The Raminator, a Guinness World Record-breaking monster truck, will charge into Cortez for a two-day family event starting May 4.
Built by the Hall Brothers racing team, the 10,300-pound behemoth broke the world record for monster truck speed in 2014 by reaching 99.1 mph on the Circuit of the Americas track in Texas. Now it tours Dodge Ram dealerships around the country for publicity events, and May 4 will be its second appearance in Cortez. It will be on display at New Country Auto Center from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Friday, and 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Saturday for free photo opportunities and other activities.
Houston Frizzell, New Country’s general sales and finance manager, said the monster truck’s visit last year was planned on short notice, but it was still a hit.
“We had a lot of fun getting the community involved, getting kids involved,” he said.
He said he hopes the truck will draw a bigger crowd this year. In addition to photo opportunities with the truck, New Country will invite food vendors to the event and provide a coloring contest and other activities for kids. Kiss Country radio station will give a live broadcast of the event. Jessi Ott, a former monster truck driver from Illinois, also will sign autographs.
The Raminator appearing at New Country Auto hasn’t raced competitively since 2014, but it still has the capacity for speed. A typical monster truck’s top speed is between 70 and 80 mph, Ott said, but the Raminator’s 2,000 horsepower Hemi engine allows it to leave the others in the dust. The previous world record was 96.8 mph, according to Hall Brothers public relations representative Nina Costa.
After its retirement from racing, the truck was modified to make it easier for people to have their pictures taken in the driver’s seat. It’s one of several Raminator and Rammunition trucks that Hall Brothers Racing sends to events throughout the year. Others are designed for display, for giving rides or for use in “car crush” events.
Ott travels every weekend to Ram dealerships around the country to show off Raminator. Its appearances are designed to appeal to all ages, he said, but kids tend to get the most excited about seeing the truck.
“It’s not very often you get to climb into a monster truck and take a picture from behind the wheel,” he said.
Ott said he enjoys the touring gig because it allows him to “meet all different kinds of people.” He’s never been to Cortez, he said, but he’s looking forward to the trip.