With the summer winding down and kids going back to school, the Backdraft team headed down to Gaithersburg, Maryland for some mid-week monster trucking at the Montgomery County Fairgrounds with Monster Events LLC. The two nights of competition brought fans throughout the fair to the grandstand performance area to see what these mammoth machines can do. Jeremy Slifko put on a display of both his driving ability, and the ability of the Backdraft monster truck against a tough field of competition. Wednesday night Slifko opened up round one of racing with a victory against Bad News Travels Fast by half a truck length, and would eventually make it into the semi-finals before falling to the Bounty Hunter. Slifko came back in freestyle and put up a strong run that would be good enough to tie for second overall. Thursday night saw another good night for the Backdraft team as Slifko continued with his consistent level of performance, including another solid freestyle performance as seen below. (Thanks to Andrew Fitzpatrick for the video)
Syracuse, NY-The new Backdraft just keeps getting better! The Carrier Dome in Syracuse witnessed another fantastic monster truck show, and driver Jeremy Slifko was able to avenge earlier disappointments at the big stadium shows earlier in the year with great efforts in both racing and freestyle. Persistence has been a key factor in the young Slifko’s rise to the forefront of the new generation of monster truck drivers, and it was on full display this particular night. After a season of battling new truck bugs, Slifko was ready to shine in Syracuse.
“I feel like I’m finally comfortable in the truck and not afraid of breakage,” said Slifko. “We built this new truck to be as close to indestructible as we could get, and I feel more confident with all the changes and updates we made this year.”
Confidence is a big part of a driver’s aggressiveness. It’s a fine line between success and recklessness, and Slifko walks that line like a driver twice his age. The huge air assault Slifko put down in freestyle was a marker of just how far truck and driver have come this season, and it was a fitting end to the night as well.
“The rest of the year we’re just going to continue to be more aggressive,” said Slifko. “I’m excited to show the world what Backdraft has in store!”
The next chance Slifko has to do just that will come in a slew of second quarter shows, which will be announced soon. Stay tuned!
Pensacola, Florida-The Sunshine State has been sweet to Jeremy Slifko and the Backdraft team, and the momentum from last week’s show in Tallahassee carried right into Pensacola, as Slifko was able to get more comfortable with the great-looking new Backdraft truck, adding more wins to an impressive 2013 resume.
The donut competiton has long been one of Slifko’s favorites, and he proved it with a weekend sweep, spinning the big red fire truck in tight cyclones until the crowd even got dizzy! The Whelen lights were flashing and a blur as the crowd went wild. When Slifko emerged, the judges had no choice but to award his masterful throttle control and skill behind the wheel.
With two donut competition wins, it was time to focus on racing. After last week’s disappointment, Slifko was looking for revenge and made his way to the finals Friday evening, only to have bad luck strike once again—the officials called the wrong truck to the line for the finals, accidentally disqualifying Slifko from competition and running the race before it was rectified.
“I wasn’t happy at all with a couple decisions that were made, but what else can I say? That’s racing sometimes, and mistakes do happen. I tried to be a good sport about it and move on to freestyle.”
That winning attitude carried Slifko the rest of the weekend, as he closed out the event with several high-energy moves on the track, grabbing some big air and getting a couple of nice sky wheelies in the process. In an arena setting, Slifko did just about everything he could without tearing his truck up. After signing autographs for hours after the show, it was on to Syracuse, New York for a huge stadium show. After the issues in Indianapolis and St. Louis, Slifko is ready to make a statement. Stay tuned for more.
Tallahassee, Florida-Team Backdraft Enterprises kept the momentum from Pittsburgh and used it to their advantage this past weekend in Tallahassee, getting stellar results out of the truck despite some adversity.
After making the finals of racing in the first night, Backdraft could not fire and get to the line in time for the big race. Officials had elected not to give time in between rounds for the trucks to be put on chargers.
“It was frustrating losing over something we couldn’t control,” said Jeremy. “I wanted to run and please the fans, and I felt like that could have happened.”
Despite that disappointment, Slifko was able to make the best of the situation, with lights flashing and the big red fire truck rocking the rest of the weekend, taking a clean sweep of the donut competition and a wheelie victory to add to a freestyle victory. The capper, though, was getting revenge in racing the next night.
Backdraft is fast, and now that many of the new truck issues are worked out, Slifko feels quite comfortable. That was never more evident than watching him mow through the field, blazing to the quickest finishes of the night. When the noise subsided, Backdraft was the racing champion in Tallahassee.
“It was great seeing all those Backdraft fans cheering for us,” said Jeremy. “We are never happier than seeing smiles on peoples’ faces because of something we just did out there on the track.”
Next up is a continuation of the mini-Florida tour for Backdraft, with a visit to Pensacola in the cards. We will keep you updated on all the details as Jeremy looks to continue his winning ways.
Pittsburgh, PA-Team Backdraft had a breakthrough in Pittsburgh, triumphing over a four-show, three-day weekend in what was a turning point for the new truck, and quite possibly the team. Momentum boosts like these don’t always come at key times on the road to Las Vegas, but driver Jeremy Slifko is grateful that things went so well.
“The new truck just keeps getting better every weekend,” said Slifko. “We were disappointed with the problems we had in Indianapolis and St. Louis especially, so getting things right is something we won’t stop working towards.”
Indeed, the work ethic required to drive and maintain a monster truck at the highest level of the sport means Slifko and crew work overtime. Being involved in so many shows in a compressed and competitive weekend meant that the preparation and hard work Slifko exhibited paid off in the end.
