Bigfoot appears before Monster Truck event

Jeff Birchfield • Jul 13, 2018 at 8:23 PM

ELIZABETHTON — All the Bigfoot sightings in Carter County Friday afternoon can only mean one thing: It’s time for Beef O’Brady’s Monster Truck Madness at Bristol Motor Speedway.

To promote the event with gates opening at 5 p.m. and the show to begin at 7:30 p.m., the world’s most famous monster truck, Bigfoot, was on display at the Elizabethton Beef O’Brady’s location.

The vehicle dwarfs driver Larry Swim with its 66-inch tall and 25-inch wide tires. It also features 26 inches of shock travel in the front and 30-inch shock travel in the rear, which is needed for jumps which can sometimes take Swim and the 11,000-pound truck over 30 feet in the air.

“There’s really nothing like it,” Swim said. “To get something that big flying through the air, it’s a feeling you don’t get anywhere else.”

With 1,700 horsepower, Swim has driven his truck down the drag strip at over 88 miles per hour. Former driver Dan Runte hit 90 mph in an eighth-mile, although Swim said at half-track he was already in a wheelie.

“When you get something this big going down the track, it’s totally different than jumping cars,” Swim said. “But, it’s still a rush.”


Bob Chandler, a former construction worked, built the original Bigfoot in 1975 and it debuted four years later. The truck which Swim drives is Bigfoot 21. He’s happy to carry on the heritage with Chandler still the owner and Runte serving as his crew chief.

“It’s an honor to drive this truck,” Swim said. “I was one of those kids in the stands watching Bigfoot when I was younger. I was fortunate enough growing up in the St. Louis area to grow up around a guy named Marvin Smith who had a truck named Crimson Giant. I’ve been around them forever. I started driving in 2000. I drove Bearfoot, Wild Thing, several trucks. In 2008, I got a call from Bigfoot people who asked if I was interested in driving. I’ve been living the dream.”

Swim talked about meeting so many people and being able to experience so many things. He travels the U.S. with around 40 appearances per year. He’s also been to foreign countries including Aruba, Mexico and through team sponsor, Summit Racing Equipment, on trips to visit the troops in Japan and Afghanistan.

“I get to travel the country, meet so many great people,” Swim said. “Summit took Dan and I with their NHRA drag racers to visit the troops the last two years. We’ve visited several bases and they’re thanking us, but it was our honor and pleasure to see what they’re doing. I have a great appreciation for all the troops do.”


The program features other well-known trucks like Stone Crusher, Jester, King Krunch and Nitro Hornet in both racing and freestyle competitions.

Drivers will be available for pre-event photo opportunities and autograph signings. Fans can also purchase $10 tickets to ride in the Sasquatch monster bus. There are also drifting exhibitions by East10Drift and a stunt show by the Team FMX acrobatic motocross team.

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