RACING or FREESTYLE

EdCFP

Well-Known Member
Monster trucks have gained fame and fortune because of several reasons but it is apparent that today Freestyle like yesteryear when monsters crushed cars is the most crowds favorite part of the show.

Why not a SERIES that awards their Championship Points only for Freestyle?
That does not mean who can wreck it the worst
Something like taking off points for a rollover or ripping off wheels.

More of a drivers award for putting on a great show while getting the crowd involved.

That would lend itself to safer shows with maybe more put into a vehicle to excite and entertain the crowd.

Two motors? Fire out the headers? Cylops eye in the hood? Jimmy Jacks water shoot from Reptoid, stuff like that would take place of all these trucks being tore all the heck.

Just my thoughts.....yours?

Ed Beckley
Checkered Flag Productions
www.cfpracing.com
 

72ZEBRA

Well-Known Member
As a fan Ed I like the idea of making freestyle show drivers talent, not just how much he can afford to tear up. Rollover is a DNF, Break and cannot finish the time allowed is a DNF! Drivers will still take it to the edge, but hopefully they will try to finish on thier wheels and put on a much safer show. I know the younger crowd wont like that, but thats my opinion. With a point system the guys like Bill Payne will still come out on top at the end of the year, even with DNFs. It will just make the scoring close.

Now to the other point, I would like to see more of the speciall attractions. Bring out the oddball stuff during intermissions. A tank, the stunt man stuff or something along that line. Heck even the comedy stuff like Dirty Dingus is a good filler and keeps the fans laughing.

Ive been to more than a few of your shows over the years Ed and I think the best ones had Mudbogs. The crowd really likes seeing the local boys get out there and get muddy. Tough trucks is an easy sell also. One show I really like is the lawnmower racing!! That is fun to watch and it seems the crowd agreed with me at the shows Ive seen.

And for me, truck/tractor pulling. Its a natural that monsters should have pulling too, but I dont know if the rest of the crowd agrees with me on that one.

Thats my thoughts Ed! See ya soon!!
 

Firehawk85

Well-Known Member
While this all sounds like a good idea I disagree with deducting points for a wheel breaking off unless it starts happening all the time like rollovers do in Monster Jam.

What I would like to see is a racing series that is set up like the NHRA Drag Racing. What I mean is differant classes such as...

Race Trucks like the ones that run now.

leaf spring trucks like the good ol days in the late 80s

48" tire trucks......etc

I'd also like to see some pulling and mud bogging again by the monster trucks.

thoughts??

as far as freestyle....the majority rules imo.
 

adamsoffroad

Well-Known Member
While this all sounds like a good idea I disagree with deducting points for a wheel breaking off unless it starts happening all the time like rollovers do in Monster Jam.

What I would like to see is a racing series that is set up like the NHRA Drag Racing. What I mean is differant classes such as...

Race Trucks like the ones that run now.

leaf spring trucks like the good ol days in the late 80s

48" tire trucks......etc

I'd also like to see some pulling and mud bogging again by the monster trucks.

thoughts??

as far as freestyle....the majority rules imo.
I say x2
 

Don

Well-Known Member
I have to agree with you on this one Ed.
If the drivers that are winning freestyle for crashing now are so good then they should be able to control the truck enough to push it to the edge and come back and drive away. I thing most of them can put rolling is the easy way to win with out talent.
He is a post of mine from a few months back.

Why do we reward failure and thoughts on the back flip.
I figured with all the back flip talk about where the sport is headed I would start a new post as to not change the direction of the post about the back flip attempt being made in CA.

