Monster trucks back in Abilene for Nitro Tour

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ABILENE, Texas (KTAB/KRBC) – Monster trucks are back in Abilene this weekend for the Nitro Tour at the Taylor Telecom Arena.

The dirt, tricks, and loud noises are no stranger to monster truck driver Darron Schnell.

“All this mess started when a neighbor taped a monster truck show on a VHS tape,” said Schnell. “I wore that tape out, I was obsessed with monster trucks.”

Schnell says he was about 5 years old when he first got into monster trucks, and the obsession grew from there.

During college, Schnell was turning wrenches and changing tires for a husband-and-wife truck team.

“I was doing the grunt work,” said Schnell.

Schnell soon found himself out from under the hood and behind the wheel after a driver couldn’t make it to a show last minute.

“I showed up Friday morning and the show was Friday night,” said Schnell. “They looked at me and said, ‘Adjust the belts, you’re driving the truck tonight.'”

Schnell is now the driver of ‘Big Foot.'”

He will be driving this weekend for one of the first times in a year.

“I mean, we came to a complete halt right in our big swing of things,” said Nitro Tour COO Tony Maderazzo.

Maderazzo says business in 2020 dropped about 75% due to the pandemic.

“You know, you can only sit around your house and fix things for so much, and now everything’s fixed, so we’re glad to get out and tinker with some other things,” said Maderazzo.

Schnell will be on the track this weekend, but he says it won’t be about how he drives, but inspiring kids that were just like him.

“There’s no better feeling in the world,” said Schnell.

There will be three shows at the Taylor Telecom Arena this weekend: one Friday at 7:30 p.m. and then two Saturday at 1:30 p.m. & 7:30 p.m.

Tickets can be bought in advance or at the door starting at $10.

The arena will seat at 75% capacity to comply with COVID restrictions.

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