Anson Heats Up a Chilly Weekend for the Hot Wheels Tour

It’s been quite the season thus far for the Hot Wheels Monster Trucks Live tour, as thousands of fans have seen the toys that can be bought in Target actually tear up the floor, with amazing results.

Following a trip south, and with a chill lingering in the air, a trip to the Grossinger Motors Arena in Bloomington, Illinois, welcomed fans for a three-day, four-show slate over a chilly weekend. Sure, weather was a major factor to deal with outside the venue, but the hope was that the fans would come out, warm up a bit, and enjoy some of the best drivers bringing the small toys to life.

An excellent pre-show Crash Zone allowed fans the first opportunity to get on the floor and walk the track on Friday night, but then the floor was cleared of the large inflatables, and the orange life-size Hot Wheels track to prepare for the first show of the weekend, and kicking it off was what always starts a show, the wheelie competition.

Each truck had a strong outing, but finally after being shut out of victory in every competition over the last five weeks, Cody Holman finally found his time to shine as the Bone Shaker soared to the roof to capture the opening win of the weekend.

Fans got treated to some freestyle motocross to let the trucks cool down, which was important as these engines were going to scream in the donut contest. A week earlier, it was a full on sweep from the V8 Bomber, and things were starting out exactly the same for the field this week. Steven Snellen seems to be laying down more rubber with each competition, as the EcoWork tires smoked the arena for the fifth consecutive victory in the competition. Snellen has been meaning business over the last several weeks, and nothing seems to be stopping him as of yet.

Teams got a chance to survey the track as they readied for the long jump contest, but it has been clear that Derick Anson has got his Demo Derby machine tuned just right to soar, and he did that on the opening night to take the victory, making it three competitions with three different victors.

Following intermission, fans got treated to the car-chewing Megasaurus and a bit more freestyle motocross before it was time to get truly down to business. Racing was on tap, and everyone knew the focus was to take down the white Raptor of Christian Norman.

Four shows the week prior, and four victories for the Hot Wheels Racing 1 team meant they had a streak to hold up.

This night, it stayed put. Norman took down Anson with a quick trigger on the holeshot, giving him the victory by about a fender, and making it so freestyle was the final way to determine who was taking home a Titan Cup on this night.

The floor was cleared, the officials took their positions. It was time to let loose and let the six trucks go at it for freestyle glory. On this night, things quickly took a turn that had not been seen all year.

Bobby Holman came charging out in the Tiger Shark and seemed to be starting his run fierce with the first hit, then cornered around to his second.

But that hit saw the Shark suddenly twist sideways, ultimately landing hard on the driver’s side of the truck, tearing the axle housing and breaking a four-link bar. The Shark landed on it’s side, marking the first time this season that a truck rolled over. The concrete landing worried some that Holman was hurt, but he emerged from the truck no worse for wear, and waited for the recovery crew to upright his machine so that he can head to the pits and begin the long night of work to get prepared for the next day.

As the competition continued, it became clear this night was belonging to a truck with painted tires. Anson swung the Demo Derby Cadillac across the floor and over every obstacle. Nothing was keeping the Titan Cup from Anson this time, and it was just the beginning of what was to come over the weekend.


  • Wheelie Competition: Cody Holman, Bone Shaker

  • Donut Contest: Steven Snellen, V8 Bomber

  • Long Jump: Derick Anson, Demo Derby

  • Racing Finals: Christian Norman, Hot Wheels Racing 1, def. Derick Anson, Demo Derby

  • Freestyle: Derick Anson, Demo Derby

  • Titan Cup Champion: Derick Anson, Demo Derby

Multiple teams worked over the course of the night to get Holman ready for the second day’s show, although the biggest difference between the first show and the second was that the Tiger Shark now had part of the body missing. No nose, or “dog house” as it has been deemed in the industry, was attached to the Shark as that part of the body suffered a lot of damage that needed repaired to be mounted back on. Nothing major, it was only cosmetic, but it certainly made for an interesting look at the Saturday afternoon Crash Zone.

Teams were loaded up and ready to go as the afternoon approached, and after being shut out the prior night, the “Original” team was looking for redemption.

That came quickly as Darron Schnell soared the 2019 Bigfoot Raptor to the roof to earn the wheelie contest victory on the afternoon. His quest to double up was halted when Snellen made it a recurring theme as he earned a six-pack in donut contest victories, leaving rubber on the track as he continued his streak.

After that moment, it didn’t matter what the rest of the field did. This show belonged to the graffiti truck.

Anson began his quest for a second-straight Titan Cup with a second long jump victory. But then, after seeing Norman win five consecutive racing brackets, the Demo Derby machine was able to find a way to get past the dominance, taking the first racing win in six shows by someone other than the title truck.

Then, hoping to show that if he was to be the champion this season, Anson screamed the buffed tires on the floor with an amazing freestyle that guaranteed he was the Titan Cup champion with a near perfect showing. Combined with Snellen’s victory in donuts, the teammates were 4-for-5 in the afternoon showing, and seemed ready to to continue that quest later that day.


  • Wheelie Competition: Darron Schnell, Bigfoot

  • Donut Contest: Steven Snellen, V8 Bomber

  • Long Jump: Derick Anson, Demo Derby

  • Racing Finals: Derick Anson, Demo Derby, def. Christian Norman, Hot Wheels Racing 1

  • Freestyle: Derick Anson, Demo Derby

  • Titan Cup Champion: Derick Anson, Demo Derby

With no Crash Zone prior to the evening show, teams were left to button down some bolts, and also make a few cosmetic changes.

