Keeping fans happy across the United States, FELD hosted a total of 12 different shows this weekend, making the opening weekend of 2014 a busy one.
In Houston, Texas on Sunday, Dennis Anderson (driving Grave Digger) met his son Ryan Anderson (driving Son-Uva-Digger) in the racing finals to make for a classic showdown between the two. In the end, it was Dennis showing his son Ryan how it's done.
Though when it came down to the freestyle portion of the event, it was Tom Meents (Maximum Destruction) with the win, scoring 28 points. Jim Koehler (Avenger) and Dennis Anderson tied for second with 25 points a piece.
In Tusla, Oklahoma, the fans got treated to a Saturday night show, as well as a Sunday afternoon show.
Andy Hoffman (War Wagon) won Saturday's Wheelie competition with a score of 24 points over Mike Vaters (Black Stallion), who scored 22 points. Hoffman kept his winning ways going as he won the racing portion of the event as well, beating Ryan Rice (Incinerator) in the finals. Ed Eckert (Full Boar) would win the Donut competition with a score of 23 points over Rod Wood (McGuff), who scored 22 points. Wood would get his win, though, scoring the Freestyle victory with 25 points over Vaters. Vaters got second with 22 points.
In the Sunday show, Vaters would win Wheelies this time around with 24 points over Wood, who scored 23 points. Vaters kept the winning going, scoring the racing victory after beating his son Mike Vaters Jr. (Overkill Evolution) in the finals. For the second straight event, Eckert would score the Donut competition win with a score of 23 points while Vaters scored the second most with 19 points. Wood would also score his second straight win, once again winning the Freestyle competition, this time with 23 points. Vaters Jr. got second with 21 points while Eckert and Rice scored 19 points.
Birmingham, Alabama got to play host to three shows - a pair of Saturday shows, followed by a Sunday afternoon shows. In short, the weekend was dominated by Pablo Huffaker behind the wheel of Grave Digger. He won all three Freestyle events, two of the wheelie events, and two of the Racing events. The two events that Huffaker didn't win - both on Saturday night - went to Bari Musawwir (Spiderman). Musawwir used Spiderman's super powers to defeat Huffaker in the finals on Saturday night. He was then able to beat Huffaker the same night to win the Wheelies competition by one point.
Manchester, New Hampshire played host to three shows a well - a Friday night show, as well as a pair of Saturday shows.
The weekend got started off with Joey Parnell driving the brand new "Man of Steel" truck to the Wheelie victory with 28 points on Friday night. Parnell tried to keep his winning ways going, though would lose in the racing finals to Randy Brown (Grave Digger). Brown kept the winning going as he took the win in the donut competition and in Fox Sports 1 Freestyle.
In the Saturday afternoon show, Parnell scored his second straight Wheelie win, as well as the racing win after defeating Meyers (Iron Warrior) in the finals. Brown scored his second straight Donut competition win, though came up short in Freestyle as it was Parnell scoring the win.
In the final event of the weekend, Jim Tracy (Higher Education) scored his first win of the weekend with the Wheelie victory. Parnell got back to his winning ways, though, scoring his second straight racing win after beating Meyers in the finals. Brown then won the Donut competition with a score of 29 to sweep the weekend there. To cap it off, Brown scored the Freestyle victory with a score of 27 versus Pennel's 24.
For Monster Jam "Rock the Dome" in Tacoma, Wa, the fans got treated to four events - one Friday night, a pair on Saturday and an afternoon Sunday show.
The weekend started off with Cam McQueen (Northern Nightmare) beating Todd Leduc (Metal Melisha) in the finals to get the victory. Chad Tingler (Grave Digger) would score the freestyle victory of the night with 26 points, though Neil Elliott (Maximum Destruction) delivered one of the most memorable saves already of the season on his way to scoring 24 points. A full video of his run is posted below.
After failing to win on the first night of competition, Elliott came back stronger than ever on Saturday as he swept the Saturday afternoon show - winning both racing (defeated Chuck Werner in El Toro Loco in the finals) and Freestyle.
Elliott carried the momentum to the Saturday night show, beating Tingler in the finals to grab his second straight racing victory. Tingler got his piece of the winning, though, as he'd win the freestyle show by one point over Elliott.
The weekend was capped off by Elliott doubling down - scoring his third straight racing win, beating Werner once again in the finals, followed by the Freestyle victory.
The Bluecross Arena in Rochester, New York hosted three shows this weekend with a Friday night show, a Saturday night show and a Sunday afternoon event.
The Friday night show featured many mechanical issues, which hindered the competition. Whit Tarlton (Monster Mutt) started off the night by winning the Wheelie competition. He would then make it to the finals in racing, though wouldn't get the win as he was beat by Gary Porter (Grave Digger). Porter wasn't able to keep his winnings going in the donut competition due to mechanical issues. Instead, it was Bob Robbins spinning Aftershock around and around for 20 points and the win. Only four of the six trucks freestyled due to mechanical issues and in the end, it was Jay Snyder (Illuminator) scoring the victory with 24 points.
The second night of competiton saw less mechanical issues, which meant more action for the fans. Porter came out strong, grabbing the wheelie competition win, and then defeated Tarlton in the finals to grab his second straight racing win. It seemed to be Porter's night as he kept the momentum going, winning both the donut competition and the Freestyle competition. Notably, Dave Rappach (Rap Attack) and Krazy Train both missed the second half of the event due to mechanical problems.
