Monster trucks

Thursday, January 17, 2008
Cody Barrett and Beth Clayton-Barrett showed a quad racer like the ones they will be racing during the Monster Truck event at Show Me Center. (Fred Lynch)

Two years ago Bethany Clayton was loading up her custom quad racer after the Monster Trucks event at the Show Me Center when she noticed a truck was parked in her way.

She said Cody Barrett, the truck's owner, wanted to impress her with his brand-new Ford Powerstroke truck but wasn't getting anywhere. "I'm not a Ford person," she said. "I'm more of a Chevy kind of person."

Cody didn't give up, and Bethany eventually became Bethany Clayton-Barrett.

The Marble Hill, Mo., couple will race custom quads against each other in this year's Monster Truck extravaganza beginning at 7:30 p.m. Friday and Saturday at the Show Me Center.

In addition to Monster Trucks and ATV quad racing, the event will offer a new type of racing called MEGA MOTO, a cross between arena cross and flat track racing. In addition, the MEGA Tuff Truck Challenge will feature street trucks and Jeeps driving an obstacle course.

Bethany, a 22-year-old loan officer, has been a professional quad racer since she turned 16. She races every weekend in Missouri, Kentucky and Tennessee and has won numerous Missouri state championships. She is sponsored by C&C Racing in Sikeston, a company owned by her father.

Her quad racer is capable of speeds up to 120 mph, and she has gone over 100 mph at some tracks. "There's a lot of adrenaline," she said. "You're mind has to be completely focused on what you're doing."

Accidents are part of the sport, she said, but so is wearing protective racing gear. In her first race -- at age 6 -- her four-wheeler flipped nine times before landing on her. "I had a strawberry from top to bottom," she recalled.

She has had a concussion, and hitting a guardrail in a race in Kentucky put her out of racing for a year.

Cody has just moved up to her professional racing class from the amateur classes. "He'll get a little run for his money," Bethany promised.

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