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Monster Trucks Invade

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Monster Trucks Invade Thunder Bay


by Scott A. Sumner
    If you were near the casino parking lot in Thunder Bay on an overcast rainy evening in September recently you would have encountered 5 huge Monster trucks being rolled off the flat bed trucks of Gary’s Towing. The sound of the high Hp engines coming to life were to hear
and the prelude to some action packed race demonstrations to be held that weekend at the Murillo Fairgrounds!

   “ We are looking forward to another  great show after our excellent shows about a year ago in Thunder Bay and hoping to make some more fans.  We have 6 Monster trucks here, a ride truck and ATV races and quad wars,” said Lorna Payne, co-owner and operator of Straight Up
Racing based Port Orchid, Washington about 1 hour from Seattle. “  We build these trucks ourself, starting with a pile of tubing on a trailer   and then you begin cutting, welding and fabricating from there.  It is really interesting and we try new designs and then test them. We can build the frame and chassis in 10 days and then it’s another 20 days for wiring and all the detail work.”
   The growl of the Monster truck engines made me believe they put out lots of HP.
   “ At this elevation and depending on the humidity on the weekend we will be running between 1400 to 1600 HP with with a 540 Chevrolet.”   These trucks are worth about $150,000 US each. Lorna and her team  do these shows  worldwide. This year they were in Turkey, last year  in Poland, Russia, Mexico and maybe going to South America soon.
    “There is a big interest in the sport and the seats are packed even if they have never seen anything like these trucks. We have been in cities of around 2000 with their fairs and the whole town comes out,”said Lorna. “ Our whole team is fantastic, from our crew to our drivers. It is not just a team but a family so it works really, really well for us. We were at the right place at the right time. My husband was helping someone out and ended up buying a truck  and we have grown from there.”
    “Thunder Bay has been fantastic to us. There has been so much support from everybody including local businesses. The casino and waterfront have put this event on tonight. It is good. Gary’s Towing has been fantastic and moved the trucks around for us everywhere.”
    In transport the Monster trucks go into 53 feet enclosed trailers with smaller tires on them. You can follow Lorna and here team
Facebook: Straight Up Racing

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Scott Sumner