First off we are the only judged sport involving freestyle that I can think of that rewards failure. What I mean is if someone crashes in all other freestyle judging formats they are guaranteed there not going to win or place in the completion. Look at any other motorsport of athletic sport where there is freestyle and you are deducted for crashing and rewarded for pulling off the spectacular. I think if we were like other sports it would be a great change in the way we are perceived where intentional crashing is now expected by some teams and other teams are not able to do so. If we were only judged on what we were able to intentionally do and drive away and deducted for failure the completion between all teams would be more equal and separate the talented driver from the I'm going to do something stupid and hang on drivers. I'm not going to point fingers as several of the get stupid drivers often win racing showcasing there talents and several always go out in early rounds proving my point. I think there should be a 10 point deduction out of 30. I'm not saying it would ever be accepted but it's more of a food for though comment it this time.

I would like to see anyone name a judged sport other than monster trucks that rewards failure. I remember the first back flip in Freestyle Jetski completion seemed very possible but several attempts with failure were great to watch but did not take the win in till someone rode away.

As for my view on the back flip I'm sitting with the guys that view it as a flop in the air and crashing onto the wheels. It's impressive but there not continuing on or landing in a new place like a down ramp. As for where it may take the sport I look at it as one of those moves you can go ahead and try but if you fail you should not be rewarded. Have fun loading your wadded up junk. I prefer it as a stunt more than a move in completion.

Having said that I think there is a way a guy could land on a down ramp and make a smooth rotation. We were going to try some other extreme stuff that no other team has considered and it led us to thinking of a new way to make it work. Will we try it? The first part was in a failed planning attempt because of time restrictions. Will we try again? Probably in a year from now if the money and exposure are great enough. Will it be at a show? Not in the regular monster truck atmosphere as we know shows. In fact it will not likely be open to a paying crowd but that may change. All I can say is that if it happens it will be off the charts wild and consist of allot more than just a one hit wonder and it will have a very special ramp as well. Time will tell.

Don

 

theace27

Well-Known Member
"Race Trucks like the ones that run now.

leaf spring trucks like the good ol days in the late 80s

48" tire trucks......etc

I'd also like to see some pulling and mud bogging again by the monster trucks."


I say x4!!! I also like Jim's ideas for scoring in Freestlye. A roll over is a DNF!!!!
 

Paul curtis

Well-Known Member
I miss going to events with both monsters and pulling, as for the different classes of trucks, meh, I dont think theres enuff leafers to do that, and most of the others are Trucks Gone Wild type trucks, not sure if we want to go down that road.

now, that being said, I think you could do some great filler stuff with one or two leaf trucks between rounds
 

gmtgmt

Well-Known Member
I miss going to events with both monsters and pulling, as for the different classes of trucks, meh, I dont think theres enuff leafers to do that, and most of the others are Trucks Gone Wild type trucks, not sure if we want to go down that road.

now, that being said, I think you could do some great filler stuff with one or two leaf trucks between rounds
Yeap i dont want to see tgw style trucks or events that more or less being turned into those kind

but there are more then enought leafers out there that still can do shows but its the owners thats proberly the problem as many has full time jobs or just not up for this anymore
 

BiteMeStudios

Well-Known Member
Ed, my thoughts on this are:

1) A set time has to be established in order to fairly judge freestyle. Lets say, for this post, that is two minutes.

2) As much as crowd participation is an integral part of today's shows, it is that very crowd participation that makes freestyle something that can't be made into a points series. You can't rely on an 8 year old girl who doesn't want to hurt a driver's feelings, or a 10 year old who likes that truck because it looks like "Monster Jam Truck X", or a 14 year old boy who votes for the lady driver just because he thinks she is hot. I have seen freestyle judging be spot on, but more often than not, I see little kids get it COMPLETELY wrong. "I don't like orange trucks" is not a valid reason to throw up a 5 on a freestyle that truly EARNED an 8 or a 9. This has to be figured out, and, honestly, I don't have a good solution for this.

3) I like the way you guys choose your freestyle order. Reverse order of racing finish is a perfect, non-biased way to do it. Keep that.

