We definitely look forward to heading down to Florida every year for the big Trucks Gone Wild weekend that starts at Cowboys Saloon in Orlando. It’s called Monster Eve since it is the Friday night before the huge Monster Jam event at the Orlando Citrus Bowl that following Saturday. The weekend finishes up with a bang on Sunday at Bithlo Motorsports Park for the TGW Tri-Truck Challenge.
It’s always worth the trip from N.C., which is where the 4x4cross crew and I are based. Any chance to go down south for warmer weather in the middle of the winter is awesome. Besides the weather, the entire weekend is sick! Cowboys is legit. I mean, the place packs out for TGW’s events. They typically hold three tugs a year, but heck, go on any night of the week and there’s a huge crowd with plenty of hot chicks.
The truck tugs themselves are always nuts to watch. Dirty Dave brought out the big 6.0L DDC Ford, Twisted Metal Performance had a killer-looking 6.4L Ford, and a bunch of other huge diesel rigs were sittin’ on V-treads. Plenty of sick gas-powered mega trucks showed up as well. The showstopper this year, however, was the Spider Pig Truck. This rig made the trip down from N.C. as well. It’s running huge 36-inch drag slicks on 2½-ton Rockwell axles and has a massive water tank on the back. The setup was completely unbeatable that night.
Saturday is legit too, although not technically part of the TGW event lineup. Almost everyone who shows up to the tugs on Friday is out at the Citrus Bowl on Saturday. Heck, even some of the Monster Jam drivers and pit crew members will come out to party. Ryan Anderson, driver of the Son-Uva Digger Monster Truck, was out at Cowboys hangin’ with us Friday night before he threw it down at the Monster Jam on Saturday. His goal was the Double Down Trophy which is awarded to the Monster Jam driver who wins both races and the freestyle in front of a packed-out Stadium at Monster Jam. The tailgating all day before the show on Saturday night is insane all on its own. Crazy parties and people are literally everywhere like a huge college pregame tailgate party.
The craziness continues on Sunday with the TGW Tri-Truck Challenge at Bithlo in Orlando. Big crowds and parties follow that event as well. The competition itself is a team challenge, with each team comprised of three trucks running in the pits all at once. Two tractor-tire trucks and a DOT-tire rig make a qualified team. When the race starts, the first truck drags the tire down the pit towards the turn at the end of the track. The tire then has to be switched to another team member’s truck and drug back through the pit to the opposite side. Once all three rigs are run the race is over and the quickest team wins. The winning team this year used two separate chassis built by Trucks by Trotter. Jimmy Yeager was driving Yeager Bomb and Ken Brewer had Steamboat and they both qualified for the Yukon Gear & Axle Throttle King Mega Truck Series. Their third team member was Grady Ward Jr. in the Never Enuff truck, which was running on DOT tires. All in all, this is a weekend totally worth going down to, so hit it up when you get a chance!