Hot Wheels Invades National Champions to Conclude Winter Season

Being a champion means being the absolute best at what one does. That’s something the New England Patriots said in early February when they hoisted the Lombardi Trophy for a sixth time. Joey Logano raised the Monster Energy Championship last November at Homestead, and weeks prior, the best team by far in Major League Baseball raised a World Series trophy, the Boston Red Sox.

Each event for Hot Wheels Monster Trucks Live is considered it’s own championship event. No season points, no multiple champions, but at the end of each show is a champion.

The final week of the winter tour for the tour invaded a venue that not long ago got to say they were the best. It was in early April when the Virginia Cavaliers could tell the world they were the absolute best in college basketball, as they won the bracket and brought home the biggest title in basketball. It was only fitting that the final stop come at the John Paul Jones Arena in Charlottesville, Virginia, the Cavaliers’ home court. The hardwood was not on the floor for this weekend, but rather stacks of cars, tires, and vans to welcome droves of fans for some intense action on what has been a spectacular start to the series.

Saturday provided an evening show with a full Crash Zone to every fan with a paid ticket, many of which waited hours for the doors to open prior to the show.

Once the red carpets were moved, and the trucks did their traditional parade lap for introductions, the stacked crowd was ready for some intense competition, and they got that right away with the opening wheelie contest.

Every truck attacked the cars with power, but going early had its benefits because one week removed from his first Titan Cup, Cody Holman made the Bone Shaker hot rod roar to life, sending the skull on the nose towards the roof each hit. Despite the remaining five trucks putting on a strong effort, Holman was the top dog in the show, taking the opening competition.

After a bit of entertainment by hosts Ken Navitsky and Freddie Shepard, it was time to spin things into the donut competition, but it ultimately was more of the same since once again, Snellen took the V8 Bomber into a cyclone that smoked up the venue, and put his streak of consecutive contest wins at 20, an unbelievable mark.

But, following the antics of freestyle motocross, one truck would go on ad dominate the remaining events of the evening.

Derick Anson was held out of a Titan Cup a week ago in the Demo Derby Cadillac. However, he was not wanting to give up and decided to push his chassis to the limit on this evening. He started out quickly with a strong launch in the long jump competition, something he’s been accustomed to all year long. Then, after intermission, he worked his way through the bracket and matched up against Christian Norman in the Hot Wheels Racing 1 Raptor. A quick reaction time and a heavy right foot put Anson on top on this night, meaning he was in prime position for the overall championship.

All that was left was freestyle, but that competition got off to a rough, and wild, beginning.

Darron Schnell was one of the early trucks to take to the track and decided to take the all-blue Bigfoot machine right to the center of the track and hammer the van stack. The problem was, the rear tires were not quite straight on the stack, unlike the front. The truck pitched hard to the left, and hammered the concrete floor. Despite laying on the throttle trying to get the truck to correct, the concrete won and Bigfoot was on it’s side, the second roll for any truck on the circuit.

Immediately officials hit the kill radio and rushed to the truck, along with Norman, his brother Phillip, and Schnell’s wife, Rebecca. Luckily, the driver was alright. After maneuvering the truck around a bit in order to have enough room to put the truck on the wheels, the truck was righted onto the tires, and the crews reviewed the aftermath.

Surprisingly, the body itself only showed some scuff marks right on the cab where it slid across the floor. But, the left-front wheel was a different story. The tire was holding air, but the rim itself was bent hard, and would ultimately need replaced.

Still, the truck fired back up and was pulled into the pits, allowing the competition to continue.

As the action got back under way, every truck pushed things harder, including Snellen almost getting on his side after a cross-thread hit on the cars. But, at the end of it all, Anson would push harder than anyone and ultimately be declared the winner, and that was more than enough to take home the Titan Cup on this night. A champion once again, Anson celebrated with the fans afterwards in the autograph line.

SATURDAY RESULTS:

  • Wheelie Competition: Cody Holman, Bone Shaker

  • 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

It became all-hands on to ensure all the trucks were ready for the final performance of not just the weekend, but also the final performance of the winter tour. Teams were working together to make sure the Bigfoot truck was ready to go for the mid-afternoon matinee, when in fact there was not as much damage as expected. Aside from the bent rim and the body rub, the actual chassis was fully intact.

Call them battle scars, or call it pushing the envelope, but every team was prepared for the final performance and showed it when the fans came in for the final crash zone.

What became of the final performance was a truck that only had one Cup to his name, but decided to make the ultimate performance on this day. Bobby Holman had the most unique body on his truck all season, an aquatic mammal that was deemed the Tiger Shark. To start the Sunday program, that Shark pointed its nose directly at the roof of the arena on both hits, enough to earn him the top honors to start the afternoon.

Snellen once again decided to spin his way to a donut victory, what would be his 21st consecutive, but then Bobby showed that the ole Shark can sky out of the water along with look to the roof.

His long jump victory gave him two wins on the night, which was more than when he won his Titan Cup a few weeks prior. When it came to racing, the Hall of Fame driver showed he too can still get the job done on the lights, as he bested even Anson to get the racing victory on the afternoon. At that point, with three wins, the Cup was heading back to Ohio, but the Shark was wanting to make a near sweep of the event.

Alas, Anson had other ideas.

For a second straight day, the Demo Derby machine was roaring to life and made the floor of the John Paul Jones Arena his own personal playground. Anson would be the freestyle champion, but on the final show, it was the Tiger Shark taking home the Titan Cup, and bragging rights.

SUNDAY RESULTS:

  • Wheelie Competition: Bobby Holman, Tiger Shark

  • Donut Contest: Steven Snellen, V8 Bomber

  • Long Jump: Bobby Holman, Tiger Shark

  • Racing Finals: Bobby Holman, Tiger Shark, def. Derick Anson, Demo Derby

  • Freestyle: Derick Anson, Demo Derby

  • Titan Cup Champion: Bobby Holman, Tiger Shark

And there it is, the final event of the winter tour for the inaugural Hot Wheels Monster Trucks Live season. So, does that mean that everything is done, and the tour will be dormant for the next seven or eight months?

Far from it. As was posted on the Hot Wheels Live Facebook page, this Friday will be a major announcement. According to the post, the “smashing and crashing is not done yet.”

So, does this mean some summer dates have been achieve, maybe perhaps some shows that are not set up at arenas, but more along the lines of being outdoors? After all, these trucks have only done shows on concrete. Could we see some faster speeds, bigger air, and even bigger obstacles following the announcement?

All we know is Friday is a big day for the tour, and immediately after, be sure to visit HotWheelsMonsterTrucksLive.com to find out even more details.

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.