2007 NEWS

2007 MTRA Annual Awards - The Annual MTRA Award Banquet was held in St. Louis, MO on December 15. The Big Dawg/TailGator Team was awarded "Most Improved Team" for the third year since being involved in the industry. Doug Noelke received the "Sportsman of the Year" award, as well as the MTRA "Jr. Associate Driver of the Year." Special thanks to all of our family, friends and sponsors. We could not do this without you!!!

North Platte, NE - July 28th - The track for the Saturday evening show was coming together, despite the heavy rain that hit overnight on Friday. Then, about 4:00 in the afternoon, another torrential downpour hit the fairgrounds, leaving the parking lot and track a swamp. The start of the show was delayed slightly, then the trucks took to the field. Doug took the win with TailGator in the wheelie competition, getting great air off the back of the race stack, despite the muddy, miserable conditions. Doug also took the fast qualifier position, with Dale in Big Dawg in the number two spot. Big Dawg defeated War Wagon in the first round of racing, with the trucks sliding all the way around the Chicago-style course. TailGator lost to Dale Benear in Raminator in round one. Raminator took the win over Big Dawg in the finals. All of the trucks did their best in freestyle on the sloppy track, but it was TailGator that took the victory by an overwhelming crowd response.

Champaign, IL - July 22nd - TailGator qualified #2 behind Raminator in qualifying. Big air was seen by all five trucks during freestyle. War Wagon rolled while attempting a reverser over the van stack, taking him out of the racing bracket. Doug took out Lil' Miss Dangerous and Rammunition defeated Raminator in the first round. Rammunition took the win in the finals over TailGator in a photo finish.

Hillsboro, MO - July 20th-21st - Friday night, Doug was the fast qualifier in TailGator. TailGator faced off in round one against the Big Dawg piloted by Dale, with Dale taking the win with some big air over the set of cars. TailGator went on to defeat War Wagon in the loser's bracket, while Big Dawg lost to Ballistic in the final round. TailGator came back to win the freestyle competition with excellent momentum and a great slap-wheelie down the middle of the track. Saturday night, round one saw TailGator defeat War Wagon and Ballistic take the win over Big Dawg. War Wagon took the win over Big Dawg in the loser's bracket; Ballistic defeated TailGator in the finals, when Doug got thrown sideways upon landing off the cars. Dale did an excellent job in freestyle in the Dawg, getting his first-ever slap-wheelie and awesome air over the car and van stack. Doug's freestyle was cut short in TailGator when our suspicions were confirmed that something was broken in the rear end. After repairing the breakage of the u-joint in the left rear, we loaded up the TailGator to head to Champaign, IL for a show on Sunday.

Columbus, NE - July 13 - The new chassis made its debut sporting the TailGator body in Columbus, with Doug behind the wheel. There was no holding back from the beginning of the show, as Doug went out and laid down the fastest qualifying time, giving him a bye run in the first round of racing. Round two, he defeated Mark Schroeder in The Felon, to move into the final round. Doug faced-off against Lindsey Weenk in Iron Outlaw in the finals, taking the victory by a narrow margin. TailGator had a great free-style going, when Doug drug the tailgate across the infield in a slap-wheelie, pulling the battery cable. Sparks flew and fire shot out the hedders, giving us a little scare. Upon further inspection, everything was fine with the engine. Bounty Hunter and Rolling Thunder rounded out the field.
     This was our first trip with the new Haulmark trailer that we purchased to haul the second truck. Special thanks to Tom Theilen at Ziebart in Columbus, NE for spraying the floor with Rhino-Liner. It turned out great! We sincerely appreciate all of your hard work Tom!!!

Ste. Genevieve, MO - July 13 - Dale Gerding took the Big Dawg to Ste. Genevieve for a car crush at the county fair. Dale got some pretty good air considering the track was drenched with water right before he went out for the first crush. The Dawg went off the side of the car, stuffing the left front pretty hard and breaking a sway bar link. The second car crush, at about midnight, was a little dryer. Dale still had a little trouble with the single car, stuffing the front end several times, resulting in breakage of a sway bar arm.

Truck #2 - Ready to Race - July 3 - Truck #2 of the Big Dawg/TailGator team is ready to race!! There are a few key differences between the new truck and the first Big Dawg. This one is the newest design of the Patrick chassis, sports a new Butler Built seat, and the "latest & greatest" blower set-up from BDS. We have also worked closely with Peterson Fluid Systems to run a dry-sump engine, which should increase horsepower and decrease wear-and-tear on engine parts. Special thanks to Dave McLain of McLain's Automotive for his hard work on the engine.

     The truck makes its debut in Columbus, NE on July 13 with the TailGator body. We are jumping in head-first, running both trucks for three weekends in a row in July. We are really excited to run the new truck for the first time. The motor has a unique sound and should run very, very well. Wish us luck!!

