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Demo Derby Breaks Through in Third Week of Hot Wheels

Whether at home or abroad, It was a weekend of Demo Derby dominance. FAN PHOTO-Andy Ullom

As the month of January rounded the halfway point, the Hot Wheels Live tour was already picking up steam from the week prior, and it was as though they could not do wrong.  The crowds were filling the arenas both at home and abroad, drivers were having fun alongside the fans, and like always the crews behind the scenes were working extra hard to ensure every event is as great as can be.

Entering the third week of competition, both the U.S. and Europe tours were looking to welcome fans for another weekend of seven total shows.  On the main land, the Wolstein Center located in Cleveland, Ohio, was setting up for their own three-show slate.

Meanwhile, on the opposite side of the Atlantic, it was the fans in Copenhagen, Denmark, that got the ultimate four-show weekend inside the Royal Arena that was opening things for competition.

Over the course of the weekend, many firsts came of the events.  Namely, each event had a different Titan Cup Champion crowned.  Josh Holman, in his all-new Bone Shaker, took home the Cup on Friday night, but then teammate Rick Steffens in the Tiger Shark would capture it on Saturday afternoon.

By the time the Saturday night show concluded, Kreg Christensen would bring home his first-ever Titan Cup, but then Sunday afternoon it was the Schnell family that was celebrating as Darron would bring the all-blue Bigfoot to the championship.  At the same time, he was sitting on the sidelines while he watched his wife, Rebecca, break through in her own right as she would capture her first event victory as a driver.  She powered the Hot Wheels Racing 1 Raptor to victory in freestyle on Sunday, and was overwhelmed with the accomplishment as she and Darron embraced to close out what ultimately was a weekend of unexpected moments in Denmark.

TITAN CUP CHAMPIONS:  Royal Arena-Copenhagen, Denmark

  • FRIDAY:  Josh Holman, Bone Shaker
  • SATURDAY AFTERNOON:  Rick Steffens, Tiger Shark
  • SATURDAY NIGHT:  Kreg Christensen, Demo Derby
  • SUNDAY:  Darron Schnell, Bigfoot

 

Back in America, the fans in Cleveland came out on Saturday afternoon ready to see their home-state crew of Cody and Bobby Holman do battle against the other six competitors.  Things started off well for the crew from Ohio as it was Cody taking home the opening wheelie competition.

Steven Snellen continued his season-long streak of donut victories with yet another smoke-filled, no steering wheel set of cyclones, but at that moment no other truck was going to see victory on the night except for one.

The truck that did that was one carrying a classic body, but had seen a few struggles already this season.  On opening weekend, it was first a transmission, then a blown engine set him on the sidelines for the remainder of the events.  Handling issues, near misses, and tough luck had followed Rodney Tweedy all year, despite having a Cup to his name.

Finally, on this particular afternoon, the classic Retro Bigfoot finally found it’s momentum, and the oldest-competing chassis that the Foot group has in competition suddenly went on a tear.

It started with Tweedy taking home the long jump competition, and then he would take down Holman in the racing finals, as breakage then kept the Bone Shaker out of freestyle.  Tweedy then went out and laid down what was his best freestyle of the season, getting out of shape a couple times where the tires were almost to the sidewalls.  But, he kept the truck on all fours, and thanks to a clean sweep of the biggest competitions of the night, he would bring home the Titan Cup to the delight of all the Ohio fans.

SATURDAY AFTERNOON-Cleveland, OH

  • Wheelies:  Cody Holman, Bone Shaker
  • Donuts:  Steven Snellen, V8 Bomber
  • Long Jump:  Rodney Tweedy, Bigfoot
  • Racing Finals:  Rodney Tweedy, Bigfoot, def. Cody Holman, Bone Shaker
  • Freestyle:  Rodney Tweedy, Bigfoot
  • TITAN CUP CHAMPION:  Rodney Tweedy, Bigfoot

 

In between shows, crews usually do routine maintenance to ensure they are set to go for the next event, but for the Holmans they had to do a complete teardown.  It was discovered that the transfer case to deliver all the power of the engine and transmission to the wheels had broke, so they had to spend the down time between events taking it out of the truck and replacing parts.

