Summer begins for the JConcepts team when making the trip to the Bigfoot Open House event in Pacific, Missouri. The annual event is free to spectators typically bringing in 3-4 thousand fans during the weekend performance.
The event consists of 2 sessions of an open freestyle performance by Bigfoot 21, Old School Monster Truck races, the Trigger King RC Monster Truck races and a host of other events to fill a complete day.
Events began on the RC track with a Bigfoot show and shine event. The competitors arranged their Bigfoot-themed trucks for judging. Ross Hinshaw took the votes scoring the 1st place with his Bigfoot 18 build while Michael Arndt received enough for 2nd place with the custom Bigfoot 8 build and Adam Rogers scored 3rd with his Bigfoot 1 build. All builders were only 1-2 votes apart making it a very close selection.
The next event on the RC track featured to the Outlaw Retro Truck Racing. With no qualifying, the 1st round of eliminations was randomly selected and Tad Goad and Jason Ruona squared off in the very first race. The two drivers were very close on the start and through the first 180-degree turn. Both drivers launched off the single jump and a great landing and turn placed Tad into the lead. Jason’s squirrelly finish and a slam into a barricade gave Tad even larger win and an easy advance into the 2nd round.
Fast drivers Bob C Chandler, Josh Rhodes, Danny Maass all made great runs and getting into the final 4 trucks in competition. After the Semi-Finals, the final was set between Josh and his Bigfoot 4 truck against Bob C and his Thumper.
A great start by both drivers and they rounded the 180-degree corner almost tied. Thumper got hung on the turn and Bigfoot 4 took a large lead over the large single jump. Josh made a conservative turn and dashed for the finishing line taking the first racing win of the day. The JConcepts equipped Clod Buster was decked out with 1989 Ford F-250 body, Golden Years Tires mounted on Tribute wheels.
We took a break on the RC track for the first crush of the day. Larry Swim and Bigfoot 21 came out and sent the truck into orbit on the first hit. Quite an amazing hit for the first time out. The senior driver for the Original Monster Truck Team thrilled the crowd with an assortment of jumps, wheelies, crushes and 4-wheel drifting. For an Open House run, this was worth the trip out.
Back on the RC track, the Sport Mod drivers prepared their trucks to get ready for the 2nd class of the day. Great driving by Jason Ruona, Tad Goad, Chris Blank, Danny Maass, and others brought the field to a great group of drivers in the Semi-Finals. Jason Ruona with the NWO truck made it to the finals with a clean run while Chris Blank with the Team Orange truck also scored a win and advanced to the finals.
The finals began with a short race through the chicane and a relatively even race. Ruona launched the large single jump making up some ground and taking a solid lead. Blank’s Orange truck was looking good and a solid turn made the race close. The NWO truck rounded the turn in the lead with a conservative jump coming out. A full send on the final jump landed Jason’s NWO the 2nd championship of the day. Great sportsmanship by the drivers as they greeted each other in front of the crowd.
Another break as the action moved to the Old School Monster Truck course. The 48” tall fire trucks battled each other in side-by-side competition and the 66” tire trucks competed against their similarity equipped rivals. High Roller II was consistent and stayed low on the junk cars to win the 48” racing class, however, his day was just getting started. In the 66” class, the early favorites, BFT, Earthquake, and Orange Krate were all running extremely well earning wins to advance to the next round.
In the finals, Orange Krate and Earthquake lined up and the race was off. In a relatively rare occurrence, while crossing the finish line in first, Orange Krate‘ entire transfer case dropped from the center of the truck and rolled to the ground. An amazing sight for spectators and while a major applause spread through the crowd, it was none other than Colt Cobra who gave the largest high-five of the event to the driver.
Back on the RC track. things were beginning to heat up in the Pro Modified class. Jason Ruona, Tad Goad, Brandon Scott among others advancing deeper into the field. During round 1, Ruona had an issue crossing the finish line and injured the truck. Between rounds, Tad Goad and Fred Reep jumped on the repairs and had the truck ready for round 2.
The RC Monster Truck races move fast and it wasn’t long and the final was set between Jason Ruona and Brandon Scott. The Missouri sun was baking down on the track surface and temperatures were rising. The spectators gathered and drivers watched for the green light. Brandon pulled a huge wheelie off the start but maintained a nice turn through the chicane. Ruona was in the 180-degree corner and after a huge launch off the jump maintained a solid lead. Scott gave it his all on the final jumps but it wasn’t enough as Ruona was already into the final jump and crossed the finish line for his 2nd victory of the day. The Bigfoot 21 themed truck was decked out with JConcepts Renegades Tires, Tribute wheels and finished off with 2010 Ford Raptor body.
The last performance of the day for Larry Swim was up and did not disappoint. This time, after some revised car stacking and arrangement, Larry was able to send Bigfoot 21 through the center section in a major air routine. Finishing up to a big applause from the crowd, the senior Bigfoot driver popped out from the cab in a respectful sign and wave ending his weekend on a high note.
The Old School Monster Trucks finished with their own freestyle routine but things were shaping up differently. High Roller II came out with a roar of the engine and a drive over to a stack of crushed cars. A burp of the throttle got High Roller into the air but the engine coughed almost instantly.
The truck leaned over to one side and fell off the stack of cars and started to 2-wheel, the engine coughed and the driver couldn’t recover and the classy truck was down and on its side. A number of trackside crew made their way out and helped pull Jeff Krekeler from the truck and he was unharmed. As we understand it, the High Roller II Truck is already on the way back to a shop and already under repair. One of the most beautiful trucks when complete is sure to be back on the circuit and ready for a list of summer events soon.
For the last event of the day, the Trigger King RC Freestyle was set to start. The competition heated up at the end with great runs from Jason Ruona (Bigfoot 14), Tad Goad (Zombie) and Bob C Chandler (Vi-Cor Bigfoot).
Tad Goad set a great standard with some back-flips and long jump transfers. Hugh-air, wheelies and a number of great ground maneuvers. A great score put the Zombie truck into the lead.
The last truck of the day was the Vi-Cor Bigfoot and Bob C put it through the paces. Huge air off the center stack and some large single jump hits with flat landings. A very rhythmic looking routine filling the clock without mistakes. A great score was given and the first place awarded to Bob C Chandler in the final contest of the day.
We would like to thank the entire Trigger King RC group on a competitive, organized and fun event. Also, thanks to Bigfoot 4×4 Inc. for the great opportunity and unique experience. See everyone next year!