Bari's Adventures - Europe 2012

By Bari Musawwir
Oct 19, 2012

Hey Advance Auto Parts Monster Jam® fans, it has been a few months since the last edition of Bari’s Adventures, but I’m back to bring you a special version from overseas for our International shows in Gothenburg, Sweden and Arhnem, Netherlands!

The first of our two stop tour across the pond took place in Gothenburg at Ullevi Stadium! Once I arrived in Gothenburg from my 12 hour Trans Atlantic journey, which consisted of 3 airline layovers, I was beat and ready to catch some Zzz’s. Despite what I felt, I knew I had to press through and stay up for as long as I could so I could get used to the 6 hour ahead time difference from Eastern Standard Time.  So to pass some time a few of my fellow racers decided to go check out the mall which was right next to our hotel.  We were walking through and discovered some sweet banners advertising the show, just hanging from the ceiling! As we kept walking, we discovered my Monster Jam®truck Spider-Man, parked on display in the middle of the Mall! That was a cool surprise that my crew had planned that I knew nothing about!

It was pretty cool to see the 10,000 pound beast sitting there amongst all the public as they were shopping away!

By now we had worked up and appetite, so we decided to see how much different Pizza Hut is in Sweden versus the United States.  Much to our surprise it was pretty good. After our fill of pizza we decided to take a walk around downtown Gothenburg to check out the local scenery!  We came across a cool boat dock and a park where guys were playing polo on Segways.

After our walk around the city we were exhausted and couldn’t fight back the need for rest any longer! I decided to call it a day and return to the hotel so I could be fresh and ready for race day!

Once race day rolled around I met up with my fellow Young Guns competitor/crew chief for the weekend Becky Mcdonough, to go over some race day set ups for the truck. We ended up going with a softer shock setup due to the less aggressive angle of some of the obstacles! Before we knew it, it was time for the Party in the Pits, where I got to meet some great Advance Auto Parts Monster Jam fans, and I managed to find a few die hard Spider-Man fans with Spider-Man gear!

Once the Party in the Pits was over I was ready to put the pedal to the metal for the first time in Gothenburg! After the power rush introductions to the crowd I was the first racing match up in round one, where I faced off with Chad Fortune in Captain America! In a close race Chad edged me out by half a truck length.  Even though my racing day was short lived, I didn’t feel too bad, because Chad made it all the way to the finals taking out Grave Digger® and Wolverine in the process.  After racing, I set my sites towards freestyle where I wanted to go out and lay down a solid run for the near capacity crowd! I was able to execute all my favorite freestyle moves like some big long distance jumps, a slap wheelie and some dizzying doughnuts! I ended up with a score of 20 as the truck shut off right before bonus time began.

I had a blast in Gothenburg and I owe a big thanks for my crew chief for the weekend Becky, for making sure the truck was 100 percent ready after the last show we did, which had the truck covered in mud!

The next stop on the European Tour was two weeks later in the World Renown Gelredome located in Arnhem, Netherlands!  I drove the crazy bull, El Toro Loco® there last year, but this year I was in town with Spider-Man to be a part of an all new Monster Jam®! On the Friday before show time, I was privileged to meet up with some local middle school kids to show them a quick behind the scenes look at Monster Jam for the morning news! I took them through aspects of the track, the details of the truck and I even took them back in the pits for an exclusive look at all the hard work that our crew members put in!

This years action on the track was intense, but before I tell you about the hot action on the track, I must first show you a few of my amazing Spider-Man fans that came out in full on Spider-Man gear and costumes at the Party in the Pits!

Usually Monster Jam® consists of an every man for himself type battle on the track but, this years show in Arnhem featured two teams of six trucks facing off against each other in four huge scored competitions! Team Marvel versus Team Destruction would do battle in Match Racing, Doughnut Duels, Wheelie Contest and Freestyle Competition! With the winner of each battle receiving one point for their team, this all new Monster Jam proved to be as exciting and competitive as any other team sports! I had the tall task of being matched up with legendary driver Neil Elliott who took over the driving duties for the Monster Mutt® team for the weekend.  I was able to take advantage of the fact that Neil wasn’t in his usual Maximum Destruction® truck, which is completely different from the rear engine, center seat setup of Monster Mutt®

  In the three huge shows during this all new Monster Jam, I was able to take home all three match racing wins, all three Wheelie contest wins, and two out of the three doughnut duel wins and one freestyle win for the team. Monster Mutt® was plagued with mechanical woes after the doughnut duels as doughnuts can wreak havoc on the entire drive train of a monster truck. In exciting fashion Team Marvel was able to take home two of the three overall show wins throughout the weekend! It was really a fun new way to compete in Monster Jam and I hope we can do it again in the future!

A special thanks goes out to my crew in Arnhem Sean and Travis for keeping Spider-Man on the track! Also, I would like to thank Margretha Brouwer-de Vries, Niklas Edlund, and TOPEL'S FOTO for the great action shots! The atmosphere that the fans create in the Gelredome pushes me to drive harder and harder each year we come back! I can’t wait to see what they have in store for us here Next Year!

Speaking of next year the 2013 Advance Auto Parts Monster Jam® season is right around the corner! This is the time of year where teams are getting everything prepared for the upcoming road to the 14th running of the Advance Auto Parts Monster Jam World FinalsSM presented by NGK spark Plugs in Las Vegas! Team Spider-Man has a brand new truck being built to debut at our first stop on the tour in Council Bluffs, Iowa and I cant wait to try it out! It will feature a lower center of gravity, and more suspension travel to soak up those landing when I launch off of a 12 foot tall dirt ramp! For more information on this show visit http://www.monsterjam.com/Events/2013/01/04/Council_Bluffs,_IA/

Until Then, Take Care

Bari Musawwir
2011 Advance Auto Parts Monster Jam® Rookie of the Year
2012 Advance Auto Parts Monster Jam® Young Guns Shootout Champion

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