Was the first week a fluke…could a new tour actually sustain the success rate from their first three-show weekend immediately into the second venture?
Everyone was thinking if all the hype that was coming leading into the Hot Wheels Monster Trucks Live season was just going to have a great start, but feared that the hype suddenly would disappear. Yet, the overwhelming success of three packed shows one week ago seemed to indicate that monster truck fans were longing for something new, and it was working.
For the second week, the tour went north, going away from the Lone Star State to a city that has seen a resurgence in another sport. The fall campaign in Cleveland, Ohio, saw Baker Mayfield suddenly bring hope and praise to their football franchise.
Now, the town was getting a taste of a new tour for the monster fans, as stop number two came to the Wolstein Center.
The field, the exact same as a week ago, and each were hoping to build off momentum from a week ago. To start things off, the fresh stacks of cars got a pair of hits thanks to the wheelie competition. Every truck seemed to get a hard hit, sending the drivers skyward and looking at the roof. But, Derick Anson seemed to live up to his Demo Derby truck as he hammered each stack of cars, launching nearly the entire distance across while carrying the front tires to the moon.
Just like how he finished a week ago, Anson opened up the night with a win.
Hosts Ken Navitsky and Freddie Sheppard kept the crowd entertained as the trucks cooled off before the next competition, which was going to heat up both the engines and the tires. The concrete floors were ready to withstand some monster donuts from the six-truck field.
Every truck made a hard run at it, but it was the original that set the tone. Darron Schnell may be running the classic “Racing Stripes” on his Bigfoot Raptor, but he was roaring his machine both left and right as he nailed both sets of donuts to secure his first win on the night, and was looking for more.
Freestyle motocross had everyone thrilled during some down time, but it was serious business when it came to racing, because the points were already close for the Titan Cup, and a strong performance could change things.
Schnell worked his way through the field into the final round, but found himself with a familiar man to face. Considering the chassis he was running came from the same shop in Pacific, Missouri, it became a teammate battle for the first racing title on the weekend. The opposition, Christian Norman in the Hot Wheels Racer.
Already with two racing victories from last weekend, Norman was not taking any chances, as he launched off the line and soared across the car stack. The white, red and yellow Raptor was at the top of the heap on this night, as Norman was now 3-for-4 in racing on the season, taking a firm grip on the overall racing title this season.
But, just to show he wasn’t just quick on the lights, he was also ready to thrill the crowd in the final show of the night…freestyle.
After both Bobby and Cody Holman got things going in the Tiger Shark and Bone Shaker, along with some great runs by Steven Snellen in the V8 Bomber and Anson, Norman had to wait until Schnell had completed his performance to hit the track.
When that opportunity came, even with the stacks of cars crushed down, he still was going after it, drifting on the floor and also taking a few strong hits on the van stack. At the end of his performance, the crowd was ecstatic, and it was enough to give Norman back-to-back wins on the night. It also was enough for him to claim his first Titan Cup of 2019, much to the delight of many of the Hot Wheels fans that came through the doors.
SATURDAY MATINEE RESULTS:
- Wheelie Competition: Derick Anson, Demo Derby
- Donut Competition: Darron Schnell, Bigfoot
- Racing Finals: Christian Norman, Hot Wheels Racer 1, def. Darron Schnell, Bigfoot
- Freestyle: Christian Norman, Hot Wheels Racer 1
- Titan Cup Champion: Christian Norman, Hot Wheels Racer 1
With a pair of shows in one day, the only downside for the fans is no opportunity before the evening show to meet up with the drivers of these trucks. But, officials had a valid reason for this.
Track crews were immediately going to work removing the beaten down metal from the first performance, that way all the fans coming into the arena for the evening show had an opportunity to see some fresh obstacles. It meant a quick turnaround from a near 4 p.m. finish to a 7:30 start for the night cap, but all the teams were busy at the same time preparing the trucks for the second show.
When it came time to roll out of the pit area for introductions on Saturday evening, every truck was ready to rock the night in the quest for the second Titan Cup of the weekend.
Ultimately, the evening show was all about trying to somehow hold back one truck, and one driver.
Right away when the night started in wheelies, Schnell was on point settling down his #19 chassis with each hit on the fresh cars, pointing the nose directly to the roof of the arena. The crowd definitely enjoyed seeing him wheel the classic look to victory, so he decided to double up.
