AIRWAY HEIGHTS, Washington — It launched an entire industry, or maybe better said, a phenomenon.
"Monster Mayhem brings six big-tired trucks to Spokane County Raceway’s Super Oval Saturday night"
And it’s coming to Spokane.
Bigfoot – which over 30 years ago hatched the monster truck craze that has packed arenas and stadiums, spawned lines of popular toys and launched cartoons and has co-starred in TV and movies – will headline Monster Mayhem at Spokane County Raceway’s Super Oval Saturday.
Gates open at 4 p.m. with a pit party from 5-7- to take pictures and get close to the truck. Show Starts at 7 p.m. and includes, along with Bigfoot, the following performers: Captain USA, Double Trouble, Iron Outlaw, Bounty Hunter and Destroyer.
Tickets are $25 for adults and $5 for children 12 and under. A $5 discount voucher is available for any adult ticket by visiting any NAPA store. But a more important $5 adult ticket discount is also available by bringing two cans of food to the event. All food will be donated to the local food bank program.
Saturday is a rare area performance for the icon on the monster truck business. “I went back to 1998 that was the last time we were at the Spokane Arena,” Bigfoot spokesperson, Kim Schroeder, indicated..
As has been the case in many such smash hits and success stories – the invention of Coca Cola, Teflon, the Post-It Note – they came about by accident. Or, in the case of Bigfoot, because of an accident.
After a stint in the navy, Bigfoot creator, Bob Chandler, was in the construction business in St. Louis, Mo. A 1973 motorcycle accident put an end to Chandler’s career pounding nails so he turned to another passion: 4-wheel drives.
Chandler bought a 1975 Ford F-250 pickup and soon he opened Midwest 4-Wheel Drive out of his family garage. The Chandlers spent weekends at 4X4 events both for fun and to promote the business.
Due to Chandler’s reputed lead foot, he acquired the nickname of Bigfoot. And what is that they say about the rest being history?
Bigfoot’s press kit draws a unique comparison in motorsports. It talks of him being the icon of his sport, much like Richard Petty with stock cars, Mario Andretti in Indy cars and drag racing’s Don Garlits. But unlike those notable names, Chandler is credited with actually inventing his sport.
“He paved the way for his sport’s wide appeal,” his biography says. “Bob is the only motorsport icon to invent his own sport. Today, the sport he created has grown to include hundreds of competitors.”
Chandler’s innovations, like oversize tires, and revolutionary rear steering to his truck attracted huge attention within the 4X4 community, until 1979 when he made his first paid appearance at a Denver car show. That opened the door to appear at truck pulls in stadiums and arenas.
But Chandler’s real breakthrough came when he once again put on the lab coat and concocted a new experiment. He decided to drive Bigfoot over a couple of junk cars to see if he could do it. A promoter caught wind of the video and booked Chandler into a stadium show.
What followed for Chandler was an incredible string of success. He would form the Monster Truck Racing Association. He would later use computer aided design (CAD) to design and create a new generation of racing trucks.
The Bigfoot franchise also launched the team approach as is popular in NASCAR and other forms of racing. There are now 17 different Bigfoot trucks that both compete and show off across not just the U.S.A. but the world as well. Bigfoot has appeared in 20 countries.
In addition to a night of monster truck events, SCR has also booked in Mr. Dizzy and his crazy car/bus jumping show.
Spokane’s appearance will be done by the newest Bigfoot truck, No. 16.