Pam Dudding Burch
With a big ‘thumbs up’ and a ‘mile-wide grin,’ Hunter Ponton expressed pure exuberance after winning a recent race event.
The annual Big Monster Truck Show, with the infamous Big Foot and other famous drivers, came to the Salem Civic Center on the weekend of January 5. This year, they hosted a new attraction for youngsters between the ages of four and nine called the “KidZone.”
“Monster Trucks Gone Wild” was the theme this year. Everyone loves Big Foot, whom they call “the undisputed King of the Monster Trucks,” but there was so much more to enjoy. Everyone knew who the kid’s favorite was, especially after the driver revved up the engine a few times. They even had the 30-foot fire-breathing Robo Dragon there.
The kids were taken into the ring where they got to see Big Foot and other monster trucks compete against each other. They also got to enjoy a race of their own. Parents seemed to enjoy the occasion as much as the kids and audience. Pride seemed to permeate the air amongst the parents and grandparents as they watched their child drive by.
Each kid had one goal in mind: to win. Though young, their faces showed intentions of determination and zeal to be the victor in their race. There were two races; one for youth between four and six and another for youth between seven and nine.
Two kids – Hunter Ponton and Holly Givens – entered from Craig County, the children of Bubbie and Angie Ponton and Daniel and Heather Givens. They raced in the four to six-year-old heats. “They thought it was grand that they got to go into the pits where the monster trucks raced,” one parent shared. “They were so excited.”
“We didn’t have a lot of time to prepare, as we found out about it a little later, but the kids were ready with their Power Wheels we had designed for them from this year’s Fall Demolition Derby where they got to get in the ring and have their own demolition derby.” Angie Guthrie-Ponton shared, “It was a big deal for these little guys and girls.”
It was even a bigger deal for Hunter Ponton to take home first place. “He was so excited,” one proud local said. “I’m sure we will hear about it next year too.”