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Kicker Monster Truck Show roars into Red Rock Park

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Gallup prepares for new kind of action, thrills

If anyone’s looking for a quiet, romantic getaway on a Saturday afternoon or evening, this is definitely not that. But if they want to take a date or friend out for two hours of engine-revving, car-crushing, adrenaline-pumping action, Kicker Monster Trucks has that covered.

The same promoter that’s been bringing arenacross motorcycle shows to Gallup for 26 years will bring monster trucks, a relative novelty here, on May 20.

To the uninitiated, monster truck rallies can look like a spinning jumble of enormous  tires and day-glow roll cages. But fans love nothing more than to watch the drivers do wheelies, jump hurdles and crush rows of cars.

“We’re going to crush 30 cars over the course of Saturday,” promoter Tod Hammock said gleefully. “Monster trucks are huge. They are 12 feet tall. They have over 1,000 horsepower.”

Monster trucks have plenty of adult fans, but it’s meant to be a family show.

Kids just love ‘em. It’s a family show and the kids are a big part of it,” Hammock said. ‘The drivers are your heroes. They’re the ones that operate these mammoth machines.”

Kicker Monster Truck shows also let the fans get close to the action. The gates open two hours before show time and fans can see the contenders gathered in the arena pit. For a few more dollars they can rub elbows with the pros.

The event will also include a pit party. Monster truck enthusiasts can pay $5 to go down to the arena floor with the trucks and get their picture taken with the drivers. Pit pass holders can also take a ride on one of  the monster trucks for $10. The party will end half an hour before the show starts.

For the truly brave, the shows include an amateur Tuff Trucks event that lets locals bring their own rides and compete for a $500 prize. There is no entry fee for the event, but anyone wishing to participate should contact Kicker by text at (918) 629-9930 before arena day.

“If Billy Bob brings out his old truck, he’s got to have a helmet and his battery strapped down,” Hammock said. “I’ve even had people bring out Tuff Cars.”

The fan events and performances by two of the top freestyle motocross riders are interspersed between the pro truck shows “because the monster trucks need time to cool down,” Hammock said.

Fans and potential contenders will be able to see a monster truck up close for free the night before the show. Kicker will have one truck on display at Dickey’s BBQ Pit, 3900 E. Hwy. 66, and another at the Speedway Towing, 545 Allison Rd., from 5 pm to 9 pm May 19.

For those content to watch, no special equipment is needed but earplugs aren’t a bad idea. Ear protection will be available for purchase on site. Hats and sunscreen are advisable for the afternoon show.

Hammock expects the event to bring in about 4,000 spectators per show, from within a 100–mile radius of Gallup. “They’ll come from Holbrook and Winslow [Ariz.],” he said.

The event received a $10,000 grant from the city’s Lodger’s Tax fund to help with promotion.

Shows will be at 1 pm and 7:30 pm May 20. Gates open two hours ahead of the show and the pit parties will be from 11 am to 12:30 pm and 5 pm to 6:30 pm.

Advance ticket prices are as follows: $11 upper level; $17 lower level; $29 per person for Gold Level, sold only in pairs, ($58), includes reserved seating with seat backs and more space. All prices increase by $5 per ticket at the gate; but they’re available in advance at https://ticketseam.com/gallupmonstertruck/.

By Holly J. Wagner
Sun Correspondent