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Monster trucks kick up a storm (Video)

By Carolina Astrain
Jan. 11, 2013 at 11 p.m.
Updated Jan. 11, 2013 at 7:12 p.m.

"Reptoid," driven by Jimmy Jack, jumps over a ramp of crushed cars during the Winter Nationals Monster Truck Spectacular at the Victoria Community Center. The truck was one of four that wowed the crowd Friday night with freestyle driving and races.

Dust, gasoline and engine roars filled the air.

Jackson Altuna, 8, bobbed his head up and down to the sound of blaring rock music playing before the show.

This wasn't his first monster truck show.

Wearing a deep blue Rowland Elementary Magnet School shirt and sipping on a can of Coca-Cola, Jackson sat quietly next to his father Ronnie Altuna, 57, before the start of the show.

Yellow earplugs sealed their ears.

"I'm hoping to see them catch some air," Jackson said, gesturing a twirling motion with his fingers.

The Outlaw Monster Truck Show returned to the Victoria Community Center on Friday night with four roaring monster trucks and a crew of motorbikes.

About 200 to 300 tickets were sold before intermission, said ticket attendant Alexandra Arredondo.

Event organizer and producer Ron Woodbridge thumbed through a CD case looking for an introductory song.

He raised up the microphone with a booming voice, welcoming spectators to the show.

Altuna offered earplugs to his neighbors to ward off the eardrum-ripping sound from the truck motors.

The four Goliaths sped through the arena, smashing already-crushed cars deeper into the sandy ground.

The smell of gasoline permeated the air.

"We had to get used to that last year," Eric Martinez said, sitting next to his 8-year-old son, Chett Martinez. "We're skateboarders, but we like extreme sports, too."

The motorbike riders slashed through the arena as Frisbees were tossed into the crowd.

Martinez's hand caught one of the plastic discs and shared it with his son.

"This is great because it gives people something fun to do with their kids," Martinez said. "So far, this year's show has been a lot better than last."

As the motorbikes speed around the arena, one green-clothed driver got thrown off his metal steed.

Aiden Valentine, 4, stood up and pointed at the driver - his father Erik Valentine - wondering if he was injured.

Whenever he sees his father in a race, Aiden admitted to getting a little nervous, but he wants to follow in his footsteps nonetheless.

"I want to ride when I get older," said the boy through a giggle while sitting on his babysitter's lap.

Sitting alone on a front row bleacher, Bonnie Welch, 30, was taking pictures for her fiance who couldn't make the show.

"This is probably my 20th show," Welch said. "I went to my first one when I was 6."

The Speedy Stop employee said she's loved monster trucks all her life.

"It gets people out of their houses and kids away from the TV," Welch said. "It's all about respecting the machine."

To see more photosfrom the show, go to VictoriaAdvocate/morephotos.



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