FARMINGTON — Tina Morrow stood on the race track Saturday at SunRay Park and Casino Saturday dwarfed by a 12-foot tall truck named American Thunder.

"Monster truck rides $10!" she yelled. "Come ride the American Thunder!"

A line began to form as children waited before eagerly climbing aboard the truck as part of the "Meet the Drivers" pit party prior to the Monster Truck Thrill Show.

The American Thunder, which was built in 28 days, has been driven in shows for about a dozen years, Morrow said.

In the past, the show has been inside the McGee Park Coliseum, but this year the casino opened up its horse race track for the show, allowing cars to be partially buried in the center of the arena.

Aden McKnight, 3, and his grandfather Mike Worden, both from Bloomfield, exit the monster truck Ameircan Thunder on Saturday after a brief ride at SunRay
Aden McKnight, 3, and his grandfather Mike Worden, both from Bloomfield, exit the monster truck Ameircan Thunder on Saturday after a brief ride at SunRay Park & Casino in Farmington. (Jon Austria — The Daily Times)

Moving it outside made things better this year, said Isaac Ortiz as he and his four children walked around taking pictures with the trucks.

Ortiz said he had gone in the past, but didn't like the cramped and crowded feel of the coliseum.

"We don't have to be in that compact little room," Ortiz said. "It's bigger and funner and better."

Some of the highlights of the show included the jet fire truck car burnout, Vorian the Jet Car Transformer Robot and a Hollywood steel wall car crash.

During the burnout, the stationary vehicles spin their wheels until the friction creates smoke. During the steel wall car crash, a vehicle slams consecutively into two cars mounted on stands.

During the show, Morrow drove Vorian. The robot car, which was a favorite for many of the children, at first appears to be much smaller than the monster trucks surrounding it. Then, during the show, Morrow drives it out and a transformer rises out of the car's back.

"We would love to make this an annual thing," Morrow said as she loaded families onto American Thunder earlier in the day.

Haley Heath, 6, and her sister, Breann Heath, 9, were among the children who hopped on board the American Thunder for a ride.

"It was like a roller coaster," Haley told her parents after getting off.

The truck took them into the center of the arena and spun donuts.

"It was really, really cool," Breann said.

Breann said the truck was moving at the perfect speed, however her sister had a different opinion.

"I was digging my nails into the seat," Haley said.

Despite her nervousness during the ride, Haley said she enjoyed it.

"I want to go like 100 more times," she said.

Hannah Grover covers news, arts and religion for The Daily Times. She can be reached at 505-564-4652 and hgrover@daily-times.com. Follow her @hmgrover on Twitter.