TOM MEENTS' MONSTER JAM® WORLD CHAMPIONSHIPS:
2000, 2001, 2002, 2009, 2011, 2012
2001, 2002, 2004, 2006, 2013
most successful competitor of the Monster Jam® World FinalsSM
era, Tom Meents is the sport's only 11-time World Champion. As a further
evidence of his dominance at Monster Jam World Finals, Meents' six World Racing
Championships and five World Freestyle Championships are tops in both of those
categories as well. Rarely does a Monster Jam truck driver dominate Monster Jam
in the manner that Tom Meents has since his entry into the sport some years
ago. First making his name behind the wheel of Monster Patrol when his Monster
Jam career began in 1993, Meents continued his success in the late 1990's
driving Bulldozer, then obliterated the tracks and his competition over the
course of the 2000, 2001 and 2002 Monster Jam seasons in the Goldberg and Team
Meents Monster Jam trucks. Week after week he managed to stun crowds while
drawing them in with his extraordinary driving abilities and wild freestyle
antics. In January of 2003, Meents debuted a new Monster Jam truck, Max-DSM.
Still the same body style, Max-D came with an awesome new paint job and Meents
still brought the wicked fast races and high flying freestyles that most times
earned him his expected high scores at various Monster Jam events.
title that shows the Tom Meents attitude better than any other came at the
Monster Jam World Finals in Las Vegas, NV in March of 2004, when a broken wheel
hindered him, but definitely did not stop him, "I was disappointed because
I knew that I could have and would have done better. When it broke, I didn't
consider stopping for a second." That desire to keep going provided an
unforgettable Monster Jam World Finals moment and also earned him a piece of
the shared 2004 Monster Jam World Finals Freestyle Championship title. Tom
continued his run until the Monster Jam truck would go no more. The crowd went
crazy as the wild man walked out of a huge cloud of smoke proving once more
that absolutely nothing will stop him.
Despite his record setting total of championships Meents is never satisfied and
continues to push Monster Jam trucks to the next level. A motorcycle enthusiast
and a big fan of Supercross and Freestyle Motocross, Meents has been a
forerunner in the thrilling concept of trying to back flip a Monster Jam trucks,
becoming the first driver to even come close to ever landing a clean back flip
in a scored competition during his freestyle at Gothenburg, Sweden's Ullevi
Stadium in 2008. Then Meents became the first to successfully back flip a Monster
Jam truck when he accomplished the feat as the encore at the 2009 Monster Jam World
once you're the champion, there is only one thing that can be on top of your
list of goals - win again! That is exactly what's been on Meents’ mind, and the
countless championships have been proof that he is a man of his word. Even as
the field for the Monster Jam World Finals has been expanded over the years, it
didn't have any effect on him, "Makes no difference to me, I don't think
they can bring anyone better than they've got now. I mean it just brings in
more people for me to compete against. For the fans, it's great but it doesn't
scare me, for me it's all about making it to first place and putting on the
has always been one of the sport's biggest innovators. Case in point: 2006 at
the Monster Jam World Finals. A year of racing frustration did not sit well
with him and he decided to take it out on freestyle, where he became the first
driver ever to bring his own obstacle! Max-D drove out onto the track, pulled
into the fountain, and the motor shut off. Everyone thought that Tom had a
problem with his truck until his teammate, Neil Elliott, jumped out of the
Monster Jam truck, leaving the back-up Max-D on the course as another obstacle.
Tom rolled onto the floor and began his run by leaping over his own Monster Jam
truck and went on to turn in one of his best performances ever, which landed
him world title number seven, and his racing championship at Monster Jam World
Finals X extended his record of championships to eight, double the total for
any other driver at that time. Meents has continued to extend that amazing
record, adding World Racing Championships at Monster Jam World Finals XII and
XIII to run his stunning total to 11 world titles.
2013 marked the 10th year that Meents and Max-D have been with the sport of
Monster Jam. The decade of destruction was celebrated all season long and the
new Max-D design that Meents was behind the wheel of, left fans in awe all over
Q&A with Tom Meents
did you get started competing on the Monster Jam circuit?
I was a mud racer and Paul Shafer was a mud racer. I loved Monster Jam trucks
from day one. I had an old Monster Jam truck that we had built on the farm. It
had 66 inch tires on it and we fooled around with it on the farm. It was me and
my cousin, but my cousin was not someone who ever wanted to take it anywhere
and compete. We just had it to play around with. So we both worked on that for
a couple of years and had a lot of fun with it, but it wasn't competitive. The
neat part about it was that I had met Paul Shafer, we were both mud racers, and
he had purchased a Monster Jam truck from Jack Willman. That was Monster
Patrol. There at an event in Kansas City he had quite a few problems with it
and we started helping him out for free just for the chance to work on the Monster
Jam truck. That weekend I ended up winning all three mud racing events and was
also helping him on the Monster Jam truck and at the end of the weekend he said
he should put me in one. So we formed a friendship then and I went on to drive
his mud racer, Mud Patrol, and I would drive my mud racer Shake Me at the same
events. Then I helped him build a new Monster Jam truck and that was where the
torch was lit. I've been in a Monster Jam truck ever since, but I have to give
huge props to Paul for helping me get started
do you do with your free time?
I like to hang out even though I don't get a lot of time. I have a daughter and
she loves to go shopping so sometimes she’ll let dad come along. Lately, she’s
been trying to convince me to buy her a car. It sure would help if I could win
another championship! I also have two stepsons and they are really big into
hunting. I do help them a little bit with that even though I don't have the
time to go hunting. We ride dirt bikes in the yard almost every day when the
have four mechanical freestyle ramps that we jump and it's fun to do. I think
that charge of adrenalin is good for you every day because then when I get to
an event I don't get overcharged with adrenalin. I can be more clear about my
run. We have several off-road trucks that we take to the Badlands Off-Road Park
in Attica, Indiana, and we have a lot of fun with them there. As much as I
travel and as many places as I go, my favorite place to go on an off weekend is
home, I just like to be home.
What is your greatest memory as a Monster Jam truck driver?
Honestly it is the simple stuff for me. I was able to make my childhood
dreams come true. I am able to drive a Monster Jam truck and compete nationally
and make a living at it. To do it for so many years, that really is my favorite
accomplishment, to be able to spend this much of my life earning a paycheck by
competing in Monster Jam.
you have any pre-show rituals that you run though?
I like to work on my Monster Jam truck a lot. I have the best situation now
that I ever have had. Brandon Lambert is such a huge asset to us and he's
getting better all the time but I still like to do some of the work myself. But
I have more confidence in my crew today than ever before. That's because of
him. Still I feel like I need to still be somewhat hands on. Not so much on the
show weekends, but through the week. I love to bounce ideas off of him and to
get his input and I believe that has made us all better.
you were not competing on the Monster Jam tour, what career path would you
I really don't have any idea. I am a huge drag racing fan. A top fuel
funny car would be something that I'd really like to do, I just love racing.
But I love competing more than anything, I love being a competitor. I love to
win but it’s cool when you get motivation from losing too. Losing will
motivate you more than winning.
What's your favorite food?
What's your favorite movie?
I don't really go to the movies and if I watch one at home I usually fall
What's your favorite television show?
I love to watch Monster Jam. I really do. It's really a great tool for me
because I get to see what other Monster Jam trucks and mine do.
What's your favorite color?