Black Stallion Monster Truck is 2007 Thunder Nationals USHRA Champion

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In January 2008, Michael Vaters will take his so-called Black Stallion Monster Truck on the road again. Vaters will once again defend his 2007 Championship Thunder Nationals USHRA (United States Hot Rod Association Thunder Nationals Series) Series title.

Michael Vaters uses K&N products Michael Vaters uses K&N products
Michael Vaters is a seven time USHRA Thunder Nationals Champion
Michael Vaters is a seven time USHRA Thunder Nationals Champion
He participated in more than 100 races in 2007, and has a full-time schedule planned next year. The Hagerstown, Maryland resident is a seven time UHSRA Thunder Nationals Champion, with three consecutive wins from 2005, 2006 and 2007.
The Black Stallion Monster Truck
The Black Stallion Monster Truck
Michale Vaters desings and improvises truck parts to meet his needs
Michael Vaters designs and improvises truck parts to meet his needs

Vaters will mark his 25th anniversary in the sport next year. In 1981, Vaters bought a black 1982 Ford F250 at a Hagerstown dealership. “I envisioned my first monster truck back then,” he said. “At that time, I had to design and build my own lift kit. I added 44 inch tires and designed and built rear steering for my street truck.”

A year later, his first Black Stallion had a 12-foot suspension lift with 44-inch tires. “I would get the truck dirty with mud one weekend and spend the entire week cleaning it to enter a show the following weekend,” said Vaters. “I would win first place or best in show frequently. I built another Black Stallion in 1995 and named it the Black Stallion 2000. I won the Thunder National and Monster National Championships with it in 1999.”

Vaters currently has three monster trucks. His 2002 Ford F-150 Black Stallion was custom built by Vaters Racing.

The 2002 Ford F-150 truck specs are:

Engine: 557 cubic inch big block Ford, Blown/Alcohol injected
Transmission: C-6 with Fro Fab transfer case
Tires: Goodyear 66x43x25
Shocks: Custom built by Vaters racing, 36 inches of travel
Suspension: 4-link suspension with custom built sway bars
Axles: 106 Clark Planataries
Height: 11 feet
Width: 12 feet
Weight: 10,028 pounds

“I use K&N Engineering’s injector and oil filters,” said Vaters. “Over the years I’ve used a lot of products and K&N can handle the Monster Truck scene. We are known across the country for a wild and crazy driving style and the ability to push the limits at indoor and outdoor events. We’re hard on our motors and K&N protects our engines.”

Vaters, also known as the “wild child’ knows his engines. He was the first to design and build a bypass tube shock to create 36 inches of travel. The bypass tubes can be adjusted externally to fit the track conditions. “My shock design means the Black Stallion can fly higher than ever,” he said. “Over the years spectators have seen high-flying leaps, wheel stands and whirling donuts.”

Vaters was the first monster truck driver to successfully jump another monster truck while driving forward. “The Black Stallion was also the first truck to successfully jump another monster truck in reverse,” said Vaters. “It set a world record distance of 70 feet in the fall of 2002 at Indianapolis, Indiana.”

Vaters and his Black Stallion will be back in full force the first week of January.

Follow Vaters' Monster Motorsports throughout the racing season at the K&N news site. Find K&N products for your vehicle using the K&N application search then use the K&N dealer search to find a K&N dealer in your part of the world.

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K&N Engineering, Inc., with headquarters in Riverside, California, has been the world's leader in performance filter technology since 1969, serving the needs of the automotive, motorcycle, marine, industrial and military markets. K&N is heavily involved in nearly every form of motorsports from off-road and powersports to drag racing, stock cars and road racing. For more information about K&N Filters, please contact K&N Engineering, Inc., P.O. Box 1329, Riverside, CA 92502-1329, (800) 213-4182 for a dealer near you, (800) 858-3333 for technical service/questions, (951) 826-4001 Fax, e-mail, or visit