Fall is just around the corner for most of the country, even if the temperatures in some areas maybe don’t show it. It’s an indication that many motorsports are coming to a close and teams get ready to prepare for the new season of indoor action. But, that doesn’t mean there are no big events still happening across the country.
Case in point, the 4-Wheel Jamboree series still has a pair of champions to crown for the 2018 season, and finally the finale weekend has arrived at the biggest event they hold.
Deep in the heart of motorsports country is the Indiana State Fairgrounds, the home of the famed “Hoosier Mile” dirt track that hosts flat track racing and many other events during the season. This time, the infield of the famed fairground track is getting its host of action as the General Tire Monster Truck Thunder Drags came to play for the new year and all the fans that came out on a gorgeous Friday night were in for a treat.
The teams, as well, were ready to do battle as the same lineup that attended the Lima jamboree in June made their return. That meant the Hall Brothers were bringing three of their race trucks for competition. Returning after missing the Bloomsburg weekend was Mat Dishman in the red and grey Rammunition, as he was set to compete alongside Kurt Kraehmer in the General Tire, and Mark Hall in the Raminator, who’s trying to erase the crazy end to his Bloomsburg weekend that included one wild barrel roll at the end of the race lanes.
Bigfoot was represented well as Christian Norman flew the Lucas Oil colors on the very popular gold Ford Raptor body that was mounted on his #18 chassis.
Rounding out the field on this weekend was the Vaters Motorsports camp, as they hauled out the BKT tires to compete this time on both the Black Stallion of Mike Vaters, along with the wildly popular Overkill Evolution Super Duty of Mike Vaters II.
Normally these two trucks would have the deep cleat Goodyears or the Ukraine EcoWork tires giving them grip. But, Indianapolis doesn’t hold well with the deep cut tires, and for one very simple reason. The Indianapolis infield is partially dirt, which is where the mud bog is set up for competition. However, the monsters and the tough trucks do have dirt obstacles, but they are all placed on the unforgiving asphalt parking lot closer to the main grandstands.
No driver wanted to endure a tumble on the hard surface as both Dale Benear and Aaron Cain can attest to the last couple years. But, as the sun began to set on this stunning night, the fans came out and were ready for competition on the Penda-style track.
Immediately it was clear the heavyweights were trying to overtake the field as Hall, Norman, and Vaters II all moved into the semi-finals. But, in the pit area the Overkill Evolution team were having some issues in between rounds, and they had to back out of their slated semi-final round matchup with Dishman, who came back as the fast loser for the bracket.
So, his dad instead went into the semi-finals via the break rule, but it would not be enough as Dishman put his Ram Heavy Duty into the finals. Meanwhile, Norman cruised to his second final round appearance when Hall got loose on the starting line.
It was a rematch of the same final to start the 2018 season, with Norman opting for the far lane to get him to victory. Both trucks lined up and with the sun setting behind the grandstands, each waited for the green light to hammer the throttle. Both left the line hard over the roller, and each stabbed the gas extremely hard between the hills. On the final jump, Dishman poured on the HEMI power and somehow barely squeaked by the golden Foot at the finish line, giving Dishman his second win on the 2018 season. After missing the Bloomsburg event, a win sure felt good in his eyes, as he cut a set of dusty donuts at the end of the track for all to enjoy.
- Round 1: Raminator def. General Tire; Lucas Oil Bigfoot def. Rammunition; Overkill Evolution def. Black Stallion
- Semi-Finals: Lucas Oil Bigfoot def. Raminator; Rammunition (Fast Loser) def. Black Stallion (Break Rule)
- Finals: Rammunition def. Lucas Oil Bigfoot
As the track crew cleared out and got prepared to freestyle, fans once again, as in the two previous jamborees, saw a track with a lot of different dirt mounds, with several different angles to get some air. But, they did not see any cars, as the WHR Motorsports crew once again made the track one where obstacles won’t break down very easily, but made for a challenge to keep momentum.
It seemed to be working well as after some decent runs from Black Stallion and General Tire, Hall came out and began his night with a lot of momentum on the asphalt.
Unfortunately for him, his run came to a close a bit earlier than he wanted despite the great momentum. As he was coming off a side slap hit, he cut right, but the truck somehow hooked an edge on the hard surface and despite stabbing the throttle with everything he had, the truck laid over on the left side. Once upright, Hall fired back up and drove to the pits with what appeared to be just some body damage that could be easily adjusted before the next show. Still, the crowd was into it.
After great runs by both Norman and Dishman, the man that now finds himself in a much deeper hole in racing points than when he entered, now had a chance to take out some frustration on the infield.
Vaters II did just that, as he tore into the track with his signature momentum, sliding the Super Duty every which direction, and even pulling out something not seen yet at a jamboree. As he tried to double up on the racing lane jumps, he landed just a bit short, but the tires somehow caught and kicked up the rear end high in the air. Vaters II held the brake right on top of the hill, pulling off a perfect “stoppie” and then stabbed reverse to ride out a moonwalk.
He then roared around for a few more hits, and went for a cross thread over the tough truck hills, only to land and kick the truck up on the right side tires, beyond the point of return and laid the truck onto the right side to close out his run, one that was victorious in more than one way.
That run was his sixth win in freestyle, and officially clinches him as the 2018 General Tire Monster Truck Thunder Drags freestyle champion. One title down, but still one to go.
The action rolls on once again on Saturday with a pair of events, the first one at 12:30 p.m. for both racing and freestyle, and then closing out the day will be another sunset-filled night of freestyle at 6 p.m.
40 Points for each round, 40 for victory. Racing wins in brackets, freestyle wins in italics.
- Raminator – 800  1
- Overkill Evolution – 680  6
- Lucas Oil Bigfoot – 640  1
- Rammunition – 480 
- General Tire – 440
- Black Stallion – 400
- Storm Damage – 160 1