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February Familiarity: Schnell and Anson Overall Winners in Hot Wheels Tour

Who took home another Titan Cup? A pair of familiar faces, that's who.

From the first opening weekend to the middle of February, the Hot Wheels Monster Trucks Live inaugural campaign has been all about bringing the tiny die-casts available in store an online to life.  For a small $4 purchase, a kid’s day is made.  But then, to see that small truck that is made of plastic, metal and rubber suddenly be made of steel, fiberglass, and have the power of 1500 horses, makes that purchase seem worth more.

But every show, every weekend, of the six trucks that rolled tires onto the concrete floor, two have been the ones to watch.

Darron Schnell has carried the banner for the original monster truck, Bigfoot, every weekend and has done so with authority, running the racing stripes that brought Bigfoot it’s first ever championship back in 1990.  His closest competitor, a familiar running mate, Derick Anson.

The Demo Derby Cadillac made a big statement in the first week of action, and seven weeks later was still doing so.  Both were ready to rock and roll, and a trip to the Albany Civic Center in Albany, Georgia, would play host to the eighth consecutive week of action.  But, luckily for the teams, the lone two shows would occur on one day of competition.

An early Crash Zone welcomed in an enormous crowd that got up close to the big trucks, but then once the floor was cleared, and helmets strapped on, it was time to get to business.

Up first, just like every week, was the wheelie competition, and this show was highlighted by a driver who needed to replace the nose of his truck after a previous rollover.  Bobby Holman brought out the Tiger Shark, all repaired and looking sleek, and stood the orange, black and white machine to the roof on both hits on the red stack of cars.  Being first out had it’s advantages, and it was enough that the crowd would give him the victory to start out the afternoon.

But, when it came to doing donuts, another streak was on the line.  Steven Snellen had accomplished a 10-event streak of victories in the competition, as he’s gotten so comfortable at the wheel of the V8 Bomber that he may not want to give up the seat after the season concludes.

However, that was not on his mind as he whipped the classic Chevrolet into a cyclone that lit up the floor with smoke.  It was ten, but now the streak went to 11 events after the fans overwhelmingly approved his winning run.

Freestyle motocross put on a bit of entertainment to let every truck cool off after such a wild performance, but then Anson was ready to extend his own streak, that being one in the long jump competition.

Demo Derby fans were overjoyed when the same streak that started two weeks ago got extended yet another show, as Anson soared the graffiti Cadillac across the car stack farther than any driver, and took home another win on the season.  For yet another show, three events…three winners, so the intermission break certainly made for a great time to regroup and work on equipment before racing began.

That portion of the show came down to a teammate battle.

Schnell again made his way into the finals with the Bigfoot Raptor, while on the opposing lane was teammate Christian Norman in the Hot Wheels Racing 1 Raptor.  Both have been extremely tough to beat on the lights all season, but Norman has achieved a few more wins than his fellow Foot wheelman.

That proved to be the case during the afternoon show as Norman made his way across the line first, taking home yet another victory on the season.

Four events with a different winner in each once again meant the freestyle portion of the show would determine the Titan Cup champion.  Track crews came out and reset the pyramid in the center of the arena, and at this moment, it was time to turn things loose, and let the six teams show off for the crowd in attendance.

The final truck out, the original machine, put on a clinic that not one driver could match.  Schnell would not be denied, as he swept the biggest parts of the show to ensure the Titan Cup was coming back to Pacific, Missouri.  Show one officially in the books.


  • Wheelie Competition:  Bobby Holman, Tiger Shark
  • Donut Contest:  Steven Snellen, V8 Bomber
  • Long Jump:  Derick Anson, Demo Derby
  • Racing Finals:  Darron Schnell, Bigfoot, def. Christian Norman, Hot Wheels Racing 1
  • Freestyle:  Darron Schnell, Bigfoot
  • Titan Cup Champion:  Darron Schnell, Bigfoot


No Crash Zone was coming in between events, simply because of the fact too little time would elapse to get the trucks set up for the displays and also try to move in all new car stacks for the second show.  So, crews pulled the trucks into the pit area to go over all the moving parts of the truck were in working order, and also decided to clean up the looks a bit by giving the bodies a bit of a once-over cleaning.

By the time doors opened for the evening show, things calmed back down and were ready to get going for the second of two shows on the day.

The wheelie contest again started the night, and for those that had even attended the early show, they were in store for a bit of a repeat.  Once again, the Tiger Shark decided to poke its nose above the water, or in this case the metal, on both hits to once again take home the victory to start the night.

Fans then got to see another pair of streaks get extended in between the freestyle motocross performances as once again, Snellen spun his way to a donut contest victory, then Anson soared his way to another long jump win.  Each of those streaks now hit 12 consecutive events, and appears to not be slowing down for anyone.

Following intermission, the enormous Megasaurus had an evening meal of a sub-compact, and seemed to enjoy the meal enough to where the big beast let out a belch.  But, the scraps needed cleared out in order to make the racing lanes fair for all.

As much as Schnell wanted to make it 2-for-2 on the day, instead his teammate went to the finals, and he then had the opportunity to take down Anson for the first big championship of the second show.

He was quick on the lights, and put the title sponsor in victory lane, as Norman launched to the finish line and took yet another victory on the season for the main team.  Another event with four different winners leading into freestyle, something that has become a common theme since the introduction of the long jump competition a few weeks into the season.  This certainly made it important for freestyle once again.

Track crews got things set up, and all safety officials had their radios at the ready, as it was time to officially crown the final champion of the night, and the overall champion for the show.

Nothing on this night was keeping Anson from another Cup, as he floored the slick tires onto the concrete and would not yield.  He hit every stack from every direction, made sure every fan got a good look at the truck by making sure the entire floor was covered.  Anson had everything fall his way, and when hosts Ken Navitsky and Freddie Shepard hit the floor, they not only declared him the freestyle winner, but handed over the Titan Cup.  The big dogs on the tour once again dominated, and the rest of the field still is playing catch up just so they can also have their name etched on that trophy.


  • Wheelie Competition:  Bobby Holman, Tiger Shark
  • Donut Contest:  Steven Snellen, V8 Bomber
  • Long Jump:  Derick Anson, Demo Derby
  • Racing Finals:  Christian Norman, Hot Wheels Racing 1, def. Derick Anson, Demo Derby
  • Freestyle:  Derick Anson, Demo Derby
  • Titan Cup Champion:  Derick Anson, Demo Derby


In life, and in competition, everyone deserves to have a break fall their way.  Not so much in the name of breaking the truck, but rather a break to actually breathe.

After eight straight weeks of action, every team and every driver now gets a chance to head back home, and take some time off.  In fact, the series is getting a deserving two weeks off from action before making a trip back to the heartland of the country.  This will give teams a chance to get back to their home shops, and go through the equipment for a bit to repair any damage that may not have been seen during the weekly grind to start the year.

Up next on the year is a St. Patrick’s Day weekend pair of events in Louisville, Kentucky, at an arena that is named probably after the state’s most iconic individual.

Although he’s currently protrayed as “RoboCop,” there’s no doubt that Colonel Sanders is well represented at the KFC Yum! Center.

Another two-show weekend in the course of just one day will welcome fans, with a Crash Zone prior to the matinee performance.  Bring the toys, and see how much they match up to their life-size counterparts.  Tickets are available, so buy now.

About Dustin Parks

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