Just because you bested the competition in a previous year doesn't mean that the next event will come easy. This is something that Steve Sims is learning as he prepares to defend his Circle K Back-to-School Monster Truck Bash champion title at The Dirt Track at Charlotte on Aug. 10.

The 39-year-old from Virginia Beach, Va., swept last year's bash by winning both the elimination challenge and the freestyle competition in his monster truck, Stone Crusher. However, Sims recognizes that last year's win puts more pressure on his performance this year.

"Winning is good and then winning is bad, because I've got a title to uphold," Sims said. "It definitely gets the butterflies going for this year's show."

He is no stranger to the world of competition though. Sims drove into the monster truck world in 2005 and has since then become a seasoned veteran. Along with his win in the 2012 Circle K Back-to-School Monster Truck Bash, Sims' team, Monster Trucks Unlimited, was named the Monster Jam Team of the Year in 2008 and 2009.

His years of experience with Stone Crusher have taught him his winning strategy. In the adrenaline rush that is monster truck competition, Sims just tries to relax.

"Just go out there and not worry about who you're lined up against. Run your own run; do your own race," Sims advised. "That's normally how I do well."

However, it is hard to keep that relaxed attitude with the intense competition coming to the Circle K Back-to-School Monster Truck Bash this year. Stone Crusher's driver recognizes all the threats to his title, but has set his sights on one competitor that he knows very well.

"I know my toughest competition that I've had this summer season has been my son," Sims said. "He's been beating and banging on me hard. He's beaten me a couple of times."

Steven Sims Jr., Sims' son, will make his second appearance at The Dirt Track at Charlotte in his massive 2,000 horsepower machine, Hooked. The 19-year-old driver may have less experience than his father, but 11-foot-tall, five-ton trucks help put the pair on equal footing.

Although most fathers would love for their sons to follow in their footsteps, Sims is just looking to beat his son and avoid the at-home trash talking.

"They bring the best to that track," Sims said. "It really is anybody, but I don't want to have to lose to my son and have to listen to him on the way home."

The Sims family feud will definitely be an added feature to the heart-pounding excitement that always accompanies the Circle K Back-to-School Monster Truck Bash.

The Aug. 10 Circle K Back-to-School Monster Truck Bash presented by Polar Pop will not only include appearances from Stone Crusher and Hooked, but also fan favorites Equalizer, Samson, Brutus and Avenger, along with new trucks Gunslinger, Red Solo Truck, Over Bored and Walking Tall.

The monstrous 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.

In addition to the monster truck show, there will also be a high-flying motocross exhibition by team FMX Motocross and a daring performance by master stuntman Super Bob Airborne.

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 size Polar Pop fountain drink for early admission to the Pit Party. The first 1,000 fans to enter the gates will receive a free autograph poster.

Fans can also ride in a real-life monster truck. This year, ride trucks Sergeant Smash and Stone Crusher will be on hand throughout the event. 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 7 p.m. Reserved seats for the Aug. 10 Circle K Back-to-School Monster Truck Bash presented by Polar Pop are $25 in advance and $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 Polar Pop, visit www.charlottemotorspeedway.com or call the speedway's ticket office at 1-800-455-FANS (3267).

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