Virginia Giant puts on a show at Frederick fair

The Virginia Giant, driven by Diehl Wilson, of Winchester, goes high as it crushes a row of cars during the Monster Truck Show on Tuesday night at the Frederick County Fairgrounds. Rich Cooley/Daily
Samson and Toxic battle during the Monster Truck Show on Tuesday night at the Frederick County Fairgrounds. Rich Cooley/Daily
A motorcycle stunt driver goes high in a freestyle stunt over the stadium lights at the Frederick County Fair on Tuesday night. Rich Cooley/Daily
A motorcycle stunt driver goes high in a freestyle stunt at the Frederick County Fair on Tuesday night. Rich Cooley/Daily
Russ Hoffman and his son Kaleb, 5, of Inwood, West Virginia, watch the Monster Truck Show on Tuesday night at the Frederick County Fairgrounds. Rich Cooley/Daily

 

CLEAR BROOK — Winchester’s own Virginia Giant, driven by Diehl Wilson was the talk of the town at the Frederick County Fair Monster Truck Show on Tuesday night, taking home victories in both the wheelie and side-by-side competitions.

Four trucks made up the field. Among them were Virginia Giant, The Raminator — the world’s fastest monster truck — Toxic and Samson.

“We had a great crowd of trucks tonight,” said Wilson. “This is a good bunch of guys. We had them with us last weekend at Fishersville. I raced all these guys last week and every one of them will run you as hard as they can run you every time, which is what you want. You don’t want anybody laying down, you want them to run as hard as they can.”

The wheelie and side-by-side competitions comprised the event’s opening acts, with the crowd favorite freestyle portion concluding the evening. Attendees were treated to tricks from motocross riders between truck acts as well.

Samson, a 2005 Chevrolet driven by second-year driver Rick Steffens, of Circleville, Ohio, was built by monster truck legend Dan Patrick and took home second place.

“I like the (Frederick County) fair,” Steffens said. “It’s a lot fun. It’s nice and easy, simple, good people. This one’s more of a self-esteem builder. You get kind of used to the truck.”

Steffens explained the difference between the Frederick County Fair course and others that he and his team typically race on.

“The biggest difference here is that usually we go off of dirt ramps when we’re racing,” he said. “Here, we’ll just broadside the cars. You shoot more up and not as far out. That’s a little bit of a different challenge there. Obviously, being the tight quarters, you’ve just got to watch your truck and you need to have a lot more truck awareness than some of the bigger venues.”

Steffens explained his monster truck, Samson, with its three-dimensional outstretched arms, Superman style.

“The arms have been on the truck since the early ’90s,” Steffens said. “That’s what we do. At Patrick Enterprises we build trucks. We build shocks, chassis and every component in between. Actually, these three chassis here, Toxic and Virginia Giant, they’re all PEI (Patrick Enterprises Inc.) chassis. We do this more now, we get to go out and play with the trucks now. The truck built the business and now the business is supporting the truck.”

Patrick Enterprises was the brains behind such legendary monster trucks as Gravedigger and Bounty Hunter.

The fair has a few more vehicle-themed events left on its docket, culminating with Saturday night’s Demolition Derby at 6 p.m.

Contact staff writer Nathan Budryk at 540-465-5137 ext. 155, or nbudryk@nvdaily.com

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