Bigfoot Driver Larry Swim Ready to Rip it Up at Super Summit

 
While many people climb into full-sized pick-up trucks to go to work, Larry Swim climbs into a Bigfoot Monster Truck to go to work.
 
Then, he brings its blown and injected big-block engine to life, motors up to mounds of vehicles and goes full throttle over them.
 
Sometimes, he clears them, and sometimes he crushes them. Either way, he commands attention.
 
Swim and his Summit Racing Equipment-sponsored Bigfoot Monster Truck will be in the spotlight along with a non-judged cruise-in, fun-runs, autocross, manufacturers' midway and more at the highly-anticipated Super Summit, June 9-10, 2017 at Summit Motorsports Park in Norwalk, Ohio. Admission is free.
 
The fan-favorite driver who lives in Villa Ridge, Missouri, with his wife, Susan, and has five children and three grandchildren, recently talked with Summit Motorsports Park about where he started, where he is now and what he plans to unleash at this weekend's event.
 
When did you become interested in motorsports?

I've always been into cars and motorcycles, but when I was in high school, I began helping Marvin Smith with his Monster Truck, Crimson Giant. I guess he figured it was better for me to help him than just be in the way. Years later, I began helping Guy Wood with his Monster Trucks, Tropical Thunder and Bulldozer, and I built a ride truck to give rides during the shows. One weekend when Guy Wood wasn't available to drive, team owner Paul Shafer flew me to Oregon to do a show for him. I ended up going to the final on Friday and Saturday, and winning on Sunday. I was working for a heating and cooling company at the time, but two weeks later, Paul Shafer called and asked if I could do another show, and then he offered me a full-time job. My first Monster Truck was called Tonka, and I did that from 2000-2006 and then began working for my brother doing landscaping and driving a delivery truck for Coca-Cola. Meanwhile, I would fill in for various Monster Truck drivers on select weekends.

Things changed in 2008 when you were invited to drive for Bigfoot 4X4, Inc. on a full-time basis.

Yes, they did. I was the driver of Bigfoot 14, which is the one Dan Runte was driving when he set the world Monster Truck long-jump record after jumping over an airplane. Then, I got moved up to Bigfoot 16, but I had a bad crash in 2012 in Indianapolis. I was riding a wheelie, and there was a jump, and the truck twisted. As a result, the truck slammed down and twisted up the chassis. I was sore, but otherwise okay. It sure showed the safety aspects of the truck, which was dismantled and taken to the International Monster Truck Museum and Hall of Fame in Auburn, Indiana. After that, I got Bigfoot 19, and drove that for a few years before driving Bigfoot 18. Now, I'm in Bigfoot 21, which Dan Runte was driving before he retired from driving full-time recently.
 
Will you share some of the truck's specs?

It's powered by a 565 cubic-inch Ford engine with Trick Flow heads and it's blown and injected on alcohol. The combination makes 1,600 horsepower, and while we don't run the engine on the ragged edge, it does blow up from time to time. The truck is ten feet tall and just over twelve feet wide. It weighs 12,500 pounds and rides on Firestone tires that are 66 inches tall and weigh 800 pounds each, which helps considering we're running over busses, vans, cars and other things. When we haul the truck, we have to put small tires on it so that it can fit the trailer. This truck is my life. When I'm not on the road with it, I'm in the shop with it. It takes up all of my time, but I feel fortunate to be able to drive a Monster Truck. It's every kid's dream.

You were injured as a driver of a Monster Truck, though it didn't stop you from climbing back into one.

In 2010, I broke my back at an event in California when I hit a freestyle ramp and jumped off it and the truck was 40 feet in the air and landed flat on all four tires. The energy had to go somewhere. I was out of the truck for six months, and in that time, I had to wear a back brace. When I was done recovering and the doctor asked what I was going to do, I said I was going to get back into the Monster Truck, because that's my passion and that's what I do. We know that this type of motorsport has risks, and while you have to have that in mind, you try not to dwell on it. 
 
What can fans expect from you and Bigfoot at Super Summit?

The truck will be in the pit area for everyone to see up-close, and I'll be doing car-crushes in the pit area as well. Bigfoot 5 will also be there, and that's the one that has the 10-foot tall tires. We'll be singing autographs, posing for pictures with fans and answering questions. It's going to be great to be at Summit Motorsports Park with the Summit Racing Equipment-sponsored truck.

Super Summit presented by Summit Racing Equipment is 2-9 p.m. June 9 and 9 a.m.-5 p.m. June 10 at Summit Motorsports Park, 1300 State Route 18, Norwalk, Ohio. Admission is free for participants and spectators. For more information, call 419-668-5555, or visit www.summitmotorsportspark.com.
 
Interview and photos by Mary Lendzion
Summit Motorsports Park Media and Public Relations
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or 313-686-0776
 
 
 
 
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