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Louisville’s Hometown Driver Sweeps Latest Hot Wheels Weekend

The Hot Wheels tour had a special guest for a little while in Louisville.

As the calendar drew closer to the beginning of spring, and also with a green celebration on the horizon, the Hot Wheels Monster Trucks Live tour decided to get involved as they had been on a rest for a couple weeks.  In a way, it was the tour’s Spring Break, as the six-truck field had an opportunity to head back to team headquarters and do some necessary repairs that had been put off because of the weekly grind.

But, it appeared that everything was intact as the trucks loaded up and made a trip to the heartland of the country.  In fact, they headed to an area that already is rather famous because of one Lionel Sanders.

That name may seem insignificant, however when the term Colonel is added as a suffix, that name becomes recognized by practically everyone across the country.  This man, retired from the military, was looking for a way to make extra money, and all he had was a fried chicken recipe.  One restaurant took a chance, and accepted his offer of paying him five cents for each piece of chicken sold.

At that moment, Kentucky Fried Chicken was created.  And over the weekend, the Hot Wheels Tour made the trip to Louisville, Kentucky, and the KFC Yum! Center for a pair of shows to welcome in the fans prior to the St. Patrick’s Day holiday.

The early show welcomed a large crowd to the Crash Zone, and it seemed the hosts Ken Navitsky and Freddie Sheppard were extremely into getting the fans ready for the excitement that was to come.  It was clear as the arena was packed full from corner to corner.

It all started with some fresh cars, and some wheelie hits to get everyone going.  Every truck decided to sky to the ceiling, but it was an aquatic cat that got things going in the win column.  Bobby Holman decided to put the Tiger Shark at the top of the heap, his first win in a few weeks, and put the rest of the field on notice that he was out to make a statement.

That statement had to go on hold, because when it came to the donut contest, once again, no one was stopping Steven Snellen.  The V8 Bomber was not denied once again as his truck found the groove, and spun right into a perfect cyclone, adding a 13th consecutive donut win to the resume.

Following a bit of a showing of freestyle motocross, it was time for the long jump contest, and at that moment, the hometown boy decided to put on a show.

Just like Snellen, Derick Anson was riding a streak of long jump victories, and the fact he called Louisville his home added more incentive to win.  He was not denied as he made it a baker’s dozen of victories, making it all even on the night heading into intermission.

Unfortunately for one team, the racing part of the night caused some issues, and it meant that a lot of work was needing in between shows.  Holman’s son, Cody, lost the transmission in the Bone Shaker, and it meant he was out for the remainder of the afternoon.  Luckily, the team was prepared and had the spare components in the hauler.  All the while, the competition worked through the bracket and it was Anson again in the finals, this time taking on the Bigfoot Racing Raptor of Darron Schnell.

Home cooking proved to be the best taste of all, because Anson launched the Demo Derby Cadillac across the line to victory, almost ensuring he was taking home the Titan Cup.

He did not, however, make it a sweep of the big events, because when it came to freestyle, Schnell was not being denied.  His truck may be carrying the classic racing stripes, but when it came to showing what the #19 chassis can do when it came time to stretch it’s legs, this night belonged to him, as he would take the freestyle victory to close out the afternoon.  It was not enough, sadly, to steal the Titan Cup away from Anson, as he would show off the big trophy to his Kentucky faithful in the post-show autograph line.

SATURDAY MATINEE RESULTS:

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

 

Prior to the afternoon show, the KFC Yum! Center staff got an extra special treat, exclusive for them.  Rolling in with a separate hauler, the Bigfoot team unloaded the beginning of the industry.  Off went the 48-inch tires, and on went a set of 66×43 Firestones, giving it an iconic look that truly began what is now a 44-year run of being the leader.  Bigfoot #1 was in the house, exclusive for the staff.

That doesn’t mean the fans weren’t without a legacy to meet and greet, because during the Crash Zone at the earlier show, Mr. Bob Chandler himself was meeting the fans.  It was a moment that had not been seen all season, but one that the Louisville faithful were extremely happy to be a part of.

Now in between shows, the Foot team was helping get Team Beast ready to go as they continued to work on the Tiger Shark long after the first event came to an end.

Mission accomplished, because all six trucks were fresh and ready to rock for the evening performance.

Once again, the wheelie contest started things off, and although the Shark was pulling out a spectacular performance, the title sponsor was the one at the top on this evening.  Christian Norman in the other Raptor, Hot Wheels Racing 1, soared across the cars in both directions with the nose pointed towards the roof.  Win one in the books for the Bigfoot group, as Norman celebrated with his brother, Phillip, and Schnell.

The donut contest that followed was excellent for one team, but also unfortunate for another.  As has become common, Snellen spun into a spin cycle just like a Whirlpool dryer.  Fourteen straight competitions as the winner, that streak is intact.

But, once again, a Team Beast machine went down.

Bobby had the Tiger Shark going strong in donuts, but suddenly lost power.  The truck got towed to the pit.  What was thought to be a second transmission failure turned out to be a lot different.  It turned out to be the problem wasn’t the transmission itself, but the transfer case.  A bearing exploded causing all the drive to come to a halt in both the front and rear wheels.  Of all the things to break, this piece was not one that could be fixed during the show, and that meant the Shark was released from competition for the remainder of the night.

Meanwhile, Anson decided to roar to life once again as he extended the long jump streak to 14, matching his teammate heading into intermission.

That intermission became an extended break as another first took place during the other side act.  During his performance, the Megasaurus transformer was enjoying his average snack, a mid-size import car.  But, suddenly it appeared the big beast broke it’s neck, during it’s dinner.  So, rather than choke on the car, and risk the heavy pieces breaking off and causing even more damage, the tracked transformer went into the pits, car in jaw, and rested for the night.  It would be post-show when the crew would be able to do some work.

With two competitions remaining, it was clear that that the Kentucky boy was in control, and trying to wrestle it away was going to be the ultimate challenge.

The challenge was accepted, but in the end, that challenge was too much.

Anson again proved his quickness on the light, taking his second win in racing of the weekend over Schnell, and just to put a major stamp on the successful home show for this Kentucky boy, he would throw down his best freestyle in front of fans, family, and the entire Hot Wheels staff.  Without a doubt, the Titan Cup was staying with Anson, and even Colonel Sanders would be proud to present him with a huge bucket of chicken.  There would be no original recipe for this occasion, because he burned down the show to the point where only extra crispy would do.

SATURDAY EVENING RESULTS:

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

 

The tour gets one week off before returning to action to close out the month of March, as on March 29 and 30, the Hot Wheels monsters will travel to Norfolk, Virginia, at the Scope Arena for three events.

The Crash Zone will take place prior to the evening performance on March 29, plus the afternoon performance the next day.  Get those tickets and pack the stands as the winter tour is close to conclusion, and that means fewer chances to see the $4 toys turn into six-figure behemoths.

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