Ten years after building his first monster truck, Crushstation, Greg Winchenbach, of Bottom Feeder Motor Sports, on Mountain Road in Jefferson, has completed his third monster truck. His most recent addition is a ride truck named The Fresh Catch.
The Fresh Catch made its debut at Peaslee’s Quick Stop’s 25th anniversary last weekend. Hundreds of kids and adults enjoyed a free ride.
“They were really excited. They said it was amazing,” Greg’s 12-year-old son, Zachary Winchenbach, said of riders’ reactions. “The little kids called it Crushstation.”
The Fresh Catch is not a competition truck, but designed to give rides. It has 66-inch tires. “The ride is the same. Kids get to experience what it is like to be in a monster truck,” Greg Winchenbach said.
The Fresh Catch’s front end is identical to Crushstation’s, and its back end resembles a giant lobster trap. Winchenbach had the shell made with the same mold as Crushstation.
“I can’t keep a shell on (Crushstation), so I had to make a new one. I am always upside down in (Crushstation),” Winchenbach said of not having a spare shell to use.
Like Crushstation, The Fresh Catch is sponsored by McLaughlin Seafood. It is also sponsored by Brooks Trap Mill, of Thomaston, which donated the wire and netting that went into building the body of the truck.
Winchenbach approached Brooks Trap Mill owner Steven Brooks about his idea. “I explained my story and took him to a show. He was blown away. When I told him my idea, he was on board.”
Painted on Crushstation’s tail is a fisherman holding onto a rope for dear life. The Fresh Catch follows the same theme. Instead of lobsters being caught in a trap, children are lured into the trap with monster truck toys. Two bench seats are in the center of the lobster trap for riders.
“I’m catching kids and families to give them a ride,” Winchenbach said. Riders wear seat belts. “You have to follow all the rules of a monster truck.”
The Fresh Catch started out as a pile of steel on the floor of his Mountain Road Repair shop in January. Winchenbach, Kurt Phillips, Todd Miller, and Chris Sawicki helped with the building project. “We said, ‘What can we do with this?’ and you can see what we did,” Winchenbach said.
“In 10 years I’ve grown from one truck to 30 tires, three trucks, and two (tractor-trailer) trucks for transporting. We are one big team,” Greg Winchenbach said.
Winchenbach and Crushstation won the 2018 Traxxas Monster Truck Tour points championship, and was presented the trophy in front of his home state fans in Portland.
Kurt Phillips, driving Bottom Feeder Motor Sports’ second monster truck, Lumberjack, also fared well in the Traxxas point series, placing 12th.
Winchenbach and Crushstation also won a Monster Truck Throwdown event at Wiscasset Speedway in May. “I really turn it up that much more when I am home in Maine,” Winchenbach said.
He does multiple shows in Maine and is always amazed to see the same fans at all his Maine events. “It is pretty cool to have them always there supporting us. I can’t thank them enough,” he said.
The Fresh Catch, with its big block Chevy engine, will stay strictly in Maine. “I have a lot of requests for parades and festivals. The monster trucks make too much noise and have too much horsepower. They are not parade-friendly. The Fresh Catch gives them what they want,” Winchenbach said of the quieter ride truck.
Greg Winchenbach’s sons, Zachary and Nathan, are following in their father’s footsteps. His younger son, Nathan, “knows everything about monster trucks: who they are, how far they have jumped. He is a monster truck encyclopedia,” Greg Winchenbach said.
His older son, Zachary, is already helping out with the trucks, washing them and learning the ropes.
Zachary has even driven a monster truck. “This kid has more throttle rhythm than I do. He is going to cost me,” Greg Winchenbach said of his son catching the monster truck bug. “If they do get into it, we’ll support them,” he added.
“It is pretty cool. I have a dad that drives monster trucks. I’m pretty lucky,” Zachary Winchenbach said.
“I can’t thank my wife and children enough for putting up with me building them,” Greg Winchenbach said of his wife, Cristy, and children, Zachary, Nathan, and Ashley, who have allowed him to pursue his dream.
“It’s just another toy for my husband,” Cristy said.
The Fresh Catch will make Maine appearances at the Maine Lobster Festival in Rockland, the Windsor Fair, and the Giant Pumpkin Parade during the Damariscotta Pumpkinfest.
Crushstation toys, hats, T-shirts, and other memorabilia will be available for sale at the events. They are also available online at monstahlobstah.com.