Monster Jam fans have a month long holiday gift coming from Speed Channel, a present that should get fans even more fired up and ready for the start of the 2005 portion of the USHRA Monster Jam season.
Speed Channel is planning on airing a Monster Jam episode every weeknight in December at 6:00 p.m. eastern standard time. So fans can re-live the excitement that made 2004 the greatest monster truck racing and freestyle year ever, and catch any episodes of Monster Jam they may have missed during the year. All of us are thrilled that the network is giving us these bonus opportunities to enjoy the thrills once again that made up the first season of USHRA competition on Speed Channel.
The month of extra television airings should get all fans and teams ready to go when the busiest part of the winter points season begins the weekend of January 8th. The cameras and many of the top teams are scheduled to open the New Year January 8th in what has become one of the sport's highest profile and most popular events, the annual USHRA Monster Jam at the fabulous Georgia Dome in Atlanta. The trip to the Peach State has become a real highlight on the annual schedule, with large, vocal, sold out crowds now the norm in Atlanta. Those fans have fueled the monster drivers to some of their most memorable performances in recent Georgia Dome battles.
While much attention will be focused on Atlanta that first January weekend, monster events will be spreading all across the country. Monster Jam events will invade domes and stadiums all over the continent, and the popular Thunder Nationals circuit will fire back up as well in arenas across the United States and Canada. Make sure that you check the "upcoming events" and "tickets" sections of USHRA.com often to make sure you have the best seats for the dates when the spectacular monster trucks battle closest to you.
Atlanta is still more than a month away, but that doesn't mean the top teams get to rest and prepare for the New Year. Many of them will be heading to the Metrodome in Minneapolis the first weekend of December for a huge Monster Jam in the Twin Cities. I expect the Metrodome "Jam" to be a real forecast event looking ahead to 2005 and the road to the World Finals in Las Vegas. The USHRA Monster Jam at Olympic Stadium in Montreal last month had a combination of big surprises and the big guns rising to the top. Reigning World Champion Dennis Anderson had the Grave Digger in mid season form on the Canadian race course, and Lupe Soza shocked many by earning a berth in the racing finals. Maybe the biggest surprise, though, was Brian Barthel's blistering freestyle performance that deservedly captured the win for Little Tiger. In recent years Barthel, the 2003 racing World Champion, has been considered a much stronger threat to win the race meet than the freestyle competition. The Little Tiger team may have served notice that they will be players for both the racing and freestyle crowns in 2005.
It is clear that while Anderson and Tom Meents in Maximum Destruction remain the sport's elite, the gap between those two and the other monster truck superstars has narrowed significantly in the last two years. Which means it will be a wide open field when the competition gets the green light in Minneapolis, and it appears we can expect a New Year full of surprises in January when we head to Atlanta, and the monster trucks fan out across North America in a feverish battle to earn one of the coveted 20 slots available at Sam Boyd Stadium for the 2005 Monster Jam World Finals in Vegas.