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."