Did you ever see -- live and in person -- the "A-Team" van leaping through the air, some racing and wrecking, a couple Confederate generals, Boss Hogg proposing marriage, and the rig from "B.J. and the Bear" doing laps? Well, you did if you were at this past weekend's Professional Stuntman Invitational at the Concord Motorsports Park in North Carolina. The Hazzard County Stunt Team, Mr. Wayne Wooten, and a crew of dedicated professionals sure put on a good show, and this week the BRBTV News Blog has four full days of photos and tidbits from the event for your viewing pleasure.
The event celebrated the work of seasoned stuntmen from shows and movies like "Die Hard," "Rush Hour 3," "Twilight," "The Fall Guy," "Knight Rider," "Sliders" and, of course, "The Dukes of Hazzard." Buzz Bundy, Tom Sarmento, Ted Barba, James Smith, Lee Smith, Russell Solberg ... some of the biggest names in the stunt industry put on the thrills and chills for fans at the Invitational, which ran all day Saturday and Sunday in some rather-brutal heat that soared through the 90s. The stuntmen also signed autographs, and they were joined at the event by several big classic TV actors: Greg Evigan, Sonny Shroyer, Don Pedro Colley, Byron Cherry and Rick Hurst, along with Jerry Rushing, the man who inspired "The Dukes of Hazzard."
Emceed by Will ("The Voice Man") Rodgers, the two days at the track featured racing, vending, rides in star cars, a fabulous stunt show (our favorite part, truth be told!) and a display of collectible autos with everything from the General Lee to Herbie the Love Bug and the notorious Christine. And, just to assure that the event would be remembered, avid Boss Hogg fan Rusty, clad in his lily white suit, proposed to his fiancee there in front of the crowd. The box holding the diamond ring was passed along by the various celebs until Rusty finally laid claim to it, then gingerly laid down a white towel so he could descend to one knee. "I was so nervous," he said later that night. "I don't even remember what I said." Well, we were sure glad that white suit wasn't flannel like Sorrell Booke really wore on "The Dukes"!
Tom Sarmento of the Hazzard County Stunt Team was behind the wheel of this "A-Team" replica van for the stunt show on Saturday night. The van's big jump followed a two-wheel ski stunt by James Smith, and preceded a race that culminated in a truly horrific-looking crash. Below, the crew rushes to get Sarmento out of the van -- but don't worry, he was fine! He's done this before!
Here's another van that took a beating, below ... Might know better next time not to be in the way when the No. 32 car goes a little out of control after a big race ...
Sonny Shroyer, our beloved Enos Strate of "The Dukes," hams it up for a young fan at the beginning of his signing on Sunday. Strate had a variety of memorabilia and photos with him ...
Photos by Billie Rae Bates / BRBTV