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CHICAGO STYLE ROUNDY-ROUND

The roundy-round obstacle course at the old Nashville Speedway is our favorite in this format of Monster Truck racing.  The roundy-round demands the perfect combination of raw speed and the ability of the drivers to handle the turns.  Chicago style racing seems to have all but died out since USA Motorsports got bought out by PACE.  We really miss it, so the Nashville show was a real treat!  The Nashville course is special because of its size.  The indoor roundy-round tracks were always extremely tight because of size limitations, but Nashville is humongous.  It has four sets of cars:  one on each of the straight-aways, and one in each of the turns.  Because the starting lines are just in front of the straight-away car sets, each driver actually has to make five jumps to cross the finish line.  It's a great course and a great event.  I only wish they would get some more lighting on the track, so I could get decent pictures.  Even shooting 1600 ISO film, the images are poor.  But, make no mistake, the racing was awesome!   

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The first round of Chicago style again pitted Firestone Wilderness against Gun Slinger in race #1.  It was fairly close, but Eric Tack handled the turns more effectively, and the Firestone truck landed a spot in the next round.  In the second race, John Seasock made a respectable run over the course in Sudden Impact, but it wasn't enough to beat Snake Bite.  In the final race of the first round, Avenger made a valiant attempt with great acceleration (and a bunch of dirt flying) at the starting line.  However, Dan Runte and Bigfoot threaded the needle through the turns, and really gunned it through the last straight-away, over the  cars, and across the finish line for the victory.

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Gun Slinger made it into the second round with fast loser status, and smoked Snakebite in the first race.  I've said it before, but Scott Hartsock and the Mega Powered Gunslinger will flat sneak up on you.  Firestone Wilderness had to sit out the rest of the racing on Friday night, as Eric Tack broke a rear shock in the first round victory over Gun Slinger.  This gave Sudden Impact a chance against Bigfoot in the second race of the semifinal round.  Bigfoot wasn't to be denied a spot in the final though, and beat Sudden Impact handily.

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  THE FINAL

The final was a good one.  Scott Hartsock is an opportunist.   He was in the final with Gun Slinger, and had every intention of ruining the Bigfoot 25th anniversary party by winning the main event.  Gun Slinger got a great start, and in his third run at the course, Hartsock had the turns figured out down to a science.  By the time he came out of the first turn and headed for the cars on the straight-away, Dan Runte new he and Bigfoot were in trouble.  Gun Slinger had already built up a sizable lead, and Hartsock was pouring it on with no mercy.  Bigfoot came off of the car jump and headed into the last turn fast, trying to make up ground.  It was too fast.  Runte lost control coming out of the turn, and came crashing over the barrier coming to a stop to save the truck.  Gun Slinger cruised across the finish line to victory, and then rushed over to make sure that Dan Runte was O.K.  He was, and the fans went crazy over another great night of racing in Nashville.

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FREESTYLE

The Monster Truck action concluded with brief, but exciting freestyle performances by Snake Bite and Avenger.  The Avenger run was awesome!  Jim Koehler pushed the truck into an almost vertical wheelstand.  After holding it a couple of seconds, he hit the accelerator to come off of the cars, and landed so hard that the impact knocked his helmet off, and it came flying out of the cab and bounced on the asphalt several times before coming to rest.  Jim was no worse for the wear, and jumped up out of the truck to acknowledge the screaming fans.

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