“We were solid in racing and made our passes without many problems. We had input shaft and differential problems between the two trucks (Backdraft and Eradicator), but we were able to get it fixed and not miss much time on the weekend,” said Slifko. “I feel more comfortable and confident in the truck after this weekend.
With highlights like the pictured sky wheelie in freestyle, along with a bunch of momentum, Backdraft heads into the show this weekend in Tallahassee, Florida with victories in reach. Stay tuned!
(photos from Jason Bryan) Kansas City, MO-After rocking the sold-out St. Louis Monster Jam, Jeremy Slifko and the Backdraft team stayed in the same state and brought their unique brand of motorsports entertainment to Kansas City for a grueling four-show, three-day tour of duty. Backdraft was up to the challenge and got some great runs in with the new chassis. Jeremy’s favorite part, as always, is meeting with the great Backdraft fans:
“I’ve been adjusting to the chassis and so has our crew,” said Jeremy. “We love performing for our fans, and to give them the best show possible, a weekend like Kansas City where we run a lot is just what we need.”
What Jeremy refers to is the wear and tear on the trucks. Luckily an experienced driver in Jeremy coupled with a great crew leads to success on all fronts. Slifko was steady in all four shows in the top half of the wheelie and freestyle brackets, and made semi-final round racing appearances a regularity. That consistency is a sign of things to come.
Pittsburgh is next on the schedule for Backdraft, and we will be sure to bring you all the updates! Stay tuned.
St. Louis, MO-The huge lights and stadium in St. Louis, Missouri awaited the Backdraft team, and after some adversity in Indianapolis, Jeremy Slifko was ready to shine. On the huge floor in St. Louis, it seemed anything was possible, and when the final run was over, Slifko had persevered despite some more nagging truck issues, a testament to a team that just won’t quit.
“We have been working the bugs out of the new truck and testing out different setups as we go, trying to find that great combination,” said Jeremy. “I felt good in racing for sure, but we still have plenty of work to do.”
Indeed, Slifko’s racing performance is what stood out at the big show. With 70,000 fans looking on, Backdraft defeated Bounty Hunter in the first round, an impressive feat in and of itself considering Jim Creten has been to the championship race of the World Finals multiple times.
“My tires are hooking up nicely so far and it was great to get a win over (Creten) like that,” said Jeremy. “I want to be in Vegas this year, and to do that, I have to get those wins.”
Jeremy’s bid for a racing victory ended in the next round, but he was ready to rock for freestyle, getting a few great hits in before a steering pump issue forced him to retreat to the sidelines early, ending what looked like a very promising run.
“I was disappointed with the run I had because I know this new truck can fly,” said Jeremy. “My fans and sponsors are great though and picked me right back up after I was feeling a bit down. We have some work to do to get ready for Kansas City this weekend.”
From a stadium to an arena in Missouri, the Backdraft 2013 Tour rolls on. We will keep you updated!
Indianapolis, Indiana – Team Backdraft brought in the hot-looking new fire truck and a great deal of determination to Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis. Jeremy Slifko was fresh off a pair of dominating freestyle victories in Albany and ready to rock the sold-out house. Despite some adversity and fixes during the show on the new truck, it was a challenge the team accepted.
“After hopping back into my old truck in Albany, we worked hard all week to get the new one ready for the big stadium here in Indy,” said Jeremy. “Sometimes you can work and prepare all you want, but unexpected things happen.”
These unexpected events came in the form of drivetrain problems and a broken champagne glass on the truck after a racing pass. Luckily, crew chief Mike Thompson and company had the truck back together in time for a great freestyle run, scoring a 21.
“I didn’t want to break the truck again, but my priority always lies with the fans and our sponsors,” said Jeremy. “Team Backdraft is ready for anything, and I was happy being out there and able to perform after the problems in racing.”
Backdraft is headed to St. Louis, Missouri and another huge show at 100%. With a huge floor of obstacles to race and freestyle on, Jeremy can’t wait.
“With the bugs worked out of the truck now, I am excited to show St. Louis my very best!” he said.
Albany, NY-Backdraft was on a roll in the Times Union Center in Albany, sweeping the weekend’s freestyle competition at the two-show event despite tons of last-minute changes. Once again, hard work prevailed, and young Jeremy Slifko and crew chief Mike Thompson were up to the challenge.
After the team’s wreck in San Antonio’s freestyle last week, adjustments were needed for the new truck, so the decision was made to bring the “old” Backdraft back for only the Albany show, and repair the new truck in the process. It turned out to be a great call, as Jeremy simply outclassed the field in freestyle
“We want to make sure that the new truck gets the care it needs and is 100% for the rest of the season, so we gave it the week off and are getting right back on it for the next show in Indianapolis,” said Jeremy. “I was happy to get some big wins and momentum, and the new Backdraft will be ready in time for Indy!”
Jeremy worked the track in Albany with precision, turning the small confines of a hockey rink into his personal playground. Big air, donuts, and plenty of momentum were the order of the day, and each night when the smoke cleared, Backdraft was the winner. Jeremy was quick to thank his sponsors and crew.
“I love being able to take home victories and support our team,” said Jeremy. “All of the support we have is great, through good times and bad. Our goal this year is Las Vegas and the World Finals; otherwise, it isn’t a successful season. I can’t wait for this weekend!”
Indeed, Indianapolis can’t come soon enough for a team on a mission, and we’ll be here with all the details. Stay tuned!