Mid America Outdoors puts on a nine day event like no other
Words and Photos By: Dylon Patton
It all started with a VISION.
Bring together a community of people that all share the same lifestyle; a passion for the outdoors, off-roading and motorsports. Bring them to the middle of America to a town named Jay, Oklahoma for nine days of nonstop entertainment.
And if that was not enough, the VISION was to give them an off road experience like they have never experienced before. Plus: monster trucks, mega trucks, UTVs, rock bouncers, 4400 cars, pit bikes, a lazy river, rock bands, country stars, bull riding, Barbie jeep racing, moto stunt shows and a human cannonball!
That’s just a glimpse of what visions off-road was. For nine long days, MidAmerica outdoors was home to outdoor and off road enthusiasts from every part of the country. All coming together for one big action packed vacation!
Day one, people started arriving early and they didn’t stop arriving until very late. Vendor village was set up and guests were sampling and testing out the latest products from some of the industries top companies.
Yamaha had several brand new RMAX1000 machines on site for test drives. Evolution powersports was set up for onsite tuning and Maxxis tires were mounting tires and set up all week. Later in the day there was live music performed by the dueling pianos at the pool stage. Food court vendors were set up and serving up all kinds of delicious eats. From Smoked BBQ, fried chicken, authentic Mexican food, and kettle corn. There was even an ice cream vendor set up serving some of the most decorative and tasty desserts I’ve ever had.
Day two was the official kickoff of the event. Throughout the day, all park guests had the chance to drive into the town of Jay in their UTVs on designated routes. Set up in the middle of town square was a car show and a BBQ contest featuring some of the top cook off teams in the state. While enjoying some award winning BBQ you had the chance to meet Dennis Anderson the “Grave Digger” and his newest creation the King Sling extreme ride experience set up right in front of town hall. Across the street live music was performed at the main stage by the Aces wild band in the afternoon followed by the Swon brothers and Diamond Rio later that evening.
Did I mention there was also a motocross stunt show right there in the middle of downtown too? The gravity slayers that featured former X Games champion Matt Buyten, Cowboy Kenny Bartram, Derek Burlew, Anthony Murray and several other talented stunt riders. It certainly drew all the attention from the crowd as they performed death defying stunts over their heads!
On day three, we began the day with a fabulous breakfast from the park cafe located inside the powersports store. They served breakfast, lunch and dinner cafeteria style all week long. Which we ate numerous times, I highly recommend the lasagna and the peach cobbler with ice cream! The day’s main event was pit bike racing and boy was that a show! The park has built an incredible full size motocross track designed specifically for pit bikes. Where some of the fastest guys on two wheels came from as far as North Carolina and California to compete for over $12,500 in total cash payouts.
Immediately following the races there was another motocross stunt show performed at the pit bike track which had all the kids amped up! After the races and stunt show everyone seemed to head to the pool and lazy river, the newest and biggest addition to the park which was finished just in time for the biggest event of the year. Featuring two massive pools, one with a large kids area attached and a constant flowing lazy river with a playground in the middle of it, it was full of kids and adults nearly every time we walked past it.
Later that evening in “Thunder Valley”, Dennis Anderson took over the airways and brought high flying and mud slinging mega trucks out for a show! At one point the Midamerica Outdoors mega truck hooked up to a sailboat set it on fire and jumped over a set of school buses with it! Following the show there was a UTV light, sound and shine contest hosted poolside by showcar products featuring UTVs decked out with lights and speakers, some with concert level audio, all judged by crowd favorites so everyone involved had a lot of fun. There was even a Polaris general on 43” sticky tires. The night was capped off by Western Justice at the pool side stage.
On day 4, we were awakened by the rumble of 170 utvs practicing on the track for the race later that afternoon featuring a stock class followed by limited and modified classes. Racers competed 3 laps in the heat races to determine their starting position for the 4 lap main event. Some of the race teams had come from as far as California, South Carolina, and your limited class winner Dexter Warren all the way from the country of Australia.
The vendor village was busy that morning for the vendor poker run, where all park guests were encouraged to participate. Going from vendor to vendor to learn about their unique products and acquire the best poker cards. The best hands at the end of the day won some awesome prizes including a brand new set of race line wheels, light bars, UTV door bags, swag packs and much more. It was definitely a hot day out on the course so staying hydrated and taking a dip in the pool was a must, especially when you can watch 90 percent of the short course racing from the pool and lazy river! That evening, TK Pro Rodeo set up and entertained guests with professional bull riding and fighting paired with a hilarious host and rodeo clown, lots of pyrotechnics and some world championship riders and fighters.
Country music superstar Trace Adkins performed the national anthem to kick off bull riding and also performed a full concert to round out the night later that evening.
