Tampa Florida
Superbowl of Motorsports

By Bryan Wagner

One of the longest running events made its return to the sunshine state, as the Superbowl of Motorsports returned to Raymond James Stadium. The event was a bit difficult for me, as earlier the same day I had to attend the funeral of a fellow classmate who died from an allergic reaction to medication given for her diabetes. But I soldiered on and attended the event. I also fell on the bad luck of having camera problems the second year in a row, so I apologize for the lack of and quality of pictures.

Tonight 12 trucks will line up to do battle. Some new faces, some old. Also on hand will be the "ever exciting" Quad Wars, Freestyle Motocross, and Street Warriors make their first appearance at Tampa. The track is a Chicago style course, 5 cars a set. The corners were not round, but diamond off. This gave the trucks options for going around the corners, slow and tight near the barrels, or wide and on the gas. The FMX hill was setup at the center of the track, closer to the camera. A pyramid with a Box Van was also setup for freestyle, with more junk being brought in. Let's meet the field.

Truck & Driver Lineup:

American Guardian
Rick Raab

This is Rick's first trip to Tampa. Rick is known to let it all hang out, I expect some rookie mistakes coupled with an overall good performance, especially in freestyle.

Bubba the Love Sponge
Steve Reynolds

The debut...or rather "re-debut" of the 98ROCK morning CCE DJ Bubba "The Love Sponge" Clem's truck. The real story here though is Steve Reynolds. In 2002 he came off an incredible racing win at the Superbowl of Motorsports in Atlanta, and carried his momentum into Tampa. Reynolds in Ragin' Steel defeated Anderson in Grave Digger in the first round, and made it all the way to the finals to fall to a strong running Tom Meents in Maximum Destruction. Reynolds once again has a huge amount of momentum behind him after a final round birth in Atlanta. I expect another impressive racing performance from Reynolds.

Rob Knell

Knell made his Tampa debut last year in the High Roller chassis and body. Knell caught the most air last year and had a great save in freestyle. But Knell was knocked out early in racing and had his freestlye run cut short last year. I expect an improvement from last year, and he is my choice for a racing sleeper to shock the crowd.

El Toro Loco
Lupe Sosa

The veteran Sosa makes his Tampa debut in the El Toro Loco bull. With both CCE bulls in the building, I look for Lupe to step it up to out-do Knell with a wild freestyle run. El Toro Loco is my sleeper pick to go all the way in freestyle.

Grave Digger # 19
Dennis Anderson

The legend comes back to Tampa looking for some racing revenge. In 2002 he rolled in the 2nd round losing to Team Meents and last year he was stunned by Ragin' Steel in the first round. Anderson is still getting the bugs out of the new truck, and I think if the truck holds together long enough, Anderson will defend his 2002 Tampa freestyle crown. With the racing performance the truck has had in its opening weeks, again, if the truck holds together, Digger will take the racing title.

Gun Slinger
Scott Hartsock

One of two hometown boys, Hartsock claims that this is one of his favorite events all year long. Hartsock always puts the truck on overkill for the Tampa crowd, but it has cost him in the past. He's had DQ's in racing before, and his freestyle's have gotten out of control. If Hartsock can keep the truck under control all night long. I think he will be in the top half of both the racing and freestyle brackets.

King Krunch
David Smith

Smith made his Tampa debut last year, and floored me with his racing and freestlye performances, going all the way to the semi-finals in racing and making some incredible freestlye moves. Smith has set my bar high for him, and I will be disappointed with anything much less of his performance last year.

Debbra "Madusa" Michelli

Madusa makes her Tampa debut, and she too is a Florida native. With a new body and some obvious new consequence, I expect Madusa to push hard.

Maximum Destruction II
Neil Elliott

Elliott has been here before under the High Roller banner. This year Elliott has to step it up and live up to the Meents reputation of a balls-to-the-wall performance in Maximum Destruction. Maximum Destruction is the defending race champion, but has come short the last few years in freestyle. Maximum Destruction has not taken a freestyle win in Tampa yet, and if Elliott can use the full 90 seconds and Anderson's freestlye run bobbles, then maybe Neil will give the truck its first freestyle title.

Allen Pezo

Pezo is another Tampa veteran making his return. Pezo has not had much racing luck in Tampa, but in freestyle he has rocked the crowd. In 2001 Pezo did an old-school trick by blasting through a thick, gooey mud pit. And in 2003 Pezo stuff the nose into the ground after catching the back wheels on the bus pyramid, which caused the truck to snap right back up and Pezo put the truck strait up and down on the tailgate. I look for Pezo to make another incredible freestyle move.