Barrington, IL - June 16 & 17 - Dale took the TailGator to Willow Creek Church for a static display. Special thanks to Warren Young for the great hospitality shown to Dale during his visit.

Elko, MN - May 26 - The Big Dawg and Mark Schroeder in Devastator tore up the asphalt track at Elko Speedway for an Eve of Destruction. Fans witnessed Big Dawg and Devastator freestyling at the same time, as well as freestyle motorcross and all types of racing.

Superior, WI - AMSOIL - May 22 - The Big Dawg journeyed to northern Wisconsin for a static display for AMSOIL at their annual AMSOIL University Race Team BBQ. We enjoyed speaking with the other racers and many of the dealers in attendance. Special thanks to all of the AMSOIL employees for their wonderful hospitality during our visit.

Lima, OH - May 18, 19 & 20 - Masters Entertainment covered the Four-Wheel Drive Nationals in Lima. Big Dawg didn't have such a great weekend in racing, as is conventionally seen in Lima. Saturday afternoon, Doug heard an odd sound coming from the motor. Saturday night, he found the adjuster in a rocker arm was broken and got that problem fixed for Sunday afternoon. Big Dawg had some solid freestyles consisting of awesome slap wheelies and big air. The event will be aired on the Outdoor Channel at a later date.

Miami, OK - May 11 & 12 - Big Dawg won the racing bracket on Friday night by taking out Lionel Easler in Instigator, Devin Jones in Barbarian and Andy Hoffman in War Wagon. Unfortunately, when he went out for the wheelie contest, he felt something in the rear end "pop". The outer axle in the rear (the opposite of the one replaced the weekend before) broke, putting him out of contention in freestyle. Saturday night, Doug took the racing victory again over Rich Ingman in Bearfoot, Andy Hoffman in War Wagon and Devin Jones in Barbarian. Big Dawg also took the win in the wheelie contest, by crowd response.

Springfield, MO - May 5 & 6 - Springfield was the first show we have run the Big Dawg body this year. Saturday afternoon, Doug went out for his first racing pass, and the truck turned to the left off the first roller, causing him to get crossed-up and lose the first round. When he went out for freestyle, his fears were confirmed, something had broken in the rear end. (This could have also contributed to the roll-over the weekend before.) The crew spent Saturday afternoon, between shows, replacing the outer axle in the rear. The truck was ready to go for the Saturday night show. The Big Dawg received a bye run in the first round of racing, only to lose to Dan Runte in Bigfoot. Doug put on an incredibly long freestyle to make up for the short run in the afternoon show, with tailgate-dragging wheelies, big air and awesome momentum. Sunday afternoon was the Dawg's day! Doug took the racing victory, defeating Mark Hall in Raminator, Dan Runte in Bigfoot and Charlie Paukens in Grave Digger along the way.

Erie, PA - April 27 & 28 - Our weekend in Erie didn't end so great. Doug was second in the wheelie contest after Lil Miss Dangerous. He pulled an awesome, vertical wheelie, but the rear of the chassis hooked on the roof of a car. Doug did his best to save it, but there was nothing he could do. When he hit the gas the tires moved forward, but the chassis did not, putting him on his lid. Every piece of the body required some type of repair. The fuel cell also cracked upon impact, leaving Doug only to watch the remainder of the show.

Fenton, MO - Vinyl Images - April 20 - The TailGator was on display for Vinyl Images Open house on Friday evening. Destiney, Joe and John celebrated 5 years in the graphics business at Vinyl Images. Congrats guys and thanks for all you do for us!

Columbus, OH - March 31 - Doug started the night by winning the wheelie contest against War Wagon. TailGator qualified second, and won round one, but was unable to advance farther due to motor problems.

Waco, TX - February 23 & 24 - We thoroughly enjoyed the warm temperatures in TX over the weekend, a little windy, but much warmer than we have been experiencing this winter. TailGator made it to the finals on Friday night, but lost to Devin Jones in Barbarian. Saturday night, Doug took the win in the racing bracket, with a win over Steven Hill in Monkey 'N Around. TailGator also took the freestyle win to finish out the evening. Thanks to John Darnell and the MAP Motorsports crew for a great weekend.

Sioux City, IA - February 16 & 17 - TailGator started off Friday night's show by winning the wheelie contest over Raminator. Doug defeated Lil Miss Dangerous in round one, only to fall to Rammunition in the semi-finals. Saturday afternoon, TailGator was fast qualifier, giving him a bye run in the first round. He then was defeated by Rammunition in round two. Saturday night, TailGator took the win in the wheelie contest again over Raminator. Doug took the win over Lil Miss Dangerous in round one, Rammunition in round two, and beat Raminator in the final round, but the officials disqualified TailGator, stating that he left before the light was green.

