V8 Bomber Spoils the Bigfoot Homecoming on the Hot Wheels Tour

The great song by Jon Bon Jovi that said, “Who says you can’t go home?”  Heading home is a sense of belonging, security, comfort and enjoyment.  That is something that can happen in sports every single week.  College teams love playing in front of their home crowd because of the atmosphere they bring.  NFL, hockey, even high school sports have the same feeling.

Racing is no different, as a driver always wants to win in front of their home fans, almost making it feel more gratifying to know this is their turf, and they own it.

Monster trucks are no different, especially when a new tour comes into town.  Making that first impression is enormous, and for the Bigfoot team, that opportunity came over the weekend at the Hot Wheels Monster Trucks Live.

Cape Girardeau, Missouri, was the city, and the Show Me Center was the venue.  For both Darron Schnell in Bigfoot and Christian Norman in Hot Wheels Racing 1, which is run on the Bigfoot 18 chassis, this was their house, and it was time to protect it.  In this case, they had more chances to do so, as this was the first week of the season that saw four total shows to thrill the fans.

But, that defending of the house did not get started right away, as Friday night’s wheelie contest was taken by the lone driver yet to earn a win on the season, Cody Holman in the Bone Shaker.  Right after, Steven Snellen decided to make the tires scream on the V8 Bomber to take home the donut contest.  Derick Anson then soared the Demo Derby Cadillac to victory in the long jump contest.

Three competitions, and the home state trucks were shut out.  In order to even get an opportunity at the Titan Cup, one of the two needed to make it a winning night in racing.

Steven Snellen has found his groove, and decided put a damper on the Bigfoot homecoming. PHOTO CREDIT: Rebecca Schnell

As luck would have it, not only did one truck make it to the finals, but both did.  It literally was the best possible case for the team based out of Pacific, Missouri, and in this instance, the white Raptor for Norman made it across the line first, beating out Schnell for victory.  Four different competitions meant freestyle literally was the deciding factor on the night.  Yet, in the end, even that complicated matters.

The reason:  it was Schnell, the next-to-last truck out, that put on a clinic on the floor, hammering every obstacle and even putting down a smoke show with a couple donuts.

He ultimately was declared the freestyle champion, but with five different winners, who exactly was taking home the Titan Cup?

Per rules that were used during the opening weekend, by virtue of his runner-up finish in racing, Schnell had earned the right to take home the first Titan Cup of the weekend, and take the first home-state win for the Missouri based team.

FRIDAY RESULTS:

  • 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. Darron Schnell, Bigfoot

  • Freestyle:  Darron Schnell, Bigfoot

  • Titan Cup Champion:  Darron Schnell, Bigfoot

 A night to get everything buttoned down seemed to be an advantage for everyone, especially since these concrete shows are hard on the trucks.  With four shows over the weekend, an afternoon matinee is often hard to tell if everyone will go too hard, too early, or if they will save the trucks for the finale.

One guy not waiting around to show what he can do was Schnell, as he entered Saturday afternoon wanting to defend his Titan Cup from the previous night.  He did just that with the opening wheelie competition victory.

After that, however, a classic Chevrolet was coming front and center.

A week ago, Snellen finally took hold of his first Titan Cup, but one of them was certainly not enough.  So, in order to secure another big trophy for the hauler, he decided to let loose and let the V8 Bomber make an impact.

He did that right away, scoring his second straight donut contest, smoking the Ukraine tires as if they were in use at a barbecue establishment in Kansas City.  He then followed that up with a long jump victory, beating out his teammate in the process.

Darron Schnell made the home-state crowd smile with a few wheelie contest wins, and the opening Titan Cup triumph.

Darron Schnell made the home-state crowd smile with a few wheelie contest wins, and the opening Titan Cup triumph.

After a bit of freestyle motocross and some interaction with the fans, which included some of the drivers dancing on their tires to the music being played, the racing portion of the night got under way.

When it settled, the familiar face from the previous night decided to make it a double, as the bright white Hot Wheels Racing 1 machine of Norman stood tall for show two.

But nothing was keeping Snellen from his quest.  He was in the middle of the field for the final freestyle portion of the show, and as often as he’s driven this chassis, he’s become quite comfortable behind the wheel.  Every hit was perfect, and every slide, cyclone, and wheelie was excellent.  He took home a third win on the night, and that meant two different drivers now earned a Titan Cup on the weekend.

