Motorsports fans can get their adrenaline fix Saturday and Sunday as Monster Jam brings high-powered truck racing to the Coast Coliseum in Biloxi.
Trucks vying for the Biloxi championship will be Grave Digger, Midnight Rider, Northern Nightmare, Nitro Menace, Jailbird, Wild Thang, Instigator and Backdraft.
The trucks weigh 10,000 pounds or more and sit atop 66-inch tires. They are built for powerful short bursts of speed but can go up to 100 mph. They also can soar up to 35 feet high and to distances of 130 feet.
Tom Herzog, the driver of Midnight Rider, which is powered by a big-block Chevy that’s capable of 1,600 horsepower, put more than $100,000 into the truck, including upgrades to make it faster and stronger.
“We put a bigger motor in her this year to be more competitive,” he said. “New shock (absorber) technology comes out that you can land softer, so you can jump higher and not take a beating; and it won’t rebound as much, so it will make you quicker through the racing part.”
Herzog grew up in the rural farming community of Red Bud, Illinois.
“I always had an interest in motorsports,” he said, “whether it be NASCAR or drag racing or racing go-karts even.”
His introduction to monster trucks came about when he began building the trucks with a partner.
“I wanted to get out on the road and travel, and I wanted my own truck,” he said. “So over about a 4 1/2 , five-year period, I just was saving money building a truck. Once the truck got completed, I just knew that I needed to quit the day job and become self-employed and just run the truck.”
When he’s behind the wheel of Midnight Rider, Herzog is about 12 feet off the ground. He said it feels like driving a regular car, but it is far more exciting.
“You get used to being that high, and it’s limited visibility, so your perspective changes,” he said. “The adrenaline rush is amazing. In the middle of the show the fans get pumped up and start cheering, and that just gets your adrenaline up even more. I’ll get out and my hands are shaking from the adrenaline.”
Show times are 1 and 7 p.m. Saturday and 1 p.m. Sunday. Pit parties will give fans a chance to meet the drivers and will be held both days from 10:30 a.m. to noon.
Tickets start at $15 and are available through Monsterjam.com or Ticketmaster.com.
Where: Coast Coliseum, 2350 Beach Blvd., Biloxi
When: 1 and 7 p.m. Saturday and 1 p.m. Sunday Pit parties will be held both days from 10:30 a.m. to noon.
Tickets: Start at $15 and are available through Monsterjam.com or Ticketmaster.com.