The 4-Wheel Jamboree season typically winds up with a bang at the State Fairgrounds in Indianapolis, Indiana. The 2009 season was no exception, with new stuff to report on.
The Indy Jambo is everything the others are, just bigger. For 2009, the nearly 160 acres of the fairgrounds were opened up for the Show 'n' Shine. That gave everyone plenty of room to spread out and pick some of the more scenic spots to display their rigs. This evolved into a few "theme" areas, where you could see a bunch of rockcrawlers, restored Highboy Fords, built Samurais, or whatever.
The anticipated high-adrenaline competition was there, including the General Tire Monster Truck Thunder Drags, all six classes of the NMRO Mud Drags, Mickey Thompson Tough Trucks, the burnout competition, and something completely different: Sta-Bil Lawn Mower Racing. Imagine guys on modified riding lawn mowers doing up to 35 mph on a dirt oval. It was pretty well attended and filmed by Speed TV. This time, it was an invitation-only event, but if it comes back, it may end up being a points event. It was certainly a hoot!
The NMRO Mud Drags were a lot more "up close and personal" this year, being held on the race straightaway right in front of the grandstand. Spectators got the full "3D" effect, complete with dirt clods, methanol-tinged air, and the roar of uncapped exhausts. Something new was added to the NMRO lineup-namely, mud-dragging ATVs. This may or may not be a permanent part of the program, but it's amazing how fast the little buggers are on the course.
After its big success last year, the NADM (National Association of Diesel Motorsports) sled-pull competition was back, and 55 of the points leaders and special friends from all over the country were invited to put on a show. All classes but the Work Stock class were represented. It turned out to be one of the most highly attended of the competitive events. People evidently like that black smoke!
Of course, the Indy show is also known for the major amounts of swag, both display swag and buyable swag (and even a bit of free swag). If it's new and improved, it's likely to be here, along with the best of the manufacturer's reps to explain it all to you. Recession? Economy suffering? You wouldn't have known it from Indy 2009.
The best reporting we can do is with the "thousand words" of photos, so check out the accompanying eye candy. Also, check out the Family Events website for the 2010 Jamboree schedule. There's probably one going on within your area.