Hello, and welcome to another jam-packed edition of The Hot Seat. In case you missed last month's story, each month we take a person that has been a vital part, a mentor, or made some significant impact in the scene, and expose him or her and make them blush for your reading enjoyment. So sit back, light a match, do a courtesy flush, and enjoy this months' installment.

If you have an idea for someone you want to see in The Hot Seat, email hotwheelbabie@aol.com with your suggestions, questions, or comments, and maybe your favorite will be our next victim!

This month, we bring you John Salas, founder of Vertically Challenged; if you don't know him yet, you're about to know it all!

The Basics
Full Name: Juan Carlos Salas Jr. (John "nightmare73" Salas)
Age: 36
Place of birth: Miami, Florida
Current residence: Katy, Texas
Daily-driver: '99 laid out GMC Suburban, '76 Corvette Stingray
Who are you?: I am John Salas, founder of Vertically Challenged truck and car club. I'm a fun loving, beer drinking, minitrucker that loves to party his old ass off! I live life to the fullest because it's too damn short to hold grudges or always be in a bad mood! I always look at the glass as half full, but always ask the waitress to bring me another beer, fast!

Here's an introduction about John Salas from his good bud, Gerald "Whataburger" Martin. This will give you a good insight into the man, the myth, the legend:

"I thought that you should know a few facts about John "The Godfather" Salas. When you see him at shows he may look like an idiot, talk like an idiot, and act like an idiot, but don't let that fool you, he really is an idiot. I joke around with John a lot but I admire him! One reason is that he doesn't know the meaning of the word fear - but then again he doesn't know the meaning of most words. Don't get me wrong, I think John is a genius! He has the inventiveness of Albert Einstein, but it's paired with the attention span of Daffy Duck. John is always full of energy and is never lazy at a show. He often does the work of three men: Larry, Curly & Moe! Of course everybody knows that he is a partier, especially the ladies! All the girls love him, they call him dark and handsome - when it's dark, he's handsome. Seriously though, John is a true example of what you see is what you get, he truly is the life of every party, and I'm proud to call him my best friend!"

Q: Tell us one thing people either don't know about you or would be very surprised to hear?
A: I'm a very open person, so what you see is what you get!

Q. Do you have any tattoos? If so, what is it, and do you regret it?
A: I like all my tattoos. I need to get off my ass and finish the ones I have, but for you guys, I'll get another one, and you can pick where it goes! On a personal note, I'm deathly scared of needles, so you'll have to get me drunk, then have your way with me!

Awesome! Mini Truckin' logo here we come! Hmmm, maybe on your left cheek?

Q. Do you consider yourself "regular"?
A: Not after I eat a lot of cheese or ice cream, I'm lactose intolerant! As far as regular in my life, who knows? That's what makes me who I am, I'm a mini trucker, I try my damndest not to be like the other guy!

Q. What is your favorite show of all time?
A: I'd have to go with Meltdown, Dry Off, or Weeniestock; pretty much anything P Events throws. But I'm biased on that one, JP is my boy. He always makes it personal, shakes everybody's hands when they drive up, and when they leave. There's also the party/show of the year, Tex-Mex. Mitch, Daryl, and the rest of those Severed boys did one hell of a job. Camping, all night party, badass DJ, tons of chicks, and more alcohol then you've ever seen, not to mention the minitruckin' Olympics! Now as far as the best all-around show that I won't miss no matter what, Texas Heatwave. Dave puts on the biggest shows. I go to see everything, the trucks, cars, bikes, low riders; even the donks (have to respect them for some of the work put into those ugly things) he brings everything to the show!

Q. What got you into the scene?
A: My father was into drag racing when I was born, and he has never been caught without a modified vehicle. I took after him on that! I can't drive a stock ride, and when I saw my first 'bagged truck I was hooked! I met up with Mark Fehral from Slaughter House customs out of Tomball, TX. I've known that focker this long and he still keeps me as a friend!

Q. Is it true that you had a run-in with the ATF?
A: Damn! Where did you dig that one up from? Yes, when I was younger I allegedly, (cough, cough) set off a bomb and was incarcerated and interrogated by the ATF. It was a week after the Oklahoma bombing, so my timing wasn't the best.

