LITH's Buetow rides high on Team Hot Wheels
By JAMI KUNZER firstname.lastname@example.org
I guess you could say Scott Buetow likes to go for leisurely drives on the weekend.
What he drives is a 12-foot-tall, 10,000-pound monster truck.
Buetow of Lake in the Hills and his truck are the newest members of Team Hot Wheels, traveling throughout the world to perform every weekend with Monster Jam. The team will take part in five shows this weekend, Friday through Sunday, at Allstate Arena in Rosemont.
Audience members will be able to come to pit parties and meet the drivers and take pictures, Buetow said.
The shows typically attract 4 millions fans annually across the country.
An engineer by day, Buetow has been driving a monster truck for the past three years and performs 18 to 20 shows a year, including some international shows.
“I’m an adrenaline junkie,” he said. “I’ve been around motorsports basically my whole life.”
Buetow was named Monster Jam’s 2011 “Wow Factor of the Year” during his rookie year. That basically means, as you’d probably guess, he wowed the crowd.
“It has to be something they haven’t seen. ... I stopped a truck on its nose basically and went vertical, standing straight up, and I was able to control the truck and bring it back down,” he said.
Though the size of Allstate Arena impedes jumps a bit, his favorite stunts involve big jumps.
“In a bigger stadium, getting air is something we try to do a lot,” he said. “Any time you can get 30 feet in the air, it’s cool.”
The father of four, ages 11, 12, 13 and 17, said he’s never been injured, with numerous safety devices keeping him secure in the truck.
There’s really no practicing when it comes to monster truck driving.
“You practice in front of people,” he said, adding the trucks can cost about $300,000 and are typically only used in shows.
“The more shows you do, the more seat time you get,” he said.
WHEN: Friday through Sunday
WHERE: Allstate Arena, 6920 Mannheim Road, Rosemont
COST & INFO: Tickets range from $32 to $109 at www.monsterjam.com.