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Shark Bites and First Experiences Open February Leg for Hot Wheels

The biggest win of the Hot Wheels weekend was a first-timer in Europe, in the title truck. FAN PHOTO: Jesper Dahlsgaard Jepsen.

One month is in the books for the 2020 Hot Wheels Monster Trucks Live tour, but the thought of slowing down at any point has not even remotely been considered.  For the entire month of January, the only time any break came was when the Europe tour took last weekend off to recoup.

That tour picked back up with a four-show slate back in the United Kingdom, this time heading to Birmingham, England, at Arena Birmingham.

The four-show weekend saw Rick Steffens power his way to a pair of Titan Cup championships, while Darron Schnell put his classic-colored Bigfoot Ford atop the standings in the opening show.  However, the biggest highlight of the entire weekend in Birmingham came on the Saturday night show, where literally a tie in points meant the fans got to decide who was winning.

Appropriately, the cheer off came down to Schnell and…his wife, Rebecca, driving Hot Wheels Racing 1.  The fans had the chance to decide the fate of the couple.

When the crowd let it out, it was clear that the ladies in the stands were letting the guys know who ruled the roost.  Rebecca Schnell, in her first-ever season behind the wheel of a Bigfoot truck, took home her first career event title, the Titan Cup.  Even though Darron lost out, in a sense he won because he was there when Rebecca began testing, and has seen her improve as a driver throughout the entire year.  It was a culmination of all her efforts, and the smile on both the Schnells told the entire story.

Titan Cup Champions:  Arena Birmingham-Birmingham, UK

  • FRIDAY:  Darron Schnell, Bigfoot
  • SATURDAY AFTERNOON:  Rick Steffens, Tiger Shark
  • SATURDAY NIGHT:  Rebecca Schnell, Hot Wheels Racing 1
  • SUNDAY:  Rick Steffens, Tiger Shark

 

Back on the home front, the U.S. leg of the Hot Wheels tour had a smaller stop on the year, a single day affair in Corpus Christi, Texas, at the American Bank Center.  The single day affair did not mean only one show, however.  A two-show slate was highlighting the trip to Texas, and judging by the crowd that came out for the Saturday afternoon Crash Zone, they were itching for some monster action.

Every show starts the same, as the wheelie competition gave all the teams a chance to hammer the fresh metal.  On this day, the veteran of the group, Bobby Holman in Tiger Shark, stood the aquatic cat on the tail on both hits.  Despite strong efforts from Rodney Tweedy in the retro Bigfoot and Holman’s son, Cody, in Bone Shaker, the Shark was taking the opening win.

Not surprising to anyone, Steven Snellen again hooked the V8 Bomber on the concrete and held the steering wheel out the window during his cyclone.  Another show, another donut victory.

Derick Anson got into the act as he once again showed why the Demo Derby was such a force in the long jump competition, soaring over the car stack like a Cadillac rocket.  With three competitions in, three different winners meant the Titan Cup was still up in the air with the two biggest competitions yet to come.

Holman was itching to get back on top, and he did just that when he laid the hammer down and took the overall racing championship.

Then, when it came to freestyle, the V8 Bomber showed it did more than spin cyclones.  Snellen attacked the track with everything it had, and then some.  In the end, that run was more than enough to capture the freestyle championship on Saturday afternoon.  However, when the points were totaled, it was the Tiger Shark of Holman that was taking home the Titan Cup on the afternoon.

All that was left was sign some autographs, and the crews get to work checking over the trucks, while the track officials made some changes to the car stacks.  One show was still remaining on the weekend, and every truck was itching to take home the trophy.

SATURDAY AFTERNOON RESULTS:  Corpus Christi, TX

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

 

The crews did a quick turnaround on both the trucks and the track, because when the second Crash Zone opened to fans, it’s as if the prior show had not even occurred.  Young and old, guys and girls, all were ready for the second and final event of the weekend, as were the drivers when they strapped into their seats.

When the wheelie competition took place, a similar result came from the prior show, however only when it came to last name.  A Holman did win the competition, but this time it was the Bone Shaker of Cody Holman taking the victory when his flat black hot rod soared all the way across the car stack.

Snellen once again showed why he is beyond the king of the donut contest, as at this point he appears to be a near higher power when he slings cyclones.

The long jump contest went a bit differently from the first show, as instead the Tiger Shark and Bobby Holman soared far and long, as if it was Flipper jumping out of the water.  Through three competitions, it once again was three different winners.

That quickly changed when Cody Holman did the family proud once more, charging his way through the racing brackets and taking the racing championship, just as his father did in the matinee show.  That put the Bone Shaker in front for another Titan Cup, as just freestyle remained on the night.

However, thanks to a stellar performance that saw a lot of momentum, sliding, and a lot of hits on the van, Anson put the Demo Derby Cadillac in victory circle for freestyle.  However, that also meant with a pair of victories on the night, the points tally gave the nod to the Bone Shaker, meaning that the Holman camp had two Titan Cups to return to Ohio, ending a very successful weekend in the Lone Star State.

SATURDAY NIGHT RESULTS:  Corpus Christi, TX

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

 

The first full weekend of February is a bittersweet one for the Hot Wheels tour, especially for the Europe leg.  From February 7-8, it is the final stop of Hot Wheels Live Europe, making the finale in Glasgow, Scotland, at SSE Hydro.  Once this weekend concludes, all six teams will tire down for the last time, load the trucks in the hauler, then make a road trip that will ultimately become the longest drive home of all.

Each hauler will then go onto a ship, and make the long trip across the Atlantic Ocean, before making the return journey to Missouri for the Schnells, then Ohio for Rick Steffens in the Tiger Shark and Josh Holman in Bone Shaker, and finally a long drive out to Utah for Kreg Christensen and Corey Clark who pilot Demo Derby and V8 Bomber.

Meanwhile, the U.S. leg continues on, heading east to Albany, Georgia, for a pair of shows on Saturday, February 8, at the Albany Civic Center.

Tickets will be at a premium, especially with the Glasgow show being the final stop for the European side of the 2020 schedule.  Get to the Crash Zone, get those tickets, and join in as Hot Wheels Live rolls on.

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