Larry Jarzel

Prowler has been to Tampa before, but has not had much luck in racing or in freestyle. Hopefully Larry can turn it around for the Prowler machine, but I think keeping the truck together and having a couple solid runs is all you can really ask for from Prowler.

Jim Jack

One of the nicest guys in the sport, Jim Jack, the other hometown hero, returns to Tampa. In the past Jim has had consistant racing and freestyle runs. Jim also had the pleasure to be the first ever truck to crush an airplane in freestyle of 2002 right here in Tampa. I think another consistant run is in the works for Reptoid tonight.


Bulldozer (Nearest to Camera) Vs. El Toro Loco (Farthest)

The first trucks out of the box took it easy, possibly a bit too easy as both trucks fell towards the bottom of the brackets, Toro being slowest of the field.

American Guardian (Near) Vs. Madusa (Far)

Two of the new guys....errr...and gals came out for their qualifing runs. Both trucks had impressive runs, qualifing near the middle of the pack.

Gun Slinger (Near) Vs. Reptoid (Far)

The two hometown boys squared off for their qualifing attempts. Right off the line Gun Slinger's motor started to sputter, sounding like it was mis-firing, possibly electrical or timing problems. Slinger soildered on and made a good pass as Reptoid had problems in the turn and lost time.

Maximum Destruction (Near) Vs. King Krunch (Far)

A good qualifing run would help Elliott defend the racing title, and Neil laid down quite a pass, becoming number one qualifier at the time with 19.42. Smith was no sloutch also clocking in under 20 seconds at a 19.90.

Bubba The Love Sponge (Near) Vs. Grave Digger # 19 (Far)

The icon lined up against the brand new hometown truck in qualifing. Anderson mashed the throttle off the line and took off, meanwhile Reynolds had problems with 1st gear, sounding like the truck was slipping and Reynolds had a tough time getting up to speed. Meanwhile Digger was on a pass, blasting around the course at a 19.03 pass.

Prowler (Near) Vs. Predator (Far)

The cats lined up for the final pass of the qualifing round. I didn't expect much out of the Pezo camp for racing, but I was shocked. Jarzel mashed the motor on his cat truck and rocketed around the course to clock a 19.28 run, 2nd quickest of the night.

The quads came out for their heat race. The entire feild came out as Team Florida defeated Team New York in the first matchup.


El Toro Loco (Near) Vs. Grave Digger # 19 (Far)

Both trucks were dead even off the line but Digger aired it out over the first set and took a lead into the first corner. El Toro Loco was much more aggressive in the turns as both trucks used the flat-out wide sweeping technique to manuever around the corners. Over the cars a second time Digger had a slight advantage. Into the final corner Digger spins the back of the truck a little too far and has to correct, El Toro Loco is hard on the gas, across the line, it's Digger by maybe a few tenths of a second. A much harder matchup than Anderson was expecting.

WINNER: Grave Digger # 19 (Dennis Anderson)

Bubba The Love Sponge (Near) Vs. Madusa (Far)

The repainted Ragin' Steel Chevy who went to the finals in Atlanta under the Line-X Obsession banner takes on Madusa. Off the line Bubba has problems accelerating again and Madusa stretched out an early lead. Madusa kept the lead as the worked their way over the cars and into the final corner. Bubba found his step in the higher gears and started to make up ground, but too little too late as Madusa takes the round win. At the end of the run, the FMX hill became a bit on an issue. Both trucks ended up on opposite sides of the arena in relation to where they were pitted, so both trucks had to turn around and cross at the center of the track. The view blocked by the hill in the center of the track, Madusa and Bubba T-Boned in the middle of the track. No damage on either trucks as they simply bounce off each others wheels.

WINNER: Madusa (Madusa)

Gun Slinger (Near) Vs. American Guardian (Far)

Chevy Vs. Ford in this matchup. Off the line Slinger got a hole shot but the engine stumbling continued. It didn't seem to slow the ford as Hartsock kept the hammer down and started to stretch out a lead on Raab. Across the line it was Gun Slinger by a truck length, but Hartsock limped back to the pits with obvious problems.

WINNER: Gun Slinger (Scott Hartsock)

Maximum Destruction (Near) Vs. Predator (Far)

The Pezo trucks looked strong in qualifing, and Allen was hoping to use that momentum to take down Elliott in Max Destruction. Elliott got the hole shot and never looked back, as Pezo had a tough time manuevering the corners, Elliott took the slow and tight against the barrels line around the track for the win.

