Check Out Our Sports Photo Galleries Contact Us
Monster Mutt romps at Monster Jam
by Dan McGee
Mar 20, 2011 | 2592 views | 0 0 comments | 5 5 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Tribune/Dan McGee - The only local competing in this weekend's Monster Jam is Ranger Joe Cypher. Here, he launches his truck, Air Borne Ranger, over crush cars during Sunday's freestyle contest.
Tribune/Dan McGee - The only local competing in this weekend's Monster Jam is Ranger Joe Cypher. Here, he launches his truck, Air Borne Ranger, over crush cars during Sunday's freestyle contest.
slideshow
Tribune/Dan McGee - Monster Mutt, driven by Charles Benz, with its floppy "ears," tail and tongue was a crowd favorite at this weekend's Monster Jam. Here it gets some big air while jumping an obstacle at the Livestock Events Center.
Tribune/Dan McGee - Monster Mutt, driven by Charles Benz, with its floppy "ears," tail and tongue was a crowd favorite at this weekend's Monster Jam. Here it gets some big air while jumping an obstacle at the Livestock Events Center.
slideshow
Tribune/Dan McGee - Chad Tingler bicycles Grave Dinner during his freestyle time on Sunday, it was the second time during the weekend he drove the truck on two wheels and each time he recovered.
Tribune/Dan McGee - Chad Tingler bicycles Grave Dinner during his freestyle time on Sunday, it was the second time during the weekend he drove the truck on two wheels and each time he recovered.
slideshow
Tribune/Dan McGee - During Sunday's final ATU race Minden driver Chris Willing 654) has the lead as he's chased by eventual winner Dennis Jean (1959) and Nick Granlund (7). Chasing this trio was Jim Rigsby (1).
Tribune/Dan McGee - During Sunday's final ATU race Minden driver Chris Willing 654) has the lead as he's chased by eventual winner Dennis Jean (1959) and Nick Granlund (7). Chasing this trio was Jim Rigsby (1).
slideshow
RENO — This weekend the Advance Auto Parts Monster Jam made it’s annual visit to the Reno Livestock Events Center. And the building echoed with the sounds of raw horsepower as they flew through the air and over crush cars.

One driver having a great weekend was New Mexico resident Charles Benz, who drove the popular Monster Mutt Rotweiller. In keeping with the its theme the trucks sports floppy “ears,” that fly during jumps and even a tongue that goes in and out, well most of the time.

“After sweeping all his competitions on Sunday he said, “Thank you Reno, the truck is awesome and thank you for the opportunity.”

While things came up roses for Benz, it was a different story for Ranger Joe Cypher, who drives and owns Air Borne Ranger. As the only Reno resident in the field he had hoped for less challenging weekend.

“Friday night turned out really nice and no problems, just the basic maintenance and stuff,” he said. “Then comes Saturday afternoon but the cool thing was we beat Grave Digger in one round. Then that’s when the problems started.”

The truck’s motor began to quit during jumps and after much work, including changing the fuel pump, it was discovered a clogged fuel filter was the culprit.

“Then I snapped an axel,” he said.

That also cracked a casing, which had to be welded. With help from the other teams, Ranger’s crew worked non-stop until the evening show began.

“After this we go to Las Vegas for the World Finals and we’ll be signing autographs and bringing our ride truck, Air Borne Ranger II, so we’re pretty happy about that,” he said.

The Monster Truck show began with a wheelie contest and Benz wheeled Monster Mutt to four victories. He managed the biggest air and on Sunday even sat the truck down almost on the “tail” it sports.

After that the trucks line up for a bit of “Chicago Style,” racing. Here each truck lines up on opposite sides of the arena and they do a full lap at speed with the aim of beating the opposing truck back to the finish line on their side of the course.

It’s quite a show sliding these machines around relatively tight corners then jumping over a table top as they head down the straights. And Monster Mutt took three of the main events with Grave Digger claiming Friday night’s race.

What many come to see at a Monster Truck event is the freestyle competition. Here drivers fly over obstacles in a show of power, air and speed as they tear around the arena floor.

Since Grave Digger is the best known truck of all driver Chad Tingler usually went last an started his show with a bang as he’d fly over one of the obstacles. I this contest Grave Digger was almost supreme winning three out of four times.

Both Monster Mutt and Grave Digger however had their moments. On Friday evening Benz had Monster Mutt slowly rollover on its side.

“It was completely unexpected,” he said. “I was just trying to throw it through that last turn to get back for one final jump for the fans. I went over the little turn bump and it fell from under me and wasn’t even a roll over.”

Tingler also had a moment during Saturday evening’s freestyle show when he almost put Grave Digger on its side.

“You always steer toward the ground,” Tingler said later. “And I’ve been all the way over on the sidewalls of the tires and have been able to bring it back.”

He also spent the weekend working through problems with the truck.

“We’ve just been fighting shock problems with the truck all year long,” he said. “It’s a brand new truck and we have to get used to it. So we’ve been trying each and every weekend different things and it,s landing a little better, but we’ve got a ways to go yet.”

Despite the problems he was high on the track, which he said holds up great and appreciated the fans that show up for these events.

On Thursday, before the event, Benz visited the Renown Medical Center and was impressed by what he saw in the children’s area.

“I’d like to say what an amazing children’s hospital you have here,” he said. “And there is some great people working down there helping those kids. I got to visit with the kids and it was an amazing experience.”

