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updated: 7/31/2011 12:30 AM

Monster trucks excite DuPage fair crowds

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  • Rick Majewski/rmajewski@dailyherald.comKatie O'Neill makes her way across the Fear Factory course at the DuPage County Fair in Wheaton. Saturday July 30th 2011.

      Rick Majewski/rmajewski@dailyherald.comKatie O'Neill makes her way across the Fear Factory course at the DuPage County Fair in Wheaton. Saturday July 30th 2011.

  • Monster truck "Ballistic" wheelies goes over a line of cars Saturday as the crowd watches from the grandstands at the DuPage County Fair in Wheaton.

       Monster truck "Ballistic" wheelies goes over a line of cars Saturday as the crowd watches from the grandstands at the DuPage County Fair in Wheaton.
    Rick Majewski | Staff Photographer

  • Rick Majewski/rmajewski@dailyherald.comDue to some mud on the track, Outback Thunda driven by Clive Featherby rolled over on its side at the DuPage County Fair in Wheaton on Saturday July 30th 2011.

      Rick Majewski/rmajewski@dailyherald.comDue to some mud on the track, Outback Thunda driven by Clive Featherby rolled over on its side at the DuPage County Fair in Wheaton on Saturday July 30th 2011.

  • Rick Majewski/rmajewski@dailyherald.comAt the DuPage County Fair in Wheaton, Charlottee Freewalt, 4, holds on as she rides the dragon roller-coaster. Saturday July 30th 2011.

      Rick Majewski/rmajewski@dailyherald.comAt the DuPage County Fair in Wheaton, Charlottee Freewalt, 4, holds on as she rides the dragon roller-coaster. Saturday July 30th 2011.

  • Rick Majewski/rmajewski@dailyherald.comSome boys watch Outback Thunda, driven by Clive Featherby and Balistic, driven by Mac in a race to drive over a group of cars at the DuPage County Fair grounds in Wheaton. Saturday July 30th 2011.

      Rick Majewski/rmajewski@dailyherald.comSome boys watch Outback Thunda, driven by Clive Featherby and Balistic, driven by Mac in a race to drive over a group of cars at the DuPage County Fair grounds in Wheaton. Saturday July 30th 2011.

  • Deano Dotson performs a "cliffhanger" trick 60 feet off the ground Saturday at the DuPage County Fair in Wheaton.

       Deano Dotson performs a "cliffhanger" trick 60 feet off the ground Saturday at the DuPage County Fair in Wheaton.
    Rick Majewski | Staff Photographer

  • Rick Majewski/rmajewski@dailyherald.comDefender and Ballistic go head to head in a race over some cars in the DuPage County Fairs monster truck show in Wheaton. Saturday July 30th 2011.

      Rick Majewski/rmajewski@dailyherald.comDefender and Ballistic go head to head in a race over some cars in the DuPage County Fairs monster truck show in Wheaton. Saturday July 30th 2011.

 
 

Fans anticipating car-crushing excitement from the first monster truck show at the DuPage County Fair got exactly what they were looking for Saturday afternoon.

For first-time monster truck viewer Ryan Kalebic of Glen Ellyn, the excitement never stopped from the time his grandfather picked him up for the event to the time they left the grandstands.

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"I knew it was going to be awesome even when we were driving here," said Ryan, 6.

Clapping and cheering fans watched trucks called Ballistic, Defender, Eliminator and Outback Thunda pop wheelies and race over rows of already damaged cars from The Crusher Auto Recyclers in West Chicago.

Propped up on extra-tall tires, the monster trucks used their 1500 horsepower engines to surge over four cars in as little as 2.1 seconds, shattering windows and sending car parts flying.

Ryan's grandfather, Bill Lovvron of Downers Grove, said the county fair's monster truck show sounded like a good Saturday event; his family loves motor sports.

"He's been to NASCAR before, but this is a little more what he likes," Lovvron said about his grandson.

The monster truck show was an informal competition with the level of crowd noise deciding the winner in each event.

Ballistic took the afternoon honors for the wheelie contest, which challenges the driver to get the monster truck's front wheels pointed as close to skyward as possible.

The event later included a race, a freestyle contest and motocross bikers showing off their jumps and tricks.

Fans filling two thirds of the grandstand bleachers guzzled water bottles sold by 4H Cloverdale Maidens of Naperville along with fair foods like corn dogs, popcorn and even gelato.

Luckily for those without a ticket, the action could be seen -- and heard -- from other fair locations, like the beer and wine tent and the Art and Craft Faire, located in the lower level of the grandstands.

"We've got a beautiful view here," said Tom Feltes of Sonny Acres Farm in West Chicago, as he sneaked views of the nearby monster trucks while selling produce, honey and salad dressing. "It's like a 50-yard line seat."

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