WINNER: Maximum Destruction (Neil Elliott)

King Krunch (Near) Vs. Reptoid (Far)

Two tough trucks squared off in this matchup. Smith who went to the semi's last year showed his muscle again against Reptoid. Both trucks had smooth consistant runs but in the end Smith took a few truck length win over Jimmy Jack.

WINNER: King Krunch (David Smith)

Bulldozer (Near) Vs. Prowler (Far)

Two tough independents faced off in the final match of round one. Jarzel on fire after a superb qualifing run continued his track domination by easily putting away Knell.

WINNER: Prowler (Larry Jarzel)

The street warriors were next on the line. The course was pretty simple, start out on the near side of the track, manuever a roller, go over tough double jump, another roller, then cross the stadium and manuever the exact same obsticles, across the stadium again, across the start line, and the finish line was on the near side double jump.

A 1997 Dodge Ram was first out of the box, and crawled his was around the track with a 36 seconds pass. A chevy s-10 was next up, catching big air over the first double jump, but then planting the nose of the truck into the 2nd hill of the far side roller, he DNF'd. Third out was what appeared to be a rock crawling truck by the name of "Ram Air". The black truck with diamond plateing all around it used his 4-wheel independent suspension to rocket around the track with a 25 second pass. Then possibly the wildest vehicle came onto the track. A Dodge Aires with a chopped rear end and two tires strapped to the front bumper. I shook my head thinking, oh man this is not going to be pretty. I couldn't of been more wrong. This vehicle by the name of "Rampage" was the ultimate Street Warriors "sleeper" it blasted off the line and rocketed over the jumps, obviously having serious suspension modifications done to it. The front tires on the front end spun and helped the vehicle from getting stuck. Rampage blasted around the track with a 26 second pass. Finally there was a bright orange jeep that was obviously a Pro Arena truck. The jeep flew around the track...a little too quick, knocking over a barrel and giving him a tough 5 second penalty. The winner for the evening was "Ram Air".


Madusa (Near) Vs. Grave Digger # 19 (Far)

Madusa was looking right into the bright red eyes of Anderson's chevy as the both were even off the starting line. Anderson used 19s very responsive steering to go flat out around the corners and gain a good lead. Anderson got huge air over the cars and into the final corner Anderson did not back down as he flew off the final set to get the win, but he almost paid a heavy price as he stopped inches from the dumpsters against the wall.

WINNER: Grave Digger # 19 (Dennis Anderson)

Maximum Destruction (Near) Vs. Gun Slinger (Far)

Max Destruction pulled to the line, ready for a fight. Slinger on the other hand was not to well prepared. Put on the 2 minute clock, the camera focused on the cab of Gun Slinger as both Scott and Allen Pezo worked frantically to get the truck to fire. It wouldn't and Hartsock ripped off his shoulder belts in disgust, done for the night with mechanical problems. Rick Raab was then called to the line. But Raab was apparently not ready to jump back into action, and Rick Raab was put on the 2 minute clock. 2 minutes past and American Guardian did not fire. The USHRA official sent Neil on a bye run.

WINNER: Maximum Destruction (Neil Elliott)

King Krunch (Near) Vs. Prowler (Far)

Two of the spoilers left in the field faced off to see who would go into the semi finals. Smith knew he had to step up his game to get the better of Jarzel. Smith did just that, as Jarzel couldn't find his rythm through the corners he had earlier in the night, Smith took advantage to eek out a win over the Prowler chevy.

WINNER: King Krunch (David Smith)

The quads came back out, and I won't even waste my breath with results, Florida beats New York, looks like Team Florida is about 10-0 on Florida soil.


Madusa (Near) Vs. Grave Digger # 19 (Far)

Madusa came back as the fastest loser to get the pleasure of trying to knock down here mentor, Anderson. Madusa knew she had to step it up and she did. Madusa with the hole shot off the line carried a lot of momentum into the corner and it looked like it would pay off, but the front started to push, the back end started to come around, Madusa tried to save the truck but it started to tip, and over the truck went, right onto her noggin. Madusa was ok a little bit of a crushed nose was all the damage done to the truck.

WINNER: Grave Digger # 19 (Dennis Anderson)

King Krunch (Near) Vs. Maximum Destruction (Far)

Smith made it to the semi finals last year, only to fall to Reynolds and Ragin' Steel. Smith wanted to go all the way tonight, but he would have to fend off the champ. Elliott took the hole shot and ran with it, this time Elliott tried going wide and staying on the gas around the corners. It paid off as Elliott shot down Smith to get to the finals.

