Going into Sunday's event at Roger's Centre, I had yet to see this particular truck in action. Of course, that happens typically each year where you meet a driver. Independent drivers come out to join the big guns to add to the show in hopes that they'll be the next big thing.
Now typically, this smaller independent drivers go out and do their freestyle run, but don't impress. Sure, they do the jumps and some donuts. But there's typically nothing that you remember that stands out. Well, that is what I was expecting when I saw this truck. However, I was surprised.
In reflecting back to Sunday's action at the Roger's Centre, Steven Thompson in Hurricane Force put one of the best freestyle runs of the afternoon.
Thompson attacked the track from one end to the other, taking on every jump fully. He reached high heights, while going at some jumps in ways that previous drivers hadn't done so. One of the highlights that stands out was when he made an incredible save after two big bounces on the table truck. The first bounce sent the truck one way, while the second bounce sent it the other way. However, he managed to keep it on his wheels and keep going. He would take the early lead with a score of 22, before being knocked off the top spot by Dawn Creten in Scarlet Bandit.
So who is this mystery driver?
Well, Thompson was born in January of 1988 and has been involved with monster trucks since he was 14 years old. He started early as he lived next door to Mike Vators, who runs the Black Stallion team. In his teens, Thompson was able to pick up a lot of things that most don't get to till they are older.
His first chance behind the wheel came in 2007 when he was able to race in Lee, New Hampshire. He then began driving part-time for Vator, before moving over to Tim Mente's Storm Damage team.
In 2002, Mente decided it was time to build a brand new Storm Damage. At that time, the old Storm Damage truck was turned into Hurricane Force, in which Steve Thompson is now behind the wheel of.