By this time, the nose of the Tiger Shark was ready to go back on the truck, and despite it fitting well, it was clear that the scars of battle were seen from the hard landing just one day prior. There were also still scuffs on the chassis from when the truck slid across the floor during the roll, but aside from that, the Shark was ready to go for the evening festivities.

Christian Norman managed one racing win over the course of the weekend.

Schnell decided that the running streak of Anson needed to come to a close, but in order to do that he needed to ensure the Bigfoot machine landed on the wheelie bar in wheelies.

He did just that, giving him a second wheelie victory on the night, and that allowed him to shift his focus to stopping Snellen from hitting a lucky number.

The V8 Bomber was having none of it, and even though the EcoWork tires were sharp cut, they still were smoking for a seventh straight event, as he kept a streak going. Anson then decided to get in on the fun, as he would once again win the long jump contest, his third straight on the weekend.

What became evident to all the fans in attendance was this night was coming down to who wanted it more, Schnell or Anson. It was appropriate that these two would meet up in the finals on Saturday night in the hopes of taking one step closer to the Cup.

Bigfoot got the jump on the line, keeping low across the cars and managing to get straight to the finish line first, giving him two wins on the night and putting him in line for the Titan Cup. With only freestyle remaining, it was critical for each to make a case for the title, while the others were trying to play spoiler to at least steal away one more victory on the night.

Anson decided he wanted that final victory, and made sure the crowd ruled in his favor as another stellar performance gave him the freestyle win.

But, it wasn’t enough to actually give him the Titan Cup. Despite Schnell and Anson taking home two wins on the night, Schnell was declared the winner on this night by virtue of having defeated Anson in the racing portion of the night. It stopped the run of Cups heading to the Demo Derby camp on this weekend, but the weekend had yet to end. The Sunday show awaited, and that meant no reason to hold back.


  • Wheelie Competition: Darron Schnell, Bigfoot

  • Donut Contest: Steven Snellen, V8 Bomber

  • Long Jump: Derick Anson, Demo Derby

  • Racing Finals: Darron Schnell, Bigfoot, def. Derick Anson, Demo Derby

  • Freestyle: Derick Anson, Demo Derby

  • Titan Cup Champion: Darron Schnell, Bigfoot

As the Sunday show loomed, every team was prepared to go for everything they had in order to take home the final championship. Along with that, knowing there was more time to prepare for the next show, it meant no one had reason to hold back in their quest.

The Holman team decided to take advantage of that, but this time it was Bobby taking the slightly battered Tiger Shark to a wheelie win to open up the afternoon. Not bad for a truck that days prior was being towed to the hauler in need of some major repairs.

Snellen then decided to get out the broom for the weekend, sweeping the donut contest with yet another smoky performance to get the crowd roaring it’s approval. It’s the first time all season that someone swept the donut contest, and yet the sweeps were still coming.

If fans attended the afternoon show on Saturday, they were in for flashbacks.

Anson decided it was now or never to make the biggest impact. He went about it in the same fashion, as he took home the final long jump competition, sweeping the weekend. Then the Demo Derby machine followed it up with yet another racing win, and then to finish out a near perfect weekend, he would go on and take home freestyle.

In a near mirror image of what he did on Saturday afternoon, Anson grabbed hold of the Titan Cup trophy, and made a lap around the floor to show the fans who the winner was not just on this night, but overall on this trip to Illinois. Four shows, and three Cups headed home to Kentucky.

It was as though Anson brought out a little Heavy Hitter despite the truck being a Cadillac body instead of a Chevrolet.


  • Wheelie Competition: Bobby Holman, Tiger Shark

  • Donut Contest: Steven Snellen, V8 Bomber

  • Long Jump: Derick Anson, Demo Derby

  • Racing Finals: Derick Anson, Demo Derby, def. Christian Norman, Hot Wheels Racing 1

  • Freestyle: Derick Anson, Demo Derby

  • Titan Cup Champion: Derick Anson, Demo Derby

Heading into the middle of February, the Hot Wheels tour has seen a lot of action every weekend. Many shows, many fans, many torn up parts were part of how things ultimately went for every team during the last six weeks. At some point, teams need a break and need to recuperate after such intense competition.

Luckily for all, for the first time all season, it can be considered a “light” weekend of action. The next stop on the tour is only a two-show weekend, with both shows happening during just one day of competition.

For fans in the middle of the country, it’s a trip to the home of WWE Hall of Fame wrestler/broadcaster, Jerry “The King” Lawler, along with the location of the famed home of Elvis, Graceland. It’s a trip to the FedEx Forum in Memphis, Tennessee, on Saturday, February 16, for both an afternoon delight and an evening show. It could be an easy weekend, but knowing that only two shows are on tap means all six teams will be tightening those bolts even tighter to ensure each truck can go bigger, run faster, and hopefully stay shiny-side up by night’s end.

Get your tickets now for Memphis, and the other shows the Hot Wheels Monster Trucks Live tour has in the coming weeks.

About The Author

A fan since 1988, at the age of 3, Dustin became more involved in the monster truck industry in the last decade. Through his website, All About Horsepower, and images at Horsepower Photography, he provides great insight into the sport.