WILDWOOD, NJ. 2004

Michael Harper (Carolina Crusher) invited Alex, Tony, and I to join him in Wildwood. We went down as part of the pit crew. Michael hooked us up with a Motel suite for the weekend, that was great. He also gave the boys a literal Crash coarse in monster truck pit crewing. Saturday's noon race hurt the engine and blew a tranny seal. They worked on it all afternoon and got it fixed just in time for the 7:00 pm. race. During freestyle of the evening race Michael did a slap wheelie that was going good till sparks came from the front driveshaft, axle area. The truck slammed down on the left front breaking off the tire, rolling on to the driver's door then back over onto the remaining tires.

We worked on the truck till around 2:30 am. went to bed and they were back working on it first thing in the morning. The truck was not ready for qualifying but was ready by the first round of racing. I was very proud when Michael brought the truck to the line. He didn't win but he ran her hard. When he brought the truck back to the pits, we found we still had work to do, so Michael pulled out of the race. This is a list of the things I can remember we had to fix. Two shocks had to be rebuilt because the shafts bent. We replaced the knuckle and planetary on the front axle. We had to repair the mount for the steering ram, we replaced several hime joints, one 4-link bar, and we had one hell of a hard time getting the frame centered over the axle. All the parts are so heavy that the list sounds easy but it takes a lot of work to wrestle things around. I would really like to thank Michael and Brian for making it one show that rates at the top of our memories.

The show was put on by the New Jersey Hot Rod Association. The track was a big S shaped coarse with sand ramps. The Monsters and the Tuff Truck/Pro-Arena trucks ran the same track. The cars were reserved for freestyle. I personally drove 8 1/2 hours to get there which is a record distance for us. Well worth every mile it took to get there. None of the shows I've been to compare with Bloomsburg, but Wildwood is my second favorite. This event had the best in the business and several old friends. Colin and Terri were there with No Boundaries, always a great time when they are racing. Gary Porter and I go way back so it was great to see him at the cockpit of the Digger. Mike Vaters is an old friend and I need to thank him and his crew for the help on the Crusher. Dan Runti is always good for a laugh and he was great all weekend. Reunited with Paul Shafer, I have not seen him since Bloomsburg in the early 90's.

I finally got to meet Donnie and Renee Farrelly in person, that was great guys.

Click here to see Donnie's pictures. 12/2/4

I got to meet Michael Harper's Mom and sister Christi, they make a nice family. Friday night, they all invited us out to dine with them, but the boys and I just wanted to get a shower and relax so we went to our room. I was sitting outside the room having a beer when a Carolina Crusher hauler cab pulled up out front and blew his train whistle. Michael stopped in to see if we got the room okay. Then a few rooms around us joined us in a little party. Michael doesn't drink but we hung out till about 1:00 am and had a great time. I have never met anybody like him in the business. He is just good people as we say back home.

Notice my website on the quarter panel.

My site on the truck

In the next few shots you'll see, Bigfoot got off to an early lead. Crusher took him in the final turn to win the race.

Most people know I don't like the Quad Wars soap opera, but I have to appreciate the riders talents.

FREESTYLE

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