Driving one of the most recognizable monster trucks in history might be intimidating for some, but Dan "The Man" Runte confidently wears his title as a driver of the Bigfoot monster truck. The Dirt Track at Charlotte is eager to confirm a sighting of the elusive Bigfoot and its daredevil driver at this year's Circle K Back-to-School Monster Truck Bash presented by Mello Yello on Aug. 9.

It's been several years since either Runte or Bigfoot has competed at The Dirt Track and the competition at this year's Circle K Back-to-School Monster Truck Bash presented by Mello Yello is stiff. Returning victors Red Solo Truck and Avenger will be in attendance, among others.

"I'm honestly looking forward to coming to Charlotte because of how great the track is," said Runte. "We don't get the opportunity to come down there every year and it's been a long time since Bigfoot has been there. I'm really looking forward to running hard in Charlotte."

The Freeport, Illinois native is widely considered to be Team Bigfoot's most fearless and accomplished driver. He started out as a crew member for Team Bigfoot and loved it so much that he started to make his way up in the ranks and ultimately began driving the monster truck.

"This is my 25th year with the Bigfoot team and next year is actually Bigfoot's 40th anniversary," said Runte. "I started out as a mechanic or crew guy when I went to work for them, did that for about two years and started driving shortly thereafter."

After competing for so many years, the 50-year-old driver has racked up numerous championship titles and even a Guinness World Record. In 2012, he broke the record for the longest jump by taking a leap with Bigfoot of 214 feet and 8 inches.

"I've had so many great opportunities, a lot of stuff you normally wouldn't get to do as far as a normal job goes, so it's been a really neat experience but it is a lot of work too."

Driving the original monster truck is a daunting task, but Runte says his strategy in competition is to just focus on knocking out one truck at a time.

"Everywhere you go, no matter who you're competing with, they're all trying to get you because you're driving the truck that started the industry, as well as a name that we've upheld for the last 40 years so I guess you've got a big target painted on your back everywhere you go."

Bigfoot will face Avenger, Equalizer, Hooked, Red Solo Truck, Stone Crusher and Walking Tall at the Aug. 9 Circle K Back-to-School Monster Truck Bash.

These menacing machines will compete in head-to-head elimination challenges over the region's longest outdoor obstacle course and face-off in an insane freestyle competition. Festivities for fans begin with the Circle K Pre-Race Pit Party from 4-6 p.m., where they can meet the monster truck drivers, get autographs and have their pictures taken with the enormous racing machines. Ticket holders can stop by area Circle K stores and bring any Mello Yello fountain drink for early admission to the Pit Party. The first 1,000 fans to enter the gates will receive a free autograph poster.

In addition to great monster truck action, fans can see Megasaurus, the car-eating, fire-breathing robot dinosaur, which stands more than three stories tall, a jet-powered smart car and a motocross exhibition.

Fans will also have the chance to ride in a real-life monster truck. Ride vouchers can be purchased in advance for just $5 by calling the ticket office at 1-800-455-FANS (3267). Vouchers will be available for purchase for $10 at the event. A minor waiver form must be signed by a parent or guardian for those under the age of 18 and can be downloaded at http://spdwy.ms/waivers.

Spectator gates open at 4 p.m. and opening ceremonies are scheduled to begin at 6:30 p.m. Reserved seats for the Aug. 9 Circle K Back-to-School Monster Truck Bash presented by Mello Yello are $30 the week of the event for adults and $10 for children 13 and under.

For tickets to the Circle K Back-to-School Monster Truck Bash presented by Mello Yello, visit www.charlottemotorspeedway.com or call the speedway's ticket office at 1-800-455-FANS (3267).

Connect with The Dirt Track at Charlotte by following on Twitter at www.twitter.com/thedirttrack or become a fan of The Dirt Track at Charlotte Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/TheDirtTrackatCharlotte.