On Jan. 13 and 14, the Rio Rancho Events Center sold out every seat in the house for the Toughest Monster Truck Tour. And my god, were they tough: the flips, the stunts, the cars smashed are all enough to attest to that — and the crowd ate up every moment.
The trucks featured included Dozer, who made their indoor arena debut, Buckshot and Rat Attack. Dirt Crew, my personal favorite truck, looked like a dump truck (monster-sized, of course). Also present was Tailgator, who rivaled Dirt Crew for best aesthetic with a gator-themed truck, and Maximus, a brand new truck who made their debut.
The event included three competitions for the trucks: wheelies, racing and freestyle. Then, the overall Toughest Truck award is based on scores from the three competitions the trucks competed throughout the night. Dirt Crew earned the first Toughest Monster Truck title of 2023 and did so by winning the wheelie and freestyle events.
All the trucks, both winners and losers, did not disappoint with a variety of flips and stunts. Reminiscent of a time I embarrassingly tried and failed to learn tricks on my bicycle, they actually managed to pull them off in machines that practically towered over the obstacles themselves — not with grace, but in an eye-catching, spectacular way nonetheless. Watching a truck land on its roof was shocking and bizarre: watching it come back from it was even more so.
Seeing monster trucks was similar to watching “Toy Story” and witnessing the toys come to life. I have only interacted with monster trucks as remote control toy cars before. Now, having seen them fly and race with seemingly free will, in a stadium that all of a sudden felt a lot smaller with multiple monster trucks flying around the ring, was a feat for sure.
Maddie Pukite is the managing editor at the Daily Lobo. They can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter @maddogpukite