Everett Jasmer, monster truck pioneer, sells USA-1
One of Everett Jasmer's last car crushes at the wheel of USA-1.
It appears that the USA-1 monster truck will live to crush another day.
The last time we told you about Everett Jasmer, one of the godfathers of monster truck racing in the '80s, he had fallen on hard times. Now, Jasmer says, he's finally inked a deal that will save USA-1 from extinction.
"I'm very relieved," he says on a call from his Ham Lake shop.
Back in the '80s, Jasmer was racing USA-1 against the other megastar trucks like King Kong and Bigfoot in the biggest stadiums in the country. He took the 1988 TNT Monster Truck Racing Series championship title and cameo-ed in the monster truck movie "Take the Job and Shove It." Here are some highlights:
But after 1990, when monster truck promoter TNT Motorsports was bought out, Jasmer got fed up with the increasing demand for bigger crashes, fake "pro-wrestling"-esque feuding, and most of all, the loss of the racing component. So at the height of his popularity, he packed up his trucks and came back to Ham Lake, thinking he'd start his own racing series.
It didn't turn out that way. In the last 20 years or so, Jasmer's financial situation went from bad to worse as interest in USA-1 dwindled. He turned the truck into a Christian ministry then attempted to use it as a promotional tool for the Tea Party during the last election. Fox & Friends wasn't interested in a hybrid car crush, nor was Michele Bachmann interested in using the truck in her campaign material. (Unsuccessful 5th congressional district candidate Joel Demos, on the other hand, took Jasmer up on his offer.)
But, as it turns out, the election was not USA-1's last gasp. Jasmer -- who's been quietly trying to sell the brand for years -- recently received a call from Chandler Lloyd, former owner of the Overtime truck.
"He asked if I remembered his name," says Jasmer. "Turns out he had called me back 25 or more years ago when we were both young and he was trying to get into the sport."
Former Bigfoot and Carolina Crusher driver Rodney "Hot Rod" Tweedy in the cab of the old USA-1
Lloyd made an offer on the USA-1 franchise and the pair met for the first time last week. Lloyd's going to build a whole new truck with the USA-1 name and take her on the road racing, the way Jasmer once dreamed of doing. But Jasmer doesn't get to sit on the sidelines -- he's agreed to follow with his old USA-1s to attract nostalgic fans. As of now, Lloyd is talking about a 10-city tour.
"I was thinking it was going to be 'take it easy time.' Now I'm going to busier than ever," he says. "At my age I guess I was not expecting to be on the road."
Jasmer says by the time the entire deal is over, he'll have pulled back from the brink of financial ruin. And while the USA-1 name will belong to someone else, he hopes to continue on with his Christian ministry. Once touring is over, it appears Jasmer will have finally moved on from his monster truck.
"I've finally got financial stability after all these years," he says. "I'm mentally, physically exhausted."
Get the This Week's Top Stories Newsletter
Every week we collect the latest news, music and arts stories — along with film and food reviews and the best things to do this week — so that you'll never miss City Pages' biggest stories.