by ALEX PEREZ//Feature Editor
Engines roaring, crowds screaming, metal crashing and dirt flying.
This was the scene at the Traxxas Monster Truck Destruction Tour that rampaged on Feb. 10 at the City Bank Coliseum in Lubbock.
The show wowed the crowd with death-defying stunts and high-flying jumps that cleared three full-size cars. Children and adults cheered on their favorite truck as they competed in four events throughout the show.
In the lineup, the crowd witnessed five incredibly designed monster trucks made to make some noise and rev up the crowds engine. On the team there were two father-son duos competing against each other, the first one being David and Travis Rife. David, the father in the duo, is the very experienced driver of the world famous “Old Skool”, followed by his up-and-coming Traxxas driver and son, Travis, in his “Bad to the Bone” truck. Carrying on the legacy seems to be a trend for the family-oriented team, as well as for the other father-son duo, Bob and Cody Holman.
Bob Holman is the driver of the infamous “Skully.” With four World Championships under his belt, he is the perfect teacher for his son Cody, rookie of the year.
The fifth driver of the night was Chris Guzman in his “Heavy Medal” truck ready to get down and dirty.
Right next to the boys were two fearless girls showing the big boys what’s up. Cassie Berry, 14, driving in her pink “Destruction Diva” showcased her courage and style along with 17-year-old Haylie Ruhl in her abstract yellow truck, “Borderline Crazy.”
These girls were not afraid to show up the boys in their miniature monster trucks, stirring up dirt and jumping over mounds. Ruhl says that she began her interest in monster trucks when she was 13 and wanted to be just like her dad. She also added some encouragement to other girl drivers out there, saying, “ Don’t be scared, and just go out there and have fun!”
Before any of the action began, fans got a one-on-one experience with each driver in the Pit Party. All of the trucks were on display, including “Megasaurus,” which would make a surprise visit later on in the show, as well as the truck, “Tattooed”.
Kids of all ages ran up to their favorite monster truck driver eagerly to get a picture and an autograph. Faces lit up with excitement as they stood next to the 10,000-pound trucks that stood over 10 feet tall. Racer flags were given out once they entered the pit to get all of the driver’s autographs and to cheer them on during the show.
In an interview before the show, David Rife gave some insight into his personal monster truck world.
“It’s like being an alcoholic and being paid to drink,” Rife said.
He added, “When I started, we used to hang out the window because we couldn’t see where we were going and needed to wear a lap belt.”
The show kicked off with a Wheelie challenge, where each truck jumps upward and over two full-size cars and tries to achieve a vertical formation. Cody Holman took the challenge in his truck, “Xmaxx.”
The boys brought their guns out in each event, daring to go higher than the rest. Next up was the side by side event, where two trucks go head to head. First was the Rife duo, “Bad to the Bone” versus “Old Skool.” “Old Skool came out with the victory and later went head to head with “Heavy Medal,” who won against “Skully.” In the last bout, “Xmaxx” came out with ultimate victory against “Heavy Medal.”
After the event, the drivers took a break and the kids got to take rides on the racing monster truck, “Tattooed.”
Quickly after intermission, the crowd got a visit from the prehistoric monster, “Megasaurus,” which came ready to tear apart any metal he could find. With glaring red eyes and sharp teeth, “Megasuarus” was a crowd pleaser, as the beast tore through a silver four-door car.
Still bouncing with excitement, the crowd kept the energy up for the final contest of the night. Going in with “Xmaxx” already having two wins, the guys still went in confident, doing their crowd favorites in the freestyle section.
From wheelies, to donuts, to crazy jumps from all the drivers, the ultimate freestyle winner was Travis Rife in “Bad to the Bone.”
Traxxas Monster Truck Destruction Tour is the way to go for high-energy fun for the whole family.