WINNER: Maximum Destruction (Neil Elliott)

Intermission gave a chance for the trucks to cool off for the finals.


Grave Digger # 19 (Near) Vs. Maximum Destruction (Far)

Elliott put Anderson in the near lane with the lane choice factor in his favor. The two biggest names squared off for a final battle on Tampa soil. The trucks were even off the line, even over the cars. Into the first corner both trucks took the flat out and wide aproach. Over the cars a second time, STILL even. Into the final corner, Maximum Destruction spins the back end too wide and gets crossed up, on the other side of the arena, Anderson does the EXACT same thing! Now its a battle of who can get it back together first. Both trucks mash the gas heading for the cars, across the line...IT'S DIGGER. Neil ended up hitting a pole while he got the truck back under control but Digger defeats Elliott strait up by inches.

WINNER: Grave Digger # 19 (Dennis Anderson)

The FMX teams came out for their showdown. Two ramps were placed at opposite sides of the arena, and the riders jumped at each other. A little bit of a different flavor for the Tampa crowd. Shane Henry & Jerry Jackson came out first an scored a 24, Tyler Kyle & Kyle Lovelace scored a 21, and Cody Elkins & Garrett Schull came out last and scored a 29 by following each other close behind on the same ramp instead of going at each other.


For freestyle a car-van-car pyramid was setup on the track for the first group of trucks to tackle. The FMX hill and car-van-box van-van-car pyramid was still up for grabs. The ramps were also moved out of the way so iron walls could be hit on either side of the cars.

PROWLER: Larry Jarzel

Jarzel gets the first crack at the track. Unfortunatly Larry never really stepped on the truck too hard. A couple of mediocre iron walls and a couple of trips up and down the FMX hill was about all Jarzel accomplished.

My Score: 6

CCE Scores: 6 + 8 + 7 = 19 Total


Jim Jack came out with his traditional sky wheelies with smoke out of the mouth of the reptile wonder. Jack got a couple of pretty decent sky wheelies before attacking the car-van-car stack twice, getting great vertical air.

My Score: 7

CCE Scores: 7 + 7 + 7 = 21 Total


Knell came out for his run next, looking to beat Jim Jack's 21. Knell came out and got some great sky wheelies, only made better by the stiffer suspension of the Meents chassis. Knell heads for the pyramid, and gets HUGE air over the box van, clearing it! Knell gets off another sky wheelie with the back wheels crab walking over the cars. Knell heads to the far side to get anothe sky wheelie. The rear wheels still aren't centered and Bulldozer gets a sky sheelie over the cars. Knell drops a rear tire off the cars and it clips the Street Warriors hill, it snaps the truck right onto his side! Knell goes over with 44 seconds left on the clock. A good run but half the time left on the clock is too much.

My Score: 5

CCE Scores: 5 + 5 + 6 = 16 Total


The flags were off the truck, the red/white/blue flashing lights were on, Raab was off. Raab went out and hit a couple of great sky wheelies. Raab then went after the pyramid and goes BIG TIME vertical on it. Raab hits another sky wheelie and the heads for the car-van-car setup and soars over it, flames blasting out the rear. American Guardian then takes another crack at the pyramid and tears right through the box van, flattening it down. Raab then finds some open space and lets the truck rip wide open with an insane cyclone with the flames shooting out the rear! Time expires and a great run ends.

My Score: 10!

CCE Scores: 10 + 9 + 8 = 26 Total

KING KRUNCH: David Smith

Smith had a great freestyle last year and set the bar high for himself this year to repeat. Smith came out and showed no mercy. His Deist Safety flag proudly waving. Smith had some great sky wheelies before attacking the big FMX hill a few times. Smith then went after the car-van-car pyramid. Krunch then made his way to the south side of the arena and ripped off a donut to end his run. Another great freestyle performance.

My Score: 8

CCE Scores: 8 + 8 + 8 = 24 Total

CCE brings out two more cars and stackes them in the middle of the 5 car set nearest to my camera. A motorhome was also brought out and set on the far side of the track.

After 5 trucks:
American Guardian - 26
King Krunch - 24
Reptoid - 21
Prowler - 19
Bulldozer - 16


The new Bubba truck came out, looking to better a very disapointing racing run. Unfortunatly the low gear problems were not fixed, and in freestyle you need all the low gear power you can get. Reynolds manged some moderate air on the cars and tried to attack both pyramids, but really didn't get anything going and did not attack the fresh motorhome. After Reynolds first crack at the box van pyramid, Bubba blows a right rear tire, ending the run.