4) Taking off points for breaking/rolling, to me, is a great idea. While some drivers may take that as their excuse to dog it, this will be balanced out by low scores. Those truly wishing to win a points championship will push it to the edge. Plus, boring trucks don't get booked again. The key to this is having a set deduction for not filling the clock...like say breaking/rolling in the first :30 is -5, from :31 to 1:00 is -3, and from 1:00 to 1:59 is -1 (assuming a two minute structure). The rules CAN'T be subjective...only the judging.

5) The rules have to be announced and stuck with throughout the season. The crowd needs this explained to them at EVERY venue before freestyle starts. I saw a crowd get hostile at an event earlier this year because they were used to seeing trucks roll over and keep going. The rules changed (in my opinion, for the better), but the problem was that no one bothered to tell the crowd this. The crowd was upset...a huge, angry thread started here...all because of a lack of 30 seconds of explaining how it works to the crowd.

6) Originality in trucks is a great thing. If you want to encourage the best looking/wildest looking/most original truck designs, maybe have a separate judging during introductions. The winner of the "style contest" gets points added to their freestyle...or something like that.

Basically, I echo the sentiment of many racing fans with my take on freestyle. I like the competition to be as legitimate as possible. Freestyle is always going to be subjective...which is why it is often called "monster truck gymnastics". That is fine, and a little debate at the end of a show is fun and healthy. But, when it is blatantly obvious that the kids judging got it totally wrong, it just looks bad on the show and has even killed the mood in some cases I have seen.

On another, unrelated note...

Guys, leaf springs KILL backs and neck. I love the old days, but for the love of god, quit requesting a leafer series. Those things are the reason a lot of guys we used to know and love aren't running anymore. Mark Wheeler is crippled, Jim Kramer has a terrible shoulder, Dennis Anderson runs a bare bones schedule, and I am sure there are countless others that I haven't heard the story of. You guys are basically requesting unbearable abuse of drivers, and that scares and offends me.
 
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TheMonsterBlogger

Well-Known Member
The best championship format for a series like CFP is one that tests driver skill in both, awarding points for racing and freestyle. I think dropping racing from the events would make them, and the championship overall much less interesting, rather than more. I think being a champion of a series that equally rewards racing and freestyle carries a higher esteem than being a champion simply of racing or freestyle.

Speaking more about the industry in general...

I feel that the common perception that fans will automatically like freestyle more than like racing is somewhat incorrect. When all of the promotion and excitement building during the event is done featuring freestyle, then yeah, fans are going to be more excited about it. Nearly all shows these days seem to be run with the attitude, "Yeah, we've got a wheelie contest and racing as filler, BUT THEN LATER COMES FREESTYLE!!!!!!!" That same attitude is used in building the race courses - "Let's build a wild freestyle track and then we'll fit a race course in there somewhere" and "don't make the race course too tough, we've got to make sure all the trucks are still running for freestyle".

That format works great for shows in general and is more appropriate for many venues, but you can't use that as proof that more fans like freestyle than they do racing. When equal or greater focus is put on racing and a great, intricate track is built that truly tests the trucks and driver skill, I will argue that fans get just as excited for racing as they do for freestyle, if not more so. I cite as proof any of the MLMT or MTC races I have attended, where the cheering is much louder and the excitement level much higher during racing than it is during freestyle. I would also note that at many of these events, the crowd tends to shrink after racing is completed. Personally, I would take a racing-geared course like MTC Charlotte '09 over ANY freestyle-geared course.

Another thing people say when making the freestyle is more popular argument is that it's what the AVERAGE fan wants. I would argue that the AVERAGE fan (the fan that doesn't follow monster trucks any more than attending their local show they saw a commercial for) doesn't have a defined preference. They are coming to see monster trucks, period. Their decision to attend isn't based on what the monster trucks will be doing at the show, it's based simply on seeing monster trucks. That's why they are the AVERAGE fan, they are going to get more excited over whatever you pump up more and put more effort on at your show. Now, beyond that you will have those who prefer racing or those who prefer freestyle. And while I would agree that more of those fans with a preference would choose freestyle, I would further argue the reason for that is they have never been to an event that puts an equal amount of effort and focus on racing and freestyle.