Champaign, IL - February 10 - Doug started out with a great wheelie in the wheelie contest in TailGator Saturday night. His freestyle ended in frustration, as he realized that something had broken in the front end. Due to the breakage, the truck wasn't hooking up on the slick floor and TailGator lost in the first round of racing against Rammunition. On another note, Dale Gerding (crew chief for the Big Dawg/TailGator team) drove Andy Hoffman's Nitemare this weekend. This was his first time in Nitemare and the first time driving indoors. He did an awesome job!

Madison, WI - January 26, 27 & 28 - Friday night, first round, TailGator defeated Lil Miss Dangerous; Rammunition beat War Wagon; Raminator defeated Bad Habit. TailGator broke the sway bar link tab off of the housing and was unable to compete in the next round. Lil Miss Dangerous came back in his place and beat Rammunition; Raminator defeated War Wagon (fast loser) in the semi-finals. Raminator took the win over Lil Miss Dangerous in the final round. Saturday night, TailGator started off the night by winning the freestyle competition. In racing, TailGator defeated Bad Habit; Lil Miss Dangerous beat Rammunition in round one. Round two, TailGator red-lit (Doug's foot slipped off the brake), sending Lil Miss Dangerous on to the finals. Raminator also beat Rammunition in the semi-final round. Raminator took the victory over Lil Miss Dangerous in the finals. Sunday afternoon, the first round saw Raminator defeat War Wagon; Rammunition take out TailGator; and Lil Miss Dangerous defeat Bad Habit. Round two, Raminator over Rammunition and TailGator (fast loser) over Lil Miss Dangerous. Raminator took the win over TailGator in a photo finish, with Raminator rolling the truck after the finish line.

Cleveland, OH - January 20 - Saturday afternoon, TailGator was fast qualifier and received a bye run in the first round. Bigfoot defeated Lil Miss Dangerous; War Wagon beat Rammunition. Round two, Bigfoot defeated War Wagon; TailGator (fast qualifier) wins over Lil Miss Dangerous (fast loser). TailGator wins in the finals over Bigfoot. Saturday night, Doug stood the truck straight up in the wheelie contest and started walking it across the cars, until he was tripped up by a station wagon, causing him to pirouette sideways. He stayed in the throttle and made an incredible save, giving him the win hands-down in the wheelie contest. He continued the big air and also took the win in freestyle. The racing bracket saw Raminator take out TailGator; Bigfoot beat War Wagon; and Rammunition defeat Lil Miss Dangerous in round one. Round two, Bigfoot took the win over Raminator; TailGator (fast loser) defeated Rammunition. The final round would be a repeat of the afternoon show, with Bigfoot vs. TailGator, with Bigfoot taking the win this time.

Colorado Springs, CO - January 12 & 13 - Friday night, round one, War Wagon defeated TailGator; Rammunition beat Lil Miss Dangerous. The semi-finals, War Wagon took out Rammunition; Raminator (fast qualifier) beat TailGator (fast loser). Raminator takes the victory over War Wagon in the finals. Saturday afternoon, Doug won his first freestyle victory in TailGator. Saturday afternoon's racing bracket saw TailGator beat War Wagon; Rammunition defeat Lil Miss Dangerous in the first round. Round two, Rammunition defeated TailGator; Raminator (fast qualifier) beat Lil Miss Dangerous (fast loser). Raminator defeated Rammunition in the final round. Saturday evening, TailGator beat Lil Miss Dangerous; Rammunition defeated War Wagon in round one. The semi-finals, TailGator won over Rammunition, but was called for red lighting; Raminator (fast qualifier) beat War Wagon (fast loser). Raminator won the final race of the weekend over Rammunition.

Huntington, WV - January 5 & 6 - The year started out with a new venue for the Monster Nationals Tour at the Big Sandy Superstore Arena in Huntington, WV. This was our first "official show" with the TailGator (we previously did two Eve of Destructions), and the response was phenomenal. Friday night TailGator beat Rammunition and War Wagon defeated Lil Miss Dangerous in round one. The semi-finals saw TailGator defeat War Wagon and Raminator (fast qualifier) beat Lil Miss Dangerous (fast loser). The final round came down to TailGator vs. Raminator with Mark Hall in Raminator taking the win. Saturday night's racing bracket started out with TailGator defeating Lil Miss Dangerous and Rammunition taking out War Wagon. TailGator beat Rammunition and Raminator (fast qualifier) defeated War Wagon (fast loser) in the semi-final round. TailGator and Raminator faced off in the finals for the second time of the weekend, this time with Doug in TailGator coming out on top with the victory.

New Sponsor - The Big Dawg/TailGator Team would like to welcome MSD Ignitions as our newest sponsor. MSD ignition systems have been part of our program since the old mud racing days, and we are very excited to have them on-board. Special thanks to Spike Clapper and MSD Ignitions for their confidence and support.


2007  :  2006

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