the car stacks, the blaster cars, and even a couple side hits on the racing hills really got the crowd roaring early. He kept the momentum right up to his final hit, and the crowd ate it up.
His freestyle according to both the officials and the fans was the winning run. His first jamboree and he earned his first win.
Now, one day remains in not only the weekend, but the season.
Swim has one final opportunity to get ahead of his rival, and has two ways of doing so. The simple way for Swim to ensure he wins is if he and Venom meet in the finals, Swim must win.
The points would be equal, but with a win that would give the nod to Swim as he would have more wins.
Another way for Swim to win is if he advances to the finals, but Venom loses in the first round. If Swim goes to the finals and wins, but Venom loses in the semi-finals, Swim would have the points lead. In essence, Swim needs to finish two rounds ahead of the Snake in order to win.
Venom, he needs to finish one round ahead to ensure the title comes to Colorado.
It all comes down to the final show on Sunday afternoon at 3:30 p.m. at the Indiana State Fairgrounds.
POINT STANDINGS (7 of 8 Events)
Event Wins in Brackets
- Snake Bite 960 
- Bigfoot 920 
- Tail Gator 560 
- General Tire 320
- Stinger 320
- Master of Disaster 280
- Dirt Crew 120
- Quad Chaos 80
- Bigfoot – 4
- Snake Bite – 3
- Dirt Crew – 1
- Stinger – 1