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Monster trucks jam thrills fans

July 21, 2000|By DAN KULIN /Staff Writer

Monster trucks jam thrills fans



Its engine screaming, fan-favorite Grave Digger soared over six cars and came crashing down, snapping the back half of the monster truck's body.

Scores of fans waved Grave Digger's signature skull and crossbones flags as the 10,000-pound truck emerged from a cloud of dust.

It was part of the action as an estimated 6,000 fans gathered for Friday night's eardrum-rattling Wrenchead.com Monster Jam at the Hagerstown Speedway. Tickets were still available for today's monster truck races, which begin at 8 p.m.

"I like the noise and I like the drivers; they're not scared to race," said Jessica Casper, 18, of Berkeley Springs, W.Va.

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Frank Merrbaugh, 27, of Hagerstown and his 5-year-old son, Austin, also liked the noise, and when the trucks sometimes bounced and collided with each other.

"The best is Grave Digger. He's what makes the show," Frank Merrbaugh said.

Jack Shoap, 62, of Chambersburg, Pa., was looking forward to the high-flying jumps of the 12-foot-tall trucks.

Matt Roberts, 18, of Thurmont, Md., was at his first monster truck race Friday, attracted by the prospect of seeing the Goldberg truck in action. Roberts is a big fan of World Championship Wrestling's Bill Goldberg, who owns the truck.

"And the designs on the trucks are pretty wild," Roberts said.

Indeed, the truck called Reptoid has big menacing teeth, and Bulldozer has horns on either side of the roof.

The Goldberg truck was also the favorite of 7-year-old Jordan Nicewarner, who couldn't wait to see the mighty truck "smash cars."

One of the six monster truck drivers at the speedway this weekend is Hagerstown's Michael Vaters.

"I like entertaining the people and the kids, said Vaters, 35, who drives the Black Stallion.

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