Mud bog fair event pits monster trucks against massive ooze

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Socorroan Louis Valdez’s Mug Bogs Unlimited promises plenty of thrills on Sunday morning as four-wheel drive trucks and dragsters race across 150 feet of 4-foot-deep mud in the arroyo north of the livestock barns — whichever vehicles go the farthest in the least amount of time win cash prizes.

“Sometimes, they can go only 40 feet and that’s it,” Valdez said.

The event promises to attract from 35 to 40 contestants this year from New Mexico, Arizona and Texas vying for the $300 first-place cash prize. Some will drive modified vehicles sporting $10,000 engines and $4,000 tires.

“Guys like Mike Moore driving a jacked-up Toyota can fly through the pit,” Valdez said. “Peter Encinas from Taos has a rail, a tall dragster. It just flies.”

He expects these contestants and other highly rated Mud Bog Association drivers to show up. But any driver 18 and over with $65 in cash, a sense of adventure and a strong enough truck can enter one of the event’s categories — stock, superstock, modified, super modified, outlaw modified and powder puff. Drivers under 18 must have their parents sign a waiver.

“A lot of people from Socorro should show up here,” Valdez said.

New Mexico Tech’s Off Road club members will probably field a few vehicles.

The ladies’ Powder Puff Derby spotlights daring women drivers competing for a winner-takes-all cash prize.

“Women typically stick to the stock and super-stock categories,” Valdez said. “The women’s Powder Puff Derby at halftime will be really exciting. One truck takes it all.”

The $10 cash entry fee for spectators includes a couple family-friendly activities.

“This year, I’ve got a jumping balloon,” Valdez said.

Boys and girls 13 and under can compete in the children’s mud bog run. The child who goes the farthest in the least amount of time wins a child-size off-road vehicle. The competition is always a hit with the crowd, since most children shed at least one article of clothing in the ooze.

“Some children actually make it to the end, but not without losing something — shoes, socks, sweats, pants,” he said. “It’s fun to watch.

“They’ll win a little three-wheeler with a Briggs and Stratton lawn mower engine.”

The monsoon has helped Valdez prep the 4-foot-deep trench at the mud bog site.

“The pit is already full of rainwater,” he said.