SATURDAY MATINEE RESULTS:

  • Wheelie Competition:  Darron Schnell, Bigfoot

  • Donut Contest:  Steven Snellen, V8 Bomber

  • Long Jump:  Steven Snellen, V8 Bomber

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

  • Freestyle:  Steven Snellen, V8 Bomber

  • Titan Cup Champion:  Steven Snellen, V8 Bomber

 Prior to the second show of the day, the track crew had a lot of work needing done.  A lot of fresh metal needed brought in for the evening performance.  And this time, rather than just stick with the traditional red and yellow, a bit more color was brought into the arena.  The van stack got a pop of color thanks to a North Carolina blue box van that got sandwiched in the center.

The change didn’t mean much for the teams, as they were busy going back over the trucks to ensure all the bolts were tightened back down, and the fuel cells were loaded back up for the night’s performance.

A second show in one day did mean there was no Crash Zone ahead of the performance, which maybe in a sense was a sad thing for the fans that came back out for the six-truck field.  But, they were still ready to witness the toy trucks go big on the night.

Fans that may have attended the Friday performance were getting a case of the repeats, because the first two competitions saw the exact same winners.

Holman put the Bone Shaker on the wheelie bar to take the opening contest of the night, and then Snellen decided to do a hat trick in donuts.  Then, seeming to keep with the theme, Anson then put on another rocket performance in the Demo Derby Cadillac to take home the long jump contest.

Three competitions, and the same winners from Friday night were on a roll.  It then continued, although with a slightly different final.

Norman all season has been quick on the starting lights, and on this night he was just that once again as he was yet again the racing champion.  With four aspects in, something had to give, especially since the Titan Cup was up in the air once again.  It was coming back down to freestyle, but this time the trend of repeats came to an end.  Well, repeats from Friday that is.

After seeing his teammate take the victory earlier in the day, Anson decided to fuel his own desire to victory and let the graffiti coated machine do the talking.  He seemed to be enjoying showing off the new body for the tour, as he would take home the freestyle victory, and combined with the long jump, he would take home his first Titan Cup of the weekend.  Through three shows, three different teams were overall winners.  Now, with only one show remaining, it meant everything was on the line.

That final win was the one worth bragging over, because that Titan Cup champion could say they are champion for six days instead of only a few hours.

SATURDAY EVENING RESULTS:

  • 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. Steven Snellen, V8 Bomber

  • Freestyle:  Derick Anson, Demo Derby

  • Titan Cup Champion:  Derick Anson, Demo Derby

 Normally, the weekend would end at the point of Saturday’s two show run, and teams were loading up to head home.  Not this time.  The most challenging weekend to date was adding in one final show for the Missouri faithful, an afternoon delight on Sunday.

This meant a third Crash Zone, and the go-home show as it is called would mean there was no limit as to what could happen.

What did happen was a few repeats, and a couple amazing feats.

Just like the previous afternoon, Schnell skied the racing stripes Raptor to the roof to earn his second wheelie victory on the weekend.  But then, a first on the entire tour.  One entire competition was possibly going to see a grand slam champion, and on this day…it became real.  Snellen smoked the tires to the point where the rubber was left on the concrete.  It meant another donut contest win, but it also in turn meant the first four-show sweep of a competition on the season.

Anson cheered on his teammate from the pits, but then came right out in the long jump contest to prove that he too was able to be victorious.

Then, of all things that could happen, another sweep took place.

Norman pushed the Hot Wheels Racing 1 Raptor up to the finals for the fourth straight time in racing, and pushed so hard he crossed the line triumphant once again.  Four shows, four racing victories, and in this case, four different winners in competition.  The Titan Cup was still in reach for everyone, depending on how hard they pushed freestyle.

Stellen decided to give the retro Chevrolet one final rush before landing on the tarmac, since his truck was painted like a wild old-school plane.

That run across the floor was plenty to give him another win on the night, and also capture his second overall Titan Cup on the weekend.  An awesome accomplishment to send the fans home with smiles on their faces, and joy in their hearts.

SUNDAY RESULTS:

  • Wheelie Competition:  Darron Schnell, Bigfoot

  • 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:  Steven Snellen, V8 Bomber

  • Titan Cup Champion:  Steven Snellen, V8 Bomber

 Another trip north next weekend will bring the Hot Wheels Live tour to a bit of a chilly area, as the tour heads to Bloomington, Illinois, and the Grossinger Motors Arena.

Just like last weekend, it’s a four-show slate with three Crash Zones slated for Friday, Saturday afternoon, and Sunday.  Get your tickets now, because everyone seems to be enjoying the $4 toys that are found in Walmart, Target and many other retailers become six-figure, life size replicas.

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.