Day five was an early rise day due to the overwhelming sound of rock bouncers driving through the park to get to the drivers meeting early that morning. If you’ve never seen one in person, let me tell you they are loud! Day five was hill climb day. Both rock bouncer and UTVs competed on hill one, which was one steep uphill climb with a series of rock ledges acting as giant stairs ascending to the top. At the top, the driver would shoot across and down an even steeper descent to the finish line. Large crowds gathered to watch the high horsepower and earth shaking carnage for the majority of the day. Later that evening, the drag strip located at the main stage was very busy! For hours UTVs left the line side by side for an 1/8th mile dash, complete with a timing system and light tree. It is a crowd favorite at the park!
Shotgun Billy’s took the stage first to open up for another big act Mini Kiss, which is exactly what it sounds like, a full blown miniature version of the iconic rock band KISS. The crowd really enjoyed that show!
Day six again started early to the sounds of rock bouncers. Day six saw them take on the second and final hill. Again the hill climb was insane. This time there were two uphill and two downhill sections which got progressively harder. A lot of drivers were unable to finish, but for those that did to make it on the podium made it look easy! After the races there wasn’t much down time before the concert series for the night began to play. Starting the night off was Saving Abel, followed up by Puddle of Mudd and Everclear. All three bands put on an amazing show, and they all sounded great! The moto stunt guys were throwing down insane tricks in between bands right behind the crowd and a man shot himself out of a cannon over the concert stage!
Day seven kicked off with the Pro Turbo short course racing. Some of the top drivers in the country including Kyle Chaney, the Miller brothers, Cody Martin and twenty two others battled it out all morning. The main event was the show. The track at MAO is over two miles of uphill, downhill, monstrous g outs, massive table top jumps, wide open corners, a concrete spillway and big straightaways to really get the cars opened up to high speeds. The track design makes for fast and close racing every lap. Kyle Chaney took the win after leading all but two laps. With Cody Martin right on his heels in 2nd and Scottie Lawrence not far behind in 3rd. Following the Pro turbo class there were seven amateur classes competing for over $10,000 in total cash payouts.
After the racing action, everyone gathered at the pool area for the racer pool party where every guest and others including Dennis Anderson, moto stunt legends, UTV world champions, rock bouncing and Ultra4 icons, monster and mega truck drivers all intertwined at one big pool party. Babies’ foreheads were signed and many kodak moments were shared.
On day eight, UTV and 4400 cars lined up in the morning for qualifying on the short course with a twist. They had to take a detour making a slight hill climb and then come down the rock bouncers hill climb, which certainly made things interesting. Paul Wolff set the pole in the UTV class and Chip Maclaughlin in the 4400 class. The main event kicked off in the afternoon with a fourteen lap race on the 5-7mile loop track. The course was fast, utilizing a major section of the UTV short course. Fans were able to watch a great portion of the race before the racers headed up a short hill climb later used for knockout racing. From there, they raced into a grassy prairie at some seriously high speeds followed by the woods section of the course with tight and narrow trails winding through trees, crossing creeks and climbing hills.
Eventually racers shot out of the woods and back onto the short course. Few cars remained after the final lap. For the UTV class it was a clean Can-am sweep of the podium with Cody Miller in 1st, Paul Wolff in 2nd, and Hunter Miller in 3rd. In the 4400 class Tad Dowker stood on top, with Chip Maclaughlin in 2nd and Zandy Willems in 3rd.
Even after all of that over eight days, the final day of visions was one of the best. The morning was kicked off with UTV and rock bouncer knockout racing with head to head, wheel to wheel uphill battles, where anything goes to be the first out the top!
After the podiums, Dead Metal Society took the stage to get the crowd warmed up and ready for some rock n’ roll served up by Back n Black a world renowned AC/DC tribute band. The night of course wouldn’t be complete without another moto stunt show.
The race started with a 60-foot creek jump followed by a series of three hill climbs before racers converged at the center out the top. It was by far one of the wildest events of the week!
The finale of the week was Dennis Anderson’s monster truck show. He brought in a bunch of his personal friends and built a full scale monster truck arena complete with cars, school busses, boats and of course RVs! The show was awesome for people of all ages! The trucks didn’t hold anything back. Some even attempted and landed a backflip! But the highlight of the evening was Westin Anderson’s world record Mega truck jump. Coming from out of the woods and into the sky like a rocket, he shattered the old record and set a new one at 225 feet! Pyrotechnics went berserk and fireworks filled the sky for the following 20 minutes to cap off visions week. Nearly the entire park all gathered at the pool for the after party and to share one last evening together.
All in all, I say the VISION came together for MidAmerica outdoors. Amazing memories were made, new friendships begun and plans were made for the future. If you were there, you can’t wait to go back. If you weren’t, you will be next time. Visions is an experience for everyone! If you didn’t make it to this one. You better plan to be at the next one. Because it’s only the beginning of something great.