By Maximillian C. Burgos | Contributing Writer
Old Bridge Township Raceway Park in Englishtown, NJ, was full of thrills ranging from Monster Trucks to dragsters and even jet cars on Wednesday night. The 42nd P.C. Richard & Son Night of Thrills was truly a night to remember.
The Night of Thrills featured many first-time appearances for monster trucks. Crushstation, Lumberjack, AXE (1940’s Willy’s Fire Truck) and Spike “The Dog” were all making their debut at the historic track.
XDP Extreme also had its first appearance at Raceway Park with an alcohol engine after being a diesel Monster Truck. The other monster trucks that made appearances were track veterans Viper, Avenger and Brutus.
“It was nice that we had different Monster Trucks,” Avenger Monster Truck driver Jim Koehler said. “In years past we normally only have four trucks out here, but [Wednesday night] we had eight. Fans love Monster Trucks. They love the racing cars, but they also love Monster Trucks — and that’s why they’re here.”
The flame-throwing Jet Funny Cars and Jet Dragsters were wickedly entertaining. The jet cars showcased the Queen of Diamonds, Beast From the East, First Strike, and Top Secret.
The Beast From the East and Queen of Diamonds were featured in the Tunnel of Fire, which electrified the crowd in a tightly-contested race that the Queen of Diamonds driven by Sarah Edwards narrowly pulled out for a win.
The Best of the East and the Queen of Diamonds raced again later in the night and Ernie Bogue Jr. was able to best Sarah Edwards. The race was pretty tightly contested the second time around but Bogue Jr. beat Edwards by 0.016 seconds.
In the thrilling monster truck racing, Cory Rummell driver for Spike “the Dog”, took the night by storm. He dominated in the racing event besting the other seven racers.
Koehler owned the night in Monster Truck freestyle. He thrilled the crowd with his aggressive cyclone donuts and his command of the Avenger in the air.
“The coolest part about coming to Englishtown and Old Bridge here at Raceway Park, the way they set the track up…. the fans, our audience, they get into the whole thing,” Koehler said. “We start out with racing — I didn’t do so great there, but it was a lot of fun and I got used to the track.
“In freestyle, we could cut it loose and pop some big air and do some slap wheelies, do a little bit of spin donuts and do cyclone donuts in the water box … the fans love them. I did a couple of them. I saw what these other guys were laying down out there and I knew I had to do something crazy. I just went nuts, and I came out the winner.”
In the second race with the Jet Funny Cars, First Strike and Top Secret thrilled the crowd with their flame-throwing dash down the track. Rich Hanna, driver of First Strike won by a margin of 0.018 seconds.
The Pro Mods and dragsters also lit up the night with their drag racing. There were many Chevys on display and the fans left the Raceway Park very pleased. Each race was exciting and competitive.
The night even showcased the Chevy Rebellion as the wheel-stander promised for the night. It skid down the track getting two runs in the sub-10 seconds in a very entertaining display.
The night also displayed Hell on Wheels BMX. They preformed daring stunts in the intermission of the night and helped keep the energy of the night going.