Photos courtesy of War Wizard Racing.
Randy Moore grew up around racing, so it might not come as a surprise that it’s how he makes his living. But he’s taken a slightly different track than the one where he started.
Moore started mud racing at age 15 and made a bigger name for himself in his 20s when he switched to drag racing before he finally settled on the sport that makes his living now: monster trucks.
“My dad always said you have to be the one that owns the tracks instead of the crazy people racing down the track,” said Moore, who is the son of Bristol Motor Speedway co-founder Carl Moore, “but it’s hard to be around all those fast cars and not want to be part of it.”
As owner/driver for War Wizard Racing, Moore owns two monster trucks – including the one that holds the world record for speed. Based in Bristol, Tenn., the world’s fastest monster truck isn’t too far from the world’s fastest half mile.
Moore has three businesses that deal with different aspects of monster truck racing: War Wizard Racing, an event promotion company called Monster Truck All-Stars, and advertising display company Motorsports Displays.
“You kind of have to do a little bit of everything to make a living in the sport,” he says, “so we race monster trucks, we also display monster trucks and put on monster truck events, and we constantly repair monster trucks.”
Moore first started mud racing as a teenager at the local Beechnut Raceway; once he started winning races, he spent four years mud racing all over the country. Then he switched to drag racing and, in his first year, was named rookie of the year by International Hot Rod Association (IHRA). After nine years in drag racing, he switched to monster trucks.
At that time, he said, Clear Channel Motorsports purchased IHRA and was looking for good-quality monster truck racing teams to compete in its televised Monster Jam series, which pays a guaranteed fee to its monster truck entertainers. He saw an opportunity there and made the switch. In 2003, he joined Monster Jam.
Today, Moore said, monster truck racing is about more than just crushing cars; it’s a sport that sells out 70,000-seat stadiums and attracts a wide variety of people. In the last 10 years, he said, he’s raced all over the United States, Canada and Europe.
“There’s people out on the side of the road scalping Monster Jam tickets like they would if it were the Super Bowl,” he said. “It’s just about crazy how this has caught on.”
Monster trucks are impressive, Moore says, not only because they’re big and sit on 5-foot tires, but because of all the things they can do – including jumps up to 36 feet in the air.
Moore, who has two children, said the best part of the sport is “completely mesmerizing a kid.”
War Wizard will be at the Appalachian Fair, Aug. 20-21, during a monster truck event that includes racing and freestyle – a competition that includes jumps and tricks. Crew chief and part-time driver Darren Goin will be driving for War Wizard at the fair.
“They crash and roll, and everybody likes to see that,” Moore said. “That’s when the trucks always get tore up or do something crazy.”