Monster Truck Nationals return to Madison - WKOW 27: Madison, WI Breaking News, Weather and Sports

Monster Truck Nationals return to Madison


MADISON (WKOW) - The Monster Truck Nationals returned to Madison Friday night, approximately one year after the tragic death of the event's promoter.

Most monster truck events begin with a mighty roar, but Friday night's began with a moment of silence.

Thousands of people paused to remember George Eisenhart, the monster truck promoter who was killed at a show at the Alliant Energy Center in Madison in January 2009. One of the trucks accidentally ran him over.

Crew members call it a fluke accident and an enormous loss.

"George was not just somebody we worked for; he was a great friend to everybody in the industry. So a loss like that affected everybody," said truck driver Bobby Holman.

Eisenhart was president of a group that worked to improve the safety of the monster truck industry. Despite the accident, organizers insist it's a safe sport.

"It was very successful and extremely safe for 17 years in Madison, and what happened here last year was an accident, but we plan to do the Monster Nationals for at least another 17 years here," said Jessica Hubley, who works for the Monster Nationals.

On Friday night, Eisenhart was on everyone's mind.

"We're doing the show for him tonight and all weekend," said Hubley.

But the tragic accident won't stop these drivers from doing what they love.

"For us, the best way to honor him is to keep doing what we're doing. It's no different than Dale Ernhardt, Jr., going back to the Daytona 500. They're not going to stop racing there because his dad died there. As professional racers, this is what we do. And George would be the first one to tell us, 'Hey, you're done, get back to your job,'" said Holman.

The event is at the Alliant Energy Center January 29 - 31, 2010. Show times are Friday and Saturday at 7:30 pm, and Sunday at 1:00 pm. Ticket prices range from $12 to $21.75. You can call 1-800-745-3000.

Online reporting by Jamie Hersch
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