It’s officially Monster Truck Week here at BTE, where we’re featuring the largest vehicle we sponsor throughout the year: USA-1 monster truck from Gauger Motorsports. To get some information on this beast of a truck, we talked to USA-1’s crew chief, Scott Bryant, who told us all about the monster truck world. Part 1 of this interview ran Tuesday, March 31.
What is the most exciting part of a monster truck event?
Each part of a monster truck event has its own elements of excitement. Kids always enjoy the pit parties because they can get up close to those big trucks. Racing has the competitive element that any motorsports fan can appreciate. In freestyle, drivers perform moves that shock and wow spectators.
For the team, the most exciting part is when we win. We have run with several very competitive teams so far this year on the Monster X Tour. Any time we take a racing, wheelie, or freestyle victory, it means a lot because every team on the Monster X tour is very tough and works very hard.
How old is USA-1?
USA-1 was one of the first monster trucks created. It began performing in 1981. In 1988, a second USA-1 was built for racing. It won the inaugural Monster Truck Racing Championship that year. However, save for the occasional cameo appearance, the USA-1 name has been absent from competition for over 20 years. Gauger Motorsports was able to partner with USA-1’s creator, Everett Jasmer, to bring this name back to competition. It has been a huge honor running USA-1 this year.
Who is the driver of USA-1?
Roger Gauger is not only the driver of the truck, but also a 23-year veteran of the monster truck industry. He is also an accomplished fabricator, which comes in handy as a monster truck driver and owner. Roger and his wife, Kathy bought their first monster truck in 1991 and have kept the business going through their company, Gauger Motorsports. USA-1 is a new addition to their fleet.
How many crew members go along with USA-1 to events? What do they normally have to do during the course of a night?
We typically have two crew members travel to shows. The first thing that must be done upon arrival is unloading the truck and mounting the large tires. In order to fit the truck into the hauler, the large tires must be dismounted and “toter” tires installed so the truck is narrow enough be loaded. Once “tired up” the truck is then moved into the stadium into pit position. Then the tools are moved in and the pit area is set up. Suspension and tire pressure adjustments are made and final cleaning is done before the pit party. Next the trucks are moved into positions for the pit party, then back to the pits afterwards. Once the event starts it’s all hands on deck to do what it takes to keep the truck running its best. If something breaks we do what it takes to get the truck back in the show. After the event, we “tire down” and load everything back up. It’s a very full day.