My Score: 5

CCE Scores: 4 + 7 + 4 = 15 Total


I also had the bar set high for the man who almost shocked the world with a freestyle title at World Finals IV. Lupe came out and did not disappoint. Sosa hit some great sky wheelies before attacking the car-van-car pyramid. El Toro found the open space on the south end of the arena and poured on the power and got a great donut going. Toro then set his horns on the motorhome, POW, ripped right through it. On the landing Lupe blew out a right rear tire just like the Bubba truck. Lupe didn't let it stop him as timed wore down, Lupe went and attacked the big pyramid and saved the truck on a bad landing caused by the blown tire. Sosa joined Raab on the big seat.

My Score: 10!

CCE Scores: 10 + 9 + 8 = 26 Total

MADUSA: Madusa

After a roll already in racing, Madusa did not want to do any more body damage to the truck. Those dreams were dashed very quickly. The hood flew off the truck on the first sky wheelie, leaving only the cab and the rear quarter pannels. Madusa hit a few more iron walls before nailing the car-van-car pyramid and the big pyramid. Over the big pyramid however the cab of the truck managed to shake loose and it fell off as well in one giant piece. It did not phase Madusa as she attacked the FMX hill and ended her run.

My Score: 8

CCE Scores: 9 + 8 + 10 = 26 Total

So with 8 trucks down, the big hot seat chair was getting crowded. Although Lupe and Rick didn't look like they minded sharing the seat with Madusa as well.

After 8 trucks:
El Toro Loco - 26
American Guardian - 26
Madusa - 26
King Krunch - 24
Reptoid - 21
Prowler - 19
Bulldozer - 16
Bubba - 15

CCE now rolled out some more goodies, another motorhome was parked next to the destroyed one.

PREDATOR: Allen Pezo

Pezo has had some great moves over the years in Tampa. I was looking for Pezo to pull another surprise out of his hat. Predator hit a few good sky wheelies before it appeared as though Pezo had some suspension and steering damage. Pezo continued his run without much flair, and pulled off with about 10 seconds left on the clock.

My Score: 6

CCE Scores: 7 + 6 + 6 = 19 Total

Gun Slinger still had his mechanical problems and was not able to make it out for freestyle


Total corruption, maximum destruction. So the music video says. Neil came blasting out of the pits and hit a great sky wheelie over the cars. Neil whipped right around and went for the big pryamid and hit it. The landing did not go well at all, the truck landed on one side and snapped right over to the other, and the truck was on its side doing some major body damage only 12 seconds into the run. Maximum Destruction stays winless in Tampa.

My Score: 2

CCE Scores: 4 + 8 + 6 = 18 Total

GRAVE DIGGER # 19: Dennis Anderson

The icon came out looking to defend his freestyle crown. He would have to knock off a trio 26s to do so. Anderson came out, guns a blazin. Anderson launched off the cars getting great air. Anderson whipped the truck right around and crushed the car-van-car setup. Anderson had to fear and soaring it out over the FMX hill. Anderson then headed for the big pyramid and smashed the gas. Sign this man up for the NASA program as Anderson goes into SPACE getting the biggest air of the night by far. Anderson then went after the fresh motorhome and cut right through it like butter. Anderson then found the open space at the south end of the arena and slammed on the gas, whipping the truck into an absoltutly insane cyclone, so fast in which it tipped the truck over, ending the run 18 seconds early. No mater, great saves, huge air, and hitting everything on the track was more than enough.

My Score: 10!

CCE Scores: 10 + 10 + 10 = 30 Total

Final Freestyle Standings:
Grave Digger - 30
El Toro Loco - 26
American Guardian - 26
Madusa - 26
King Krunch - 24
Reptoid - 21
Prowler - 19
Predator - 19
Maximum Destruction - 18
Bulldozer - 16
Bubba - 15
Gun Slinger - 0

A whole bunch of wrecked trucks on both ends

Overall it was another more or less typical CCE show. A great field of trucks made for a great show. Disappointments for some as Hartsock fell short in his quest for a Tampa win again, Bubba fell on his face in front of his owner, and Maximum Destruction goes home empty handed, and with two tore up trucks. Madusa also has to limp on to Miami with a tore up body. On the other hand Anderson sweeps the weekend, just as I thought if he could keep the truck together. The Pezo's had great racing runs, David Smith was impressive in both racing and freestyle, El Toro Loco wowed the crowd with a great freestyle run, as did Rick Raab.

I want to thank Jason Twite for hosting my coverage this year, and once again I'd like to thank each and every reader for sticking with the coverage through all my babbling. God bless.