Freestyle-only events aren't new. If some promoter out there is looking to try something different, I would love to see a racing only show tried (and I'm not talking about straight-line racing only like ProMT). Book some of the top racers, and use all of your space to build a wild racing course. Use buses, vans, whatever space will allow and make a LONG turning course that allows time for trucks to make up ground if they make a mistake. Use a double elimination bracket to allow for second chances and to have enough racing to fill out an event.

Open qualifying would be great, but is probably unrealistic because of this industry's long established practice of show up fees and the greater cost. So alternatively, you adjust your booking pay scale such that there is a lower base fee and the more you passes you make, the more money you make. You might think that teams would altogether say no to this, but if you think about it...they can either get X dollars for Show A and have to run their truck in wheelie, racing AND freestyle contests....OR get a smaller base fee for Show B but only have to run the truck for a minimum of three passes (qualifying, and two racing losses) WITH the potential to make more money in Show B than in Show A if they have a good night.

I'll put my racing only show (this format with my specifications above has never been tried) up against any freestyle only show (KSR, Outlaw, WGAS, all do this regularly, MJ is moving towards it) and I bet you mine turns out to be just as, if not more, exciting. :D
 

tromoly

Well-Known Member
Ed, you have a great start going there, with how you're presenting it I feel that it would work out really really well, and with what's been said in a little time there can be some rock solid freestyle-only events.

Guys, leaf springs KILL backs and neck. I love the old days, but for the love of god, quit requesting a leafer series. Those things are the reason a lot of guys we used to know and love aren't running anymore. Mark Wheeler is crippled, Jim Kramer has a terrible shoulder, Dennis Anderson runs a bare bones schedule, and I am sure there are countless others that I haven't heard the story of. You guys are basically requesting unbearable abuse of drivers, and that scares and offends me.
I agree with what you've said in reference to 80s leafer technology; I do have other comments on it, but I'll save it for another day to keep this thread on topic ;)
 

TheMonsterBlogger

Well-Known Member
As far as freestyle judging goes, I agree with most of Colby's points. I would however like to add a few thoughts:

"2) As much as crowd participation is an integral part of today's shows, it is that very crowd participation that makes freestyle something that can't be made into a points series. You can't rely on an 8 year old girl who doesn't want to hurt a driver's feelings, or a 10 year old who likes that truck because it looks like "Monster Jam Truck X", or a 14 year old boy who votes for the lady driver just because he thinks she is hot. I have seen freestyle judging be spot on, but more often than not, I see little kids get it COMPLETELY wrong. "I don't like orange trucks" is not a valid reason to throw up a 5 on a freestyle that truly EARNED an 8 or a 9. This has to be figured out, and, honestly, I don't have a good solution for this."

Letting three people from the crowd judge freestyle as fan participation simply cannot have a greater positive effect than the negative effect that occurs when they vote for their favorite truck and de-legitimize the whole competition. I realize that it is unrealistic to have a panel of expert judges score the event, but even just having the event director assign scores is preferable to fan judging.

"3) I like the way you guys choose your freestyle order. Reverse order of racing finish is a perfect, non-biased way to do it. Keep that."

I've seen this at a few shows, but most shows including CFP's do tend to stick to a pre-defined order. This should be a standard, in my opinion. Going later in freestyle does carry an advantage, so make them earn it. It also encourages freestyle-focused drivers to run harder in racing.

6) Originality in trucks is a great thing. If you want to encourage the best looking/wildest looking/most original truck designs, maybe have a separate judging during introductions. The winner of the "style contest" gets points added to their freestyle...or something like that.

I like originality in trucks too, and that certainly would be a factor in me booking a lineup if I was a promoter. But I don't care if the best freestyle comes from a plain white truck bodied monster, the winner shouldn't be decided in any way, no matter how small, based on the way the truck looks.
 

