Beckel burning for next Octane Fest

Josh "The Crusher" Beckel walks out of a  van in flames moments after its explosion as a part of his performance each night of Octane Fest.

Josh "The Crusher" Beckel walks out of a van in flames moments after its explosion as a part of his performance each night of Octane Fest.

While fans knew they would be returning for his encore on Saturday night after Friday’s first explosive turnout, “The Crusher” already knew he would be returning for next year’s Octane Fest if he has his way.

The man behind the helmet in the burning car, Josh Beckel, became a feature attraction at the fairgrounds Friday and Saturday night as the finale to both days of the 2016 Octane Fest.

Though this was Beckel’s first Octane Fest, Fallon has seen him before at Rattlesnake Raceway where he first debuted a spectacle of sitting inside a car rigged to blow with just under a dozen cases of TNT, a well-mastered trick he’s been putting on since 2009.

“It’s always something I love to add to the show,” Beckle said after his third and final performance Saturday night before the fireworks display. “I usually throw it in as a bonus, and it helps out because it’s more than just one show and one act. The fans really like it since it ends the show with a bang perse.”

Though Beckle has blown himself up hundred times since he first began, he’s been jumping motorsport vehicles of all shapes ans sizes since 2008 — Beckel’s first stunt ever in which he stood a school bus on its back door with a crane using a special ramp and hit the bus with another vehicle head-on and 25 ft. in the air.

“I jumps cars, trucks, Ford Tauruses — they’re practical because I know exactly what they do every time,” Beckel said. “I prefer high impact, 60-70 mph into a stack of cars, hitting stuff hard.”

Though a full-time truck driver and part-time stuntman on the road with four kids at home, Beckel considers himself a racer at heart since he’s been behind wheels of all kind since he was 16 years old. In that time he’s been no stranger to Fallon or other smaller western counties.

“Each time I’ve been here it’s been a bigger and bigger crowd and the people have been amazing,” Beckel said of a receptive crowd at the Churchill County Fairgrounds. “I’ve been to a couple of other small towns, most of the time we do a few bigger towns and the tracks out somewhere, but the small towns are largely what I prefer. I like to try to help buold the track because small towns and small tracks struggle a lot. If I can do what I can to help the track, I always try to discount as much as I can.”

In his desire to return to next year’s Octane Fest, Beckel said he is most excited at the prospect of returning to jumping despite the enthralled crowd in Fallon two nights in a row.

“Like I said, when I came here I thought I was going to be at Rattlesnake and each time I’ve said “I think we can do something here,”’ he said. “I can pretty much do something no matter what area I’ve got but it’s just how spectacular it’s going to be. I already started pushing on (Chris Lumsden) and Jerry Detomasi and told them “Next year I’m going to be jumping something” so look out for that.”

Well acquainted with the directors of this year’s festival from past experience at Rattlesnake Raceway, Beckel is eager and willing to do whatever it takes to bring his act back next year,

“If I’ve got to sign shows the weekend before and after to help cut costs and promote I will,” he added. “If you aren’t making money, I’m not making money and I don’t want to charge so much it leaves a bad taste. The money’s cool, but I like to build relationships which make coming back here next year possible.”


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