Q. Is it legal to do a burnout at fire stations?
A: I start fires baby! But yeah, we did a photo shoot in Hell Damage (my old door layin' S-10) back around '03 with JP for Street Source. We shot it in front of the Dallas fire station since the truck had fire going up the body, so it looked really good in front of the station. Well, JP asked if I would light the tires up for a second for the photo. A few seconds went by and all of a sudden the station alarm went off! Haha, oops.

Q. We heard you are considered quite the "baller" in Houston?
A: Far from it! I'm a baller on a budget. This isn't a cheap lifestyle, with wheels getting bigger, so are the prices. Gas is going up and mpg is going down. It's really starting to cut into my boobie bar money!

Q. We have heard behind your tough minitrucker image you are really an old softy?
A: Tough minitrucker image, haha. Man, I live in a nice quiet neighborhood in Katy, Texas, with my high school sweetheart of 19 years. It's a love hate relationship; she loves to hate me! I have two great kids, JC my future minitrucker son. We're already starting on building his truck (one of my old S-10s) and he's ten now, so keep an eye out for him next show season because he'll be taking your trophies and your girls, just like his daddy, Bahaha! Then there's my 16-month old daughter that steals my heart every time she smiles, I'm definitely keeping her out of the scene! I don't want her meeting guys like me, but I'm sure she will want a mini like her big brother and daddy.

Q. Did you ever sport a mullet?
A: Hell yeah I did. I had my sides shaved real close and had the long mullet in the back, and then I cut it into a long-ass rattail. It came down right at my lower shoulder, it was the shiznets!

Q. Have you ever smoked a Cuban?
A: No, but I did eat one once, damn, what was her name? But yes I have smoked a Cuban Cigar, I'm half Cuban. And no I didn't swim here or float a '57 Chevy truck on barrels to get here either!

Q. What movies make you cry?
A: Damn , why you have to go there! There use to be an old Christmas movie, not cartoon but the animation type, about Rudolph the reindeer. He ran away from the North Pole, because everybody made fun of him. His Mom found him in the middle of a snow storm and covered him with her body so he would stay warm; she died from the cold but kept him alive. I cried like a little beotch, and still do when I watch poor Rudolph wake up to his mommy being gone.

Q. What did you want to be when you were growing up?
A: Shhiii, I'll never grow up! I'll grow old, but never grow up! I'll always be a Toys-R-Us kid, just with better toys.

Q. Can you sing the national anthem?
A: I can't sing period. But if you add a lot of Bud Light, or some Jager, you might get an American Idol out of me. That, or a really big stripper! Either way, we'll have some fun!

Q. We all have our "one time at band camp" stories. What's one of your favorites?
A: The story goes "this one night at Tex-Mex!" My guys got bored and I passed out, but I had my shoes off so really I went to sleep, but they painted my face anyways! Some of the Severed guys came over and put a diamond on my forehead with the ST logo. I woke up with a painted penis on the right side of my face, and then I saw the video where my boy Bonez, t-bagged me! But wait, there's more. They unplugged my air mattress, and removed the top of my tent, and it just happened to storm that night, so I woke up in a waterbed! I was proud of those bastards, they got me good!

Q: You claim to be the founder of the club Vertically Challenged ten years ago. Sounds good, but one of our sources has pics of a "Vertically Challenged" logo from back in 1996. What's the deal?
A: Back in '98 when George Allen and myself thought about starting a new club based on the true minitruckin' lifestyle, we looked all over the net to find a name that wasn't taken. At that time there was no active clubs with that name that we could find! Not until late '00 did I read on dropemwear.com that John Beebe was in a club with the same name as mine, but his was no longer active! So there!

Q. Finally, what great things are in store for John Salas in the future? Any secret plans in the works we need to know about?
A: There's nothing secret about me! I'm going to be taking the 'Burban down for the season and rebuilding her with a complete new look; something wild and crazy, like old hot rod meets wild crazy truckin' style type thing. I'll also be helping my son build his truck. We want it to come out next season for him to just play with, nothing too radical, just in a Salas sort of way. So far we have the roof off, the doors on the ground, and trying something new with the doors, haha wish us luck!