More cheers for Mud Jam
Published 9:54 pm Tuesday, October 9, 2018
Suffolk Peanut Fest crowds filled up the arena bleachers and standing sections before drivers revved their engines on Saturday. There were more than 50 trucks competing at the Suffolk Executive Airport that spanned five different weight classes, from street-class to unlimited-class trucks that had custom-built engines capable of more than 1,500 horsepower.
The water truck got the mud pit sloppy, volunteers gave the go-ahead and the Mud Jam began with ripping engine noise that became reverberating howls in eardrums. Crowds cheered as mud was flung and the trucks carved their own paths toward the fastest time and biggest spectacle.
“Scorch some tires and sling some mud,” Big Daddy Motorsports owner Ken Whitley said as the event’s microphone-wielding announcer.
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Big Daddy Motorsports holds the fall Mud Jam at the festival with help from Suffolk Festivals, the city and numerous sponsors such as White Oak Equipment, KCW Contracting and Pungo Offroad. Another is held in the spring as a Peanut Fest fundraiser.
Whitley was quick to thank the city, sponsors and volunteers that helped organize the chaotic fun over the weekend. He added that the heat and clear skies on Saturday made for one of the Mud Jam’s best turnouts yet.
“Everything went pretty well, nobody got hurt and everybody seemed to have a good time,” he said.
Spectators got to meet the drivers and take a closer look at their exciting trucks before the mudslinging began. There were massive tires, wild paint colors and license plates that epitomized competitors, like one that read “WLK TA11.”
They lapped the pit, drove past obstacles and sped up ramps and into the air. They competed for bragging rights, trophies and a shot at a winner’s belt.
“You win the belt, sign the belt and then keep the belt until the next event,” Whitley said. “We’ve had a good time with that.”
There was also friendly banter and camaraderie among the drivers — at least until the competition was under way, that is.
“Everybody is good about pitching in and helping each other until they drop the flag. It’s all business then,” Whitley said.