Monster Trucks Are Big Boy Toys

'Monster Trucks' will be vibrating the rafters of the Nacogdoches County Exposition Center Friday and Saturday nights.

A driver helping with the show believes he's got the best job there is. A huge Monster Truck is gunned by driver Rick Long, sending tires spinning and mud flinging. "Just a lot of power and a lot of fun," Long yells out.

That pretty much sums up why guys on the Monster Truck Circuit, the NASCAR of big rigs, love their jobs. "It's everybody's dream job to go out and play and get paid for it," said Long.

Playing with trucks takes them all over the country. There's always a stop in Nacogdoches. The popularity of Monster Trucks here is as big as their size. "The tires are 66 inches tall. They're 43 inches wide. They're 810 pounds a piece. A truck has about 1600 horsepower. It's 12 feet wide and 10 1/2 feet tall," Long says from his perch behind the wheel.

The massiveness in no way intimidates Event Director David Gross who sits inside a wheel rim. "I'll hold my self in here and he's driving I'll spin around. It's not the safest stunt in the world, but hey, it's all a show," said Gross.

But one that takes a lot of time and money. The trucks may be powerful, but they're babied by the owners. A constant glance at the clouds expresses Gross' concern about letting the shiny vehicles get wet.

The engines of these $100,000 to $200,000 monsters don't purr, they roar. Long explained, "The motor is 592 cubic inch. It's about 1600 hp, 871 blower and straight headers, so it's very, very loud."

The kind of sound that attracts crowds and keeps Long a kid. "Basically, I don't want to grow up," he said with a laugh before driving the Monster Truck off for another spin.

The Outlaw Monster Truck Show is Friday and Saturday at the Nacogdoches County Exposition Center. Gates open at 6pm, show starts at 7pm each night. Advance purchase tickets are at Tire Max in Nacogdoches and NAPA in Lufkin. Tickets at the door are $12 for kids and $15 for adults.