Rounding out the event, and sponsored by United Technical Institute, were several all terrain utility vehicles that staged races of their own. They used a course that not only ran down both sides of the arena but wound around the infield and went over some jumps.

Every time the green waved it was wild action as drivers slid around the turns and went wheel-to-wheel with each other. One driver even managed to roll over to the delight of the crowd.

After each time the officials righted the vehicle and that driver proceeded on his way.

On Sunday there were only four of these racers left as the others headed to California after the previous night. However they still gave a good account of themselves.

The main, like the others was highlighted by many lead changes, especially in the very tight final turn. At the checkered Dennis Jean followed by Minden driver Chris Willing.

Now the trucks and their crews head for Las Vegas as the annual Monster Jam World Finals will be held on Friday and Saturday followed by the awards dinner on Sunday. This event draws fans from every state and some foreign countries as 24 trucks vie for honors and the freestyle competition is said to be epic.

OTHER RACING NEWS

•This weekend will be a varied one for area motorsport fans.

It begins on Friday as Al Lockett opens his Off Road Expo, which is part of a combined show at the Reno-Sparks Convention Center. The Northern Nevada Kart Club, Rattlesnake Raceway, the Reno-Fernley Raceway’s oval and other groups will have booths and displays.

A few miles west of Lovelock, about 1.5 miles north of the Toulon exit on I-80 the desert racers of MRANN and AMA District 36 host a combined event, the Toulon Two Step II. Saturday is for the younger riders and women while the big bikes get their turn starting at 10 a.m. on Sunday.

The weekend ends with the second round of the LivFast/Exit 28 Dealer Challenge Motocross series. Saturday is for practice while the first moto is expected to start around 9:30 a.m. on Sunday.

•Two of NASCAR’s Las Vegas Trip raced at the Bristol Motor Speedway this weekend. Kyle Busch made it a sweep taking the Nationwide race on Saturday and becoming the first driver to lead 10,000 laps in the current Bush Grand National Series.

On Sunday Busch won the Sprint Cup event while his older brother Kurt came from 20th to finish 7th.

•At last week’s Pro Kart event in Dixon, California two members of the Northern Nevada Kart Club won their races. Young Austin DeMent took the Tag Jr. race while veteran driver Glenn McKinnon won the Tag Master’s class.

RESULTS

Sunday, March 20

Monster Trucks:

Wheelie Winner - Monster Mutt Rotweiller

Heat Races - #1 Grave Digger the Legend (Norm Miller) defeats Air Borne Ranger (Joe Cypher), #2 Patriot (Don Rodoni) defeats Grave Digger (Chad Tingler), #3 Monster Mutt (Charles Benz) defeats Thunder (Andrew Peckham)

Semimain -#1 Monster Mutt defeats Grave Digger the Legend, #2 Thunder defeats Patriot

Main - 1. Monster Mutt, 2. Thunder

Freestyle - Monster Mutt

UTI ATV

Fast Qualifing Time - 1. Nick Granlund, 51.93

Main (6 Laps) - 1. Dennis Jean, 2. Chris willing, 3. Nick Grandlund, 4. Jim Rigsby

•Saturday, March, 19

(Evening Show)

Monster Trucks:

Wheelie Winner - Monster Mutt Rotweiller

Heat Races - #1 Patriot defeats Grave Digger the Legend, #2 Monster Mutt defeats Air Borne Ranger, #3 Thunder defeats Grave Digger

Semimain - #1 Monster Mutt defeats Thunder, #2 Patriot defeats Grave Digger the legend

Main - 1. Monster Mutt, 2. Patriot

Freestyle Winner - Grave Digger

UTI ATV:

Heat Winners - #1 Dennis Jean, #2 Jason Anderson

Main (6 Laps) - 1. Dan Milholland, 2. Jason Anderson, 3. Dennis Jean

(Afternoon show)

Monster Trucks:

Wheelie Winner - Monster Mutt Rotweiller

Heat Races - #1 Grave Digger defeats Thunder, #2 Monster Mutt defeats Patriot, #3 Air Borne Ranger defeats Grave Digger

Semimain - #1 Patriot defeats Thunder, #2 Monster Mutt defeats Air Borne Ranger

Main - 1 Monster Mutt, 2. Patriot

Freestyle - Grave Digger

UTI ATV:

Heat Winners - #1 Nick Granlund, #2 Jason Anderson

Main (6 Laps) - 1. Dave Cook, 2. Dan Milholland, 3. Jason Anderson

•Friday, March. 18

Monster Trucks:

Wheelie Contest Winner - Monster Mutt Rotweiller

Heat Races - Monster Mutt defeats Thunder, Patriot defeats Grave Digger, Grave Digger the Legend defeats Air Borne Ranger

Semimain - #1 Patriot defeats Grave Digger the Legend, #2 Grave Digger defeats Monster Mutt

Main - 1. Grave Digger, 2. Patroit

Freestyle Winner - Grave Digger

UTI ATVs:

Heat Winners - #1 Nick Granlund, #2 Dave Cook

Main (6 Laps) - 1. Dennis Jean, 2. Chris Willing, 3. Dave Cook, 4. Nick Granlund, #5. Don Milholland
Comments
(0)
Comments-icon Post a Comment
No Comments Yet
Featured Businesses