BiteMeStudios

Well-Known Member
It is a "FREESTYLE" competition. Would not using a flame thrower on your truck...or a water cannon on your truck...or hydraulic body panels...or a scantily-clad attractive woman...be but yet another "trick" for freestyle? (Note to the admins: use of the word trick might not be the best in light of the mention of hot women...please know that was not my intention) Stop on top of the bus stack, and have a huge fireworks show light off from the bed of your truck. Why not? It is, after all, freestyle...ANYTHING GOES! Honestly, I thought Drew Haygood's inclusion of dream catchers on the back of his truck was but a small piece of what has been missing in this sport since 1989...individuality. (No, NOT leaf springs...:D)

Yes, safety would still have to take precedence, but I figured that was a foregone conclusion.
 

Tim Dudley

Well-Known Member
Hey Ed,

I love racing, but I hate to say it. But I think Freestyle is bigger than the racing anymore. Because any "promoter" show I go to I hear. I wonder what freestyle objects they have.

I say keep the Racing and Freestyle. Now there is one thing I would love to see bring some of the old 80s Style shows back!

Like time event they go down strait away turn and go over set of cars where sled pulling is. Throw some hills in there. Do ole 80s style with a new twist with freestyle at the end.

If I had time and money, I would try throw a show together like that call it "We Love The 80s" (With a twist). Or something like that. LOL

Your friend,
Tim Dudley
 

Firehawk85

Well-Known Member
Guys, leaf springs KILL backs and neck. I love the old days, but for the love of god, quit requesting a leafer series. Those things are the reason a lot of guys we used to know and love aren't running anymore. Mark Wheeler is crippled, Jim Kramer has a terrible shoulder, Dennis Anderson runs a bare bones schedule, and I am sure there are countless others that I haven't heard the story of. You guys are basically requesting unbearable abuse of drivers, and that scares and offends me.
Nothing in my post was ment to scare or offend anyone but the monster truck industry now has become a mockery of itself. WWF monster truck style sucks.

Besides that I'm sure there are plenty of guys that would be more than willing to drive a leafer truck.......


I guess I'd be happy with a racing series like TNT Monster Truck Challenge 1988-1990. But something DEFINATELY needs to CHANGE!!
 
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MasterofTame

Well-Known Member
I have seen a lot of posts some I agree with like Ross's and Colby's and some I disagree with in certain situations like bringing all the stuff like mud bogs and tractor and truck pulling back into the fold and awarding DNFs for rolling and breaking while others I disagree entirely like having a whole for separate division for different sized or shock-types trucks.

Adding truck and tractor pulling and mud bogs back to monster jams, monster truck challenge what have you: I agree that I would like to see it BUT I went to the Glendale Monster Jam last month, that was about one and 1/2 hour of straight racing and then nearly another hour of straight freestyle. That's already a 2 & 1/2 hour show without adding quad wars, trophy cars and UTV racing. From about 6:00 pm you had some sort of action on the track besides the 15/20 minute intermission to prep for freestyle. I feel that was more than enough time for a show. Adding mud bogs and tractor pulls each add another hour or so per division WITHOUT taking into consideration pull-offs. I doubt there are enough people who wants to relive the days of the 8 hour Astrodome TNT Super Nationals to make it profitable for a company to actually run one.

Awarding DNF's: I feel USHRA has it right with their current scoring BESIDES using fans to score. They don't give you a DNF par-say BUT if you flip in 5 seconds or break a wheel off in that same time, you won't get the full points. I do think they need to give a finite amount of time including one last stunt if you are not able to slow down enough for a safe stop in the time. And if you want to give an encore, do it AFTER all the trucks finish and the winner is crowned like the old days. On the fan judging, there have been good fan judging and bad fan judging times I've gone but even the Olympics and the X-Games have been criticized for their fair judging.

