Monsters lurk at Motorsports Extravaganza

August 19, 2006|by TARA REILLY



The back of the truck bears a warning.

"Caution: Inside lurks an alcohol drinking, fire breathing ... monster!"

Each of its wheels is 44 inches wide, 5 1/2 feet tall and weighs about 700 pounds, said its owner and driver, Diehl Wilson of Winchester, Va.

It's no wonder why children who stood next to the monster truck, named "Virginia Giant," on Friday night appeared miniature in comparison.


It's one of two monster trucks participating in the Motorsports Extravaganza this weekend at the Washington County Agricultural Education Center, south of Hagerstown on Sharpsburg Pike.

The other monster truck, Samson, driven by Dan Patrick of Circleville, Ohio, has monster-size muscular arms extending into fists running across its front side panels.

The event, a fundraiser for the Washington County Rural Heritage Museum, also features motocross freestylers, the American Thunder Jet Jeep and the fire-breathing, car-eating Megasaurus.

It continues today at 8 p.m. Tickets are $10 per person, with children under 12 admitted free.

"We're just trying to do some things to raise money for the Rural Heritage Museum," said Jerry Poffenberger, president of the Agricultural Education Center.

The museum is trying build a rural village containing buildings and other items from 1940 and earlier, Poffenberger said.

Richard Bennett of Williamsport, a fan, said before the show he would have liked there to be more monster trucks participating, but that he was looking forward to the event.

"I like Samson," Bennett said.

At the show's start, announcer Ken Dickinson urged the crowd to stomp their feet, clap their hands and make all the noise they could to fire up the performers.

"They know if you're enjoying it, they're enjoying it, and they do crazier stuff," Dickinson said.

Spectators can expect donut, wheelie and freestyle competitions from the monster trucks, Wilson said.

Wilson said he got involved with monster trucks in 1985 just for fun, but it turned into a career. Since then, he has had four or five different trucks, all named Virginia Giant.

While the $150,000 truck is enormous, Wilson said all it takes is a $10 broken part to make it stop.

"I'd like to say it's indestructible, but you never know if something is going to break," he said.

If you go

What: Motorsports Extravaganza

When: Today, 8 p.m.

Where: Washington County Agricultural Education Center, Sharpsburg Pike, south of Hagerstown.

Cost: $10 per person; children under 12 admitted free

By Ric Dugan/Staff Photographer

Greg Hartman of Greencastle, Pa., waves to the crowd as he gets airborne Friday at the Motorsports Extravaganza at the Washington County Agricultural Education Center, just south of Hagerstown on Sharpsburg Pike. The event, which continues today at 8 p.m. is a fundraiser for the Washington County Rural Heritage Museum.

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