Following his success on Saturday night, you'd think it'd carry over to Sunday - right? Well, partly. Porter came up short of winning the wheelie competition as it was Rappach grabbing the win. You could say he was extra determined following Saturday's problems. Porter got right back to winning, though, as he won his third straight racing event, once again defeating Tarlton in the finals. Porter then finished the weekend off, winning both the donut and freestyle competitions once again.
Meanwhile in Des Moines, Iowa, the fans were treated to a couple of different winners throughout their three events.
Trent Montgomery had just joined XTreme Racing and right away proved why he was behind the wheel of Iron Outlaw as he scored the Wheelie Competition win on Friday night. He would not do so well in racing, as he was one of the drivers that would flip over. In the end, it was BJ Johnson (Mohawk Warrior) defeating Stevie Snellen (River Rat) for the win. Come Freestyle, Morgan Kane would deliver tons of destruction behind the wheel of Maximum Destruction to grab the win, one point over Johnson.
Johnson would win his second event of the weekend on Saturday afternoon, as he beat Montgomery and Derick Anson (Heavy Hitter) by one point for the Wheelie event win. Anson got his name in the winner's circle, though, as he beat Snellen for the racing victory. When it came to freestyle, once again was Kane delivering the destruction and grabbing the win, one point ahead of Anson and Johnson.
This weekend, by the way, marked Kane's debut behind the wheel of the Maximum Destruction truck. Given the success that Meents and Elliott have in the truck, the preasure was on for the young 23-year-old. He lived up to the pressure as he swept the Saturday night show. He scored the wheelie win, the racing win after beating Montgomery in the finals, and his third straight freestyle win.
The fans in Bangor, ME were treated to three shows - a Friday night event, followed by a pair of Saturday shows.
Only four of the trucks competed in the Friday night wheelie competition with hometown driver Greg Winchenbach (Crushstation) standing his crab on end for the win. Winchenbach kept the momentum going, beating Damon Bradshaw (Monster Energy) in a photo finish to grab the racing win. Winchenbach was unable to make it three in a row as Bradshaw won the donut competition by two points. Bradshaw then capped the night off by winning the Freestyle competition with 25 points, three more than Winchenbach.
In the Saturday afternoon show, Winchenbach won the wheelie competition with the second straight event in a row after a spectacular display to score 28 points. As described on the Monster Jam website, "As the last competitor of the night, Crushstation, driven by Greg Winchenbach, stormed to the car stacks on a slight angle that made the 10,000 pound truck make a slight half turn while in mid-air that caused the truck to land wheel by wheel after the maneuver. It was impressive to fans and judges alike as the local driver took the win with a score of 28." Winchenbach kept it rolling, scoring his second straight racing win after beating Robert Parker (Predator) in the finals. Like the night before, it was Bradshaw winning both the donut competition and the freestyle competition.
On Saturday night, Winchenbach was rolling strong again - scoring his third straight wheelie win and third straight racing win after defeating Bradshaw in the finals. Bradshaw won his third straight donut competition, though got beat in Freestyle competition as Winchenbach broke through with the win.
The Nashville, TN saw Adam Anderson (Grave Digger: The Legend) dominate as he won both racing events and both freestyle events. He beat Jim Creten (Bounty Hunter) on Friday night in the finals, while beating Carl Van Horn (Grave Digger) on Saturday night in the finals. The wheelie events, though, both went to Van Horn.
It was Charlie Pauken (Grave Digger) dominating in Columbus, Ohio as he won both two racing events, as well as all three freestyle events. Dustin Brown (Iron Man), who used to crew chief on the Grave Digger trucks, won the Friday night Racing event over Brandon Derrow (Bad News Travels Fast). The wheelie events went to Pauken with two and Brown with one.
The Trenton, New Jersey show was split between a pair of drivers. John Seasock (Batman) swept the three racing events, while Jon Zimmer (Grave Digger) swept the Freestyle events. Seasock won the first wheelie event as Zimmer ended up missing it due to a blower belt breaking during introductions. Seasock made it two in a row by winning the Saturday afternoon Wheelie event. The final Wheelie event of the weekend went to Zane Rettew (Stinger) who scored 29 points on the way to picking up his first career Monster Jam Trophy.
The busiest event of the weekend was in Council Bluffs, IA as the fans were treated to five shows across the weekend - one Thursday night, one Friday night, a pair on Saturday and one on Sunday. In chart format, I present your 20 winners.
|Thurs 7pm||Candice Jolly (Monster Mutt Dalmation)||Sean Duhon (Zombie)||Jim Bendzick (Thunder 4x4)||Bendzick|
|Fri 7pm||Lee O'Donnell (Iron Man)||Bendzick||Bendzick||Marc McDonald (El Toro Loco)|
The weekend was action packed to the start without a doubt, however it's the only the beginning of what to expect this year.
To keep up with Monster Jam and find an event near you, check out http://www.monsterjam.com.
For Canadian fans, there is the Maple Leaf Monster Jam Tour which kicks off in Toronto, Ontario on January 18th and 19th. For more information on the Canadian tour, check out http://www.monsterjamcanada.ca.
Special thanks to Paul Harry for the photo to use in the article. Check out more of Paul's photos from the weekend at http://themonsterblog.us/2014/01/05/monster-photos-monster-jam-columbus-oh-2014/.
Keep up with all of Ashley's articles by liking her facebook page - https://www.facebook.com/ashleymccubbin.media - and following her on twitter at @R_Informative.