Donuts followed, and just as he did in the earlier program, he swung the truck both left and right for a pair of cyclones, much to the delight of the Cleveland faithful. Two competitions, two victories, and it seemed he was on the way to wrapping up the Titan Cup long before the finale of the show.
But, even the best get a mulligan, as he was unable to maintain momentum into racing.
The final round on this night came down to teammates as Snellen lined up the classic Chevrolet Bomber against Anson’s graffiti covered Cadillac. On the line each truck hammered the floor, with Anson seeming to get quick grip with his buffed tires. But, despite having some cleats on the V8 Bomber, Snellen kept the truck low enough to reach the finish line first, capturing his second racing win on the season, and ending the sweep possibility of the Bigfoot team.
However, when the floor was cleared for freestyle, nothing was denying Schnell.
The Raptor was sliding across the floor, soaring across the stacks, and hitting the van so hard the tires shifted and pushed the entire pyramid. A pair of cyclones added in, and this night belonged to the team in blue. Three of four competitions went to Bigfoot, and so did the second Titan Cup of the weekend.
SATURDAY EVENING RESULTS:
- Wheelie Competition: Darron Schnell, Bigfoot
- Donut Competition: Darron Schnell, Bigfoot
- Racing Finals: Steven Snellen, V8 Bomber, def. Derick Anson, Demo Derby
- Freestyle: Darron Schnell, Bigfoot
- Titan Cup Champion: Darron Schnell, Bigfoot
The six-truck field had more time to prepare for the final show of the weekend, which just like the prior round would be a Sunday afternoon delight. While some decided to stay in and watch the NFL playoffs, another packed crowd came out for the Crash Zone pit party. The crowd was so big, some of the vendors selling the autograph posters actually ran out, a possible sign that the tour was getting bigger, and all the positive reviews were having an effect.
Sunday’s track looked similar to the previous two nights, with the lone exception being that track crews did not do a van stack in the center of the floor, but rather did a double-car pyramid to make things a bit more interesting.
The pyramid didn’t seem to be as important as getting off to a strong start in wheelies, and this time Anson managed to push his Cadillac to the limit as he nearly cleared both lanes of cars, easily giving him the first win on the night.
His teammate, Snellen, then made his new tires scream as he managed to cyclone the V8 Bomber as if he was trying to make a crater in the middle of the concrete. It meant no sweep for any team on the night, but also meant the Titan Cup was not just going to be handed over. Every team had to fight for it.
Going into racing, both Snellen and Anson looked ready to gain some much needed points, but after being shut out so far on the afternoon, Schnell wanted to be in on the fun.
That seemed to pay off as he ultimately worked his way through the bracket and into the finals, where he took down Snellen for his first racing win on the weekend. With now three different winners in all three competitions, the battle for the Cup was up in the air for anyone to grab. A win by any of these three meant the Cup was heading their way, but if one of the Holmans or Norman took freestyle, it complicated matters as the points would have to be calculated to determine the overall winner.
Luckily for Anson, he decided to make it much easier on everyone, as he put on a show that he is constantly doing, whether it’s with his new Cadillac body or when he is normally at the wheel of the Heavy Hitter.
Anson took home the Titan Cup with one very determined freestyle, ending a spectacular weekend of action on the new tour, meaning that the fans that are wanting to see these trucks compete are in for a treat when the next round of action begins.
- Wheelie Competition: Derick Anson, Demo Derby
- Donut Competition: Steven Snellen, V8 Bomber
- Racing Finals: Darron Schnell, Bigfoot, def. Steven Snellen, V8 Bomber
- Freestyle: Derick Anson, Demo Derby
- Titan Cup Champion: Derick Anson, Demo Derby
Many fans won’t have to wait long, because it’s another trip south next weekend for Hot Wheels Monster Trucks Live. Round three of competition heads to Jackson, Mississippi, and the Mississippi Coliseum.
It’s another three-show weekend, but with a slight twist in the schedule. Instead of the competition being on Saturday and Sunday, the first round of action will begin on Friday night, January 18. There will be a Crash Zone prior to this event, and the following day, the Crash Zone will happen prior to the Saturday matinee.
Want to get in on the action and see the famed Hot Wheels toys come to life? Visit Hot Wheels Monster Trucks Live to order your tickets. Those that purchase for Friday night and Saturday afternoon, no need to worry about extra expenses for the Crash Zone, as it is included with the ticket.