Pile Drivers

Monster trucks kick up the dirt at Firebird

Sat 5/3
Hide your heaps -- Bigfoot's a-thundering this way. Be there! Be there! Be there! -- on Saturday, May 3, at 7 p.m. as Gravedigger, Bounty Hunter, Maximum Destruction, Scarlet Bandit, Monster Mutt and more roar into town for the Coors Monster Truck and Jet Car Jam at Firebird International Raceway. Giants rule the Earth as they race for best track time, spin dozens of doughnuts, and fly over track jumps and stacks of junk cars. What hath man wrought in 12,000 years of progress? Horsepower, baby. Don't try this in the minivan. Joining the behemoths, 6,000-horsepower jet cars light up the night. And when the jet tank takes aim at the finish line, don't blink -- the camouflaged all-terrain vehicle blasts by at 300 mph.

Gates open at 2 p.m. Kids: Party in the pits with a pit pass at 3:30 p.m. Get autographs, snap photos with your favorite drivers, and score giveaway posters and other free booty. Admission prices start at $24 for adults, and $32 for adult admission with a pit pass. Kids 12 and under get a free general admission ticket and pit pass with a paid adult. Tickets are available through Ticketmaster or at Firebird Raceway, located off I-10 and Maricopa Road in Chandler. For more information, call at 602-268-0200 or visit www.firebirdraceway.com.- Kim Toms

Pump It Up

Mile high: Big wheels keep on turning at Firebird International Raceway
Jason Hill
Mile high: Big wheels keep on turning at Firebird International Raceway
Ironman: Triathletes compete in Tempe
Ironman: Triathletes compete in Tempe
Go Speed Racer, Go: The Rolex Sports Car Series Phoenix 250 revs-up
Go Speed Racer, Go: The Rolex Sports Car Series Phoenix 250 revs-up

Runners take fitness to heart

Sat 5/3
Phoenix in the summertime is a difficult place to stay active, lethargy being preferable to heat stroke in almost any situation. Women can kick-start their metabolism and make some pre-summer resolutions at the Take Fitness to Heart 10K Run/Race and 5K Walk/Run this Saturday, May 3, at Wesley Bolin Park at the state capitol. Sponsored by RYKÄ, the women's athletic footwear company, the event promotes women's heart health and encourages fitness.Part of the $20 entry fee ($22 on the day of the race) supports the Paradise Valley Hospital. Register at Fiesta Mall's Lady Foot Locker on Thursday, May 1, from 5 to 8 p.m., or at Paradise Valley Mall's Lady Foot Locker on Friday, May 2, from 5 to 8 p.m. Click your way to www.ryka.com for more information.- Brendan Joel Kelley

TRAIL KICKS

Art history and exercise

Wed 5/7
Looking for some exercise, but tired of the drab scenery at the gym? Pueblo Grande Museum offers an alternative -- a three-mile, three-hour petroglyph hike at South Mountain Park, 10919 South Central. Starting at 6:45 a.m. Wednesday, May 7, hikers will view petroglyphs -- ancient carvings and line drawings on rocks -- along the moderately difficult Kiwanis/Ramada Trail. Participants should wear shoes or boots suitable for hiking desert trails; bringing two quarts of water and snacks is also recommended. Advance registration is required, and the fee is $5. Call 602-495-0901.- Eric Schandel

Triple Threat

Only the strong survive Tempe's Multi-Sport Challenge

Sun 5/4 >It's been said that athletics are 10 percent physical and 90 percent mental. Whoever said so probably never had to master three grueling events within the confines of a single endeavor, but the point is still well taken. Strong physicality and solid mentality are a dream team in competition, a point made clear in an event called the triathlon.See sport's greatest multi-taskers swim, bike, run and otherwise make the rest of us feel inadequate at the Tempe Multi-Sport Challenge. It kicks off at 6 a.m. Sunday, May 4, at Tempe Town Lake, Mill Avenue and Rio Salado Parkway. This year's course combines a 1.5K swim, 40K bike ride and 10K run, with $3,000 cash up for grabs.

Admission is free. For details call 480-858-2059 or visit www.3disciplines.com/tempe.html.- Sun 5/4

To Infiniti and Beyond

5/2-5/3
Faster than a roller coaster

While NASCAR events are considered, ahem, lowbrow by some who overestimate their own cultural panache, the Grand American Rolex Sports Car Series Phoenix 250 should appeal to the moto-snobs among us. On Friday, May 2, and Saturday, May 3, Vipers, Corvettes, Mustangs, Porsches, Acuras, Infinitis, Audis and more will burn rubber at Phoenix International Raceway, giving us a chance to see how our dream cars perform ... without the nuisance of speed limits and traffic cops.

During Friday night's United Auto 200, folks can watch the pretty machines race for a mere $10. Saturday evening brings the $20 main event: Two races -- the Grand-Am Cup Grand Sport Race and the Phoenix 250 -- feature not only the cars we already adore, but the new Daytona prototypes from major manufacturers as well. Purchase tickets through www.phoenixraceway.com or 602-252-2227. - Brendan Joel Kelley

 
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