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Three Events, Three Champions as Hot Wheels Tour Ends Month Three

Bobby Holman (left) became the fifth driver this season to obtain the Titan Cup.

The season for the Hot Wheels Monster Trucks Live tour has seen so many firsts that it’s hard to list them.  That first show back in January, no one knew what to anticipate, but they got a new feel to an old format.  We saw new bodies on familiar chassis, and some new venues that got headlining shows and new fans getting different experiences than they may have gotten in the past.

When the tour rolled into the Norfolk Scope Arena in Norfolk, Virginia, for a three-show weekend, another first happened.  This first…a body change.

When the Bigfoot team unloaded at the arena, of course Christian Norman carried the bright colors of the Hot Wheels Racing 1 Raptor, but his teammate, Darron Schnell, no longer had the classic racing stripes he’s been running since the beginning of the season.  That body was taken off, not because of damage, but because of something they have been waiting to do.

Back at the shop, their lead painter knew that the truck needed to closely match the die-cast that fans have been purchasing right since they hit the market.  Unfortunately, a 1974 F250 body was not available to use, especially since part of the fiberglass would need reworked to fit over the #19 chassis.  So, they utilized an extra Super Duty body they had in the shop, and with a diecast as the inspiration, the team in Pacific, Missouri, brought out a newer look Bigfoot, with a classic design.

No stripes, just straight-up blue with silver trim, and the infamous cartoon truck that the late Dan Patterson designed many years prior.

The new body was an immediate favorite at the Crash Zone prior to the first show on Friday evening, and Schnell looked to immediately made an impact in the opening wheelie competition.  But, on this night, it was his teammate that launched the namesake truck on both hits of the cars to secure the first win of the night.

When it comes to the second competition, donuts, it was simply too much once again.  The V8 Bomber of Steven Snellen took a set when he began his run, and at that point, it was just close eyes and hold on.  The double-digit record continues for the classic Chevrolet, as it’s become clear the only way Snellen will lose one of these contests will be if he makes a miscue or the truck decides to break.

The long jump competition did surprise a lot of folks in attendance, as it was the lone driver this year to put his truck on its side to win.  Bobby Holman was the first, and currently only, driver to say they landed on the roof, although it’s not something to brag about.  But, he ensured the Tiger Shark launched out of the water with a roar on this night, taking home the title.

Following intermission, a rejuvenated Megasaurus had his dinner, and the fans then settled in for some racing, a critical step on the way to the Titan Cup.

Schnell’s new look seemed to be good luck as he made it to the finals against a familiar foe, the Demo Derby Cadillac of Derick Anson.  Whether it was the new body, a strong reaction time, or possibly a combination of both, Schnell was not to be denied on this night, as he took home the racing victory.

To cap off the night, he was the final truck out for freestyle, and he left a lasting impression on the fans as he would be the one to finish the night as the freestyle champion, claiming yet another Titan Cup on the 2019 season before heading up to the autograph table to meet the fans.

FRIDAY RESULTS:

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

 

The next day meant a pair of shows for fans, and with the weather looking rather pleasant outside for the Virginia faithful, it meant that many could still enjoy the outdoor activities even after the afternoon show came to a conclusion.  Those fans came out in mass as the second Crash Zone was packed full with everyone getting pictures, autographs, and even deciding to show off some signs for the hosts of Hot Wheels Live, Joe Navitsky and Freddie Shepard.

It was all business once the floor got cleared of the red carpets, as this show decided to produce a few firsts for the tour.  It was not exactly clear initially what those firsts would be, but as the show progressed, eyes would open to see what it was.

The wheelie competition didn’t exactly surprise many because it’s been a while since Holman actually won this part of the event.  He did just that, as if he was poking his nose above the water, hoping to claw his way at a piece of bait.  One win in the bank, and it was time to spin some donuts.

Those donuts once again went to Snellen, but then the long jump contest went to Anson.  Three competitions, three different winners.  Things were shaping up to be rather interesting on the night as intermission loomed.

Darron Schnell debuted a brand-new Bigfoot body in Norfolk, one that looks similar in design to the Hot Wheels die-cast.
Darron Schnell debuted a brand-new Bigfoot body in Norfolk, one that looks similar in design to the Hot Wheels die-cast.

When it came to racing, Holman surprised everyone as he put the Tiger Shark in the finals up against Norman.  But, Norman’s Firestone tires locked on really quick on the line, and he made it across just ahead of the Shark’s nose.  That made it four different winners on the night, meaning freestyle had even more on the line than anything on the night.

That is when something rather unique occurred.  Despite being in the middle of the lineup, Schnell put on a clinic once again for freestyle, making him 2-for-2 on the weekend in that competition.  But then it created a bit of a situation.  Normally, the amount of wins would determine who was taking home the Titan Cup.  But, for the first time all season, all five competitions were won by different drivers.  So, how to determine the winner?

The answer:  consistency.  Despite only winning wheelies, Holman actually finished runner-up in the other four parts of the show, and that was consistent enough that it gave him the very first Titan Cup for the entire Holman camp all season.  A massive accomplishment for the veteran driver.

SATURDAY MATINEE RESULTS:

  • 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. Bobby Holman, Tiger Shark
  • Freestyle:  Darron Schnell, Bigfoot
  • Titan Cup Champion:  Bobby Holman, Tiger Shark

 

There would be little time to recoup as the crews went head-first into repairs for the final show of the weekend as they would do another program on Saturday night.  It also meant there was no Crash Zone to prepare for, simply because trying to get things moved around such as the trucks, equipment, and some new iron for the final show would cause too much chaos.

Still, the fans came out ready for the final show, and got treated to another first on the weekend.

For the first time in a long while, every truck on the tour won at least one competition, as it was Holman’s son, Cody, that stood up the radical Bone Shaker to the roof to take home the wheelie competition.  Six trucks, each with at least one win on the weekend became quite the accomplishment.

After that, things seemed a bit more “normal” if there is such a thing in monster trucks.

The reason things got a bit more normal is because when the night continued after the donut contest, one driver took control.  Anson took the Demo Derby to the top of the heap first by launching farther than any driver in the long jump contest.

After freestyle motocross, intermission, and a third meal for Megasaurus, Anson made his way again to the finals, taking on Schnell once again.  This time, Anson got the better of him for his second win on the night.

Then to make sure the final Titan Cup was coming home to the Bluegrass State, Anson finished the night going last in freestyle, and put forth a run that saw his truck touch every corner of the arena, every car, every van, and leave rubber on the concrete when the lights went red.

Three consecutive event wins allowed Anson to take home yet another title on the season, and he celebrated with the fans in the autograph line as he had a fist bump with every individual that came in front of him.  An excellent way to end yet another phenomenal weekend of action.

SATURDAY NIGHT RESULTS:

  • Wheelie Competition:  Cody Holman, Bone Shaker
  • 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

 

There’s no time to even relax, because the tour is back in action this Saturday and Sunday, with yet another first on the season.  Yes, it’s a two-show weekend, but for the first time, neither show is during the evening.  It’s a pair of matinees at the Lawrence Joel Veterans Memorial Coliseum in Winston-Salem, North Carolina.

Both days have a Crash Zone prior to each event, so fans can get up close to the life size die-casts that put on these performances.  Get those tickets now, and experience Hot Wheels Monster Trucks Live.

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