They had managed to do so with time to spare, and were ready to go for the second show of the weekend.

When it came time to get wheelies going, the Demo Derby team broke through as Derick Anson put the Cadillac on the wheelie bar, and almost to the end of the car stack on both hits.  The fans seemed to enjoy what they saw, and it meant Anson had a win to his credit.

Snellen again got the donut win, while Tweedy doubled up on his long jump.  But it was during this time that teammate Christian Norman suddenly found himself sidelined for the night.  In an ironic twist, which for many never expect, the Hot Wheels Racing 1 crew experienced the same breakage as Bone Shaker did, the transfer case.  For Norman, it was a tough break as the title sponsor of the tour now had to sit on the sidelines, and had a long night ahead to rebuild for the final performance.

Meanwhile, Holman got himself into the winner’s circle as he got a major racing win on the night, and leaving the Titan Cup still up in the air, meaning freestyle was going to be the deciding event.

Apparently Anson got that memo, and elected to really send it because he would lay rubber down all over the floor in Cleveland, and even hit the van stack so hard it got the truck all out of sorts, almost on it’s side, and pulled out the save that got the crowd roaring its approval.  This night belonged to Demo Derby, and the Titan Cup was heading to Kentucky to close out the night.

SATURDAY NIGHT-Cleveland, OH

  • Wheelies:  Derick Anson, Demo Derby
  • Donuts:  Steven Snellen, V8 Bomber
  • Long Jump:  Rodney Tweedy, Bigfoot
  • Racing Finals:  Cody Holman, Bone Shaker, def. Rodney Tweedy, Bigfoot
  • Freestyle:  Derick Anson, Demo Derby
  • TITAN CUP CHAMPION:  Derick Anson, Demo Derby

 

Overnight, and even into the late morning, the Bigfoot team was on the phone back at the shop to assist in repairs.  Unlike the first weekend of the season, it wasn’t simply “head to the shop and get another” when it came to competition.  Instead, Norman and crew had to repair the transfer case on the road and get it ready for the final show.

Norman, the Bigfoot crew and even help from other competitors, got the Hot Wheels machine fixed and ready for the final Crash Zone of the weekend, hoping to finally break into victory.

The final show started off similar to what the Saturday night show had showcased.  Anson once again took the wheelie competition, but then Snellen again swept the donuts to keep him undefeated on the season.  But, the long jump competition is where things took a shift because Anson was not wanting to be denied on this night, and he wasn’t as the Cadillac soared over the car stack to take home a second win on the night.

When racing continued, it was a bit of a surprise to some in attendance, but for the first time on the weekend, the Ohio-based team got to celebrate a bracket victory.  Bobby Holman finally got his Tiger Shark into victory lane, meaning that five drivers on the weekend had taken care of business and achieved victory.

With freestyle being the final event, it would remain as five winners because just like Saturday night, Anson would put on a clinic on the arena floor for the second straight show.

At night’s end, the Titan Cup was staying on the Kentucky side of the ladder, and Anson would make sure the fans were heading home with a smile on their faces.

SUNDAY-Cleveland, OH

  • Wheelies:  Derick Anson, Demo Derby
  • Donuts:  Steven Snellen, V8 Bomber
  • Long Jump:  Derick Anson, Demo Derby
  • Racing Finals:  Bobby Holman, Tiger Shark, def. Derick Anson, Demo Derby
  • Freestyle:  Derick Anson, Demo Derby
  • TITAN CUP CHAMPION:  Derick Anson, Demo Derby

 

The final full weekend of January is not letting up in the competition, but the Europe tour actually gets a much needed, and welcomed, weekend off.  The next event for that part of Hot Wheels Monster Trucks Live will be from January 31-February 2 at Arena Birmingham in Birmingham, England.

Meanwhile, the U.S. tour doesn’t get a reprieve because the U.S. tour heads to Jackson, Mississippi on January 25 and 26, at the Mississippi Coliseum.

Tickets for all events are available, and it is already looking like another excellent weekend of seeing these Hot Wheels toys come to life.

About Dustin Parks

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