By Kat Worrall
This weekend, Wacoans and students will have the opportunity to see athletes compete under the aliases of TailGator, Smashosaurus and Stinger while launching into the air and smashing cars — yes, this is monster trucks.
The event, hosted by the MAP Motorsports on Friday and Saturday, will be held at the Extraco Events Center and is composed of two extreme sports, arena cross and monster trucks.
The monster trucks will compete in various activities, such as side-by-side racing, wheelie contests and freestyle.
“They typically do a head-to-head race where there is a course set up in a coliseum where they jump over hills as well as other cars,” Wes Allison, president and CEO of Extraco Events Center, said. “The big deal is big air.”
The event will begin with monster trucks and go back and forth with arena cross events until the fan favorite ending, the monster truck freestyle.
“Each truck will go out one at a time,” John Darnell, MAP Motorsports’ event coordinator, said. “They get two minutes. They can do anything they want on the track — big air, wheelies, donuts — that kind of thing. Once everyone has ran, they do a crowd cheer-off to see who the winner is.”
Instead of following favorite racers, fans focus on the truck, Allison said.
The big names attending this event are TailGator, a truck that looks like an alligator, Smashosaurus, a dinosaur truck that is popular with children, and Stinger, which has a scorpion tail.
“They always have good trucks here,” Allison said. “They will have some professional class racers for the arena cross but will also have local racers.”
During arena cross, amateurs and professionals alike compete on motorbikes and quad bikes, or four wheelers.
Local, regional and even out of state competitors will attend the event.
“They run their practices and heats during the day,” Darnell said. “If they qualify, they get to run them at night.”
There is not a standard grand prize for the monster truck competitions, since it is varies for each truck and event, but this weekend has a $30,000 purse for the monster truck winner. However, arena cross participants just compete for the title.
Before and after the event, as well as during intermission, there will a “monster bus” ride for guests. For $10, up to 16 guests can ride around the track.
“They take them around, not at the speeds they will be racing, but just take them
around the tracks,” Allison said.
He has one small warning for anyone attending the show —the trucks are loud, but that is how most fans like it.
“It’s a great show,” Allison said. “Just bring some ear protection. It is loud.”
The two-night event begins at 7:30 p.m. and doors open at 6 p.m. On Friday night, from 6 to 7 p.m., anyone with a ticket can also attend the “pit party” down on the racetrack floor to meet drivers and get autographs.
The event costs $24 dollars for adults and $14 for kids and under at the door.
O’Reilly Auto Parts is offering a $2 discount for tickets purchased at any of its
stores before the event.