The monsters are about to be unleashed.

For Northeast Ohio monster truck fans, the action has long been contained inside the comfy confines of an indoor arena.

Come Friday night, that is all about to change.

Screamin' Demon driver Kevin Mileti has long dreamed of bringing the sport to an outdoor venue for local fans.

The Granger Township resident has put together the two-night Monster Truck Throwdown at the Medina County Fairgrounds.

There will be eight trucks — including Mileti's — competing at the event.

A ninth truck at the show will offer rides for $10 for fans before and after the competition.

The trucks will run through their paces over four competitions.

For most of the events such as the wheelie, doughnut and free-style competitions, the audience will determine the winner through applause and cheers, Mileti said.

The head-to-head drag race will be determined by the fastest truck.

Mileti said this is where competing outdoors in a large venue such as the fairgrounds makes all the difference.

In an indoor arena, he said, the typical race is usually about 50 feet long but this weekend's length will be six times longer.

"We should be able to get some really big speed," he said. "And it will be loud, very, very loud."

The outdoor setting also allows for more car-crushing action.

There will be 26 cars, three buses and even a few campers that will meet their demise at the wheels of the Monster Trucks this weekend.

"The campers make a big ol' mess," Mileti said. "Fans love to see them get destroyed."

Tickets to the event are $18 for kids ages 3 or older and $25 for adults. The gates open at 4 p.m. and there is a pit party at 5 p.m. where fans can meet the drivers and take pictures. The competition starts at 7 p.m.

The drivers and trucks include Jim Koehler's Avenger and Chris Koehler's dog-themed truck Brutus. The 2½-hour show includes an intermission where motocross bikes will compete.

If all goes well with this weekend's show, promoters hope to bring the trucks back to Medina County in September.

The Medina event will mark Mileti's return from a five-year break to the circuit that travels across the country.

He said he's nervously looking forward to climbing back aboard the giant truck that has been completely rebuilt in his shop in North Royalton during the hiatus. He plans to move the garage to Granger Township.

"You should always be nervous when you climb into a monster truck," Mileti said. "You are about to jump a truck 20 feet in the air."

Driving the huge trucks is a rush, he said, but also very exhausting and a bit bruising. He first started driving one in 2009.

"If you are putting on a good show, you are going to be sore," Mileti said. "Driving these trucks is a bit like wrestling an alligator."

 

Craig Webb, who drivers a wimpy old Ford Explorer truck, can be reached at cwebb@thebeaconjournal.com.