Divisions of trucks: It's enough with the regular tube-framed fiberglass bodied monster trucks. If anything I'd hope to see a 48-inch division but I've seen the one tube-framed 48 incher in Raptor and now that was sold off and no longer used. Personally dividing monster trucks into stocks and all that will dry up the talent pool of drivers on the independent level.

Hey Ed,

I love racing, but I hate to say it. But I think Freestyle is bigger than the racing anymore. Because any "promoter" show I go to I hear. I wonder what freestyle objects they have.

I say keep the Racing and Freestyle. Now there is one thing I would love to see bring some of the old 80s Style shows back!

Like time event they go down strait away turn and go over set of cars where sled pulling is. Throw some hills in there. Do ole 80s style with a new twist with freestyle at the end.

If I had time and money, I would try throw a show together like that call it "We Love The 80s" (With a twist). Or something like that. LOL

Your friend,
Tim Dudley
Tim, I loved the post and sadly I do agree that at least on Monster Jams and the CFP shows I've seen through TMBtv, freestyle is more important than racing. I grew up a racing fan as they were starting the TNT point series the year after I was born and now I'm following just about any motor sport that is racing centered.

However this thread has been an awesome thought provoking one that I have enjoyed reading and figuring out what to say in response to it.
 

BiteMeStudios

Well-Known Member
On the fan judging, there have been good fan judging and bad fan judging times I've gone but even the Olympics and the X-Games have been criticized for their fair judging.
Point taken, but how ofter do Olympic Judges (a panel of experts) or X Games judges (a panel of experts) get it wrong compared to monster truck freestyle judges (a panel of bed wetters)? I can go back through the events I have been to and probably half of them I can argue, with a strong case, that the judges got freestyle wrong.

Ed's original idea here was a points series for freestyle. I love the idea...so long as steps are taken to get it right. Basing a point championship in our sport on the biased, ill-informed thoughts of a 9 year old child does not appeal to me in any way, shape or form. Now, in a non-points situation...as most shows exist today...I love the idea of having kids make the call. That, however, is not what is being discussed here.
 

stormrider_67

Well-Known Member
Bingo Colby... let the kids decide on non-point events. I too am all for fan interaction but when it comes to something this serious, it should be left to a non-biased judge.

A points system should be in place for racing, no questions. Freestyle should be handled similarly.

I was thinking something along the lines of pre-scored tricks. Example: slap wheelie is 10 points, sky wheelie is 15 and so on. Have a benchmark for each trick and add the totals. Then, for things you can't really score because of variables or frequency (like big air, something you can't measure officially), have a 5 point max. My point is, getting in 5 sick air moves yielding 25 points should not be as highly regarded as 2 sweet slap wheelies.

I dunno, its an idea. Maybe someone can expand on my thoughts and make it better.
 

graveyard314

Well-Known Member
just want to throw my two cents in here, sorry if i say something that others disagree with, but thats what opinions are:
i would really love to see something similar to what mr. beckley has mentioned here. a freestyle only show that actually leads to an official points champion with maybe a purse involved somewhere in there as well. the real one thing im going to have to very very slightly disagree with is the deduction of points for a roll/major visible breakage, and im saying this from both a fan's perspective as well as a business perspective in a way. now, when a typical fan (those who are not fully active members of this community, or those who do not know much about the industry other than one show a year or television) typically tend to enjoy the "destruction" aspect of a show. even i find myself (not often) getting a small thrill from a roll or a wheel breaking off. what i would suggest should this idea of a series ever be implemented, is to certainly not add points fora getting a little stupid, but get the crowd excited about it (should something violent happen, never prior to the fact) while still maintaining the points that run would have recevied at this point prior to the wreck or breakage. this way (again, only should something happen, not saying it would every show) the destruction loving crowd wouldnt be angry at the promotion for penalizing someone for their favorite part of the show, and people like most of us here would say that the score was fair.
just something that entered my mind, sorry for rambling on there but i wanted to attempt to get a point across there.
 
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