2012 Is Becoming The Year Of The Double Down at Advance Auto Parts Monster Jam
Feb 7, 2012
Throughout 2011 it was a common sight at Advance Auto Parts Monster Jam® events I was involved in to see Technical Official Steve Sowa walk to the stage after the final freestyle event of the night and grab the huge Double Down trophy and put it in the supply trailer heading to the next event because no driver had been able to win the coveted piece of hardware that can only be claimed by taking first place in both racing and freestyle on the same night. Fast forward to this season and it is becoming common practice to place an order for a fresh Double Down trophy for the next week because one team after another has claimed a Double Down during the first five weeks of 2012.
What is really interesting about this run on Double Down trophies is that it is not happening because of one team’s dominance. We did see all three Maximum Destruction® units Double Down on the same night a week ago, but several drivers have tasted that pinnacle of success at events so far this season. Two more stadium Double Down trophies were earned last weekend when Alex Blackwell won both racing and freestyle driving Wolverine in Houston and Son-uva Digger’s Ryan Anderson turned the trick in Vancouver.
Last year it was obvious that all of the new talent in the sport and the parity among the teams at the top level was making winning that prestigious award extremely difficult. If anything the parity is even more evident this year despite the huge trophy haul that is underway. It’s just that the balanced playing field is now showing it self differently this year, with one team finding ultimate success one weekend only to see an arch-rival get the same job done the following week.
The best example of this was the run of southern events where Double Down awards were claimed last month. Over the course of 3 straight weeks with line-ups that had several of the same top level superstars battling each other week after week the Double Down trophy was won by three different drivers on three consecutive Saturday nights. Dennis Anderson started that run when he doubled down in his green Grave Digger 30th Anniversary Bad to the Bone body at the Georgia Dome in Atlanta. One week later it was his son Adam powering the Legend to the Double Down on the first of two trips the sport took into Tampa’s Raymond James Stadium. Then the following week, competing against both of the aforementioned Andersons it was Neil Elliott and Maximum Destruction® holding aloft the Double Down trophy in that team’s celebration at the Citrus Bowl in Orlando.
It seems like from week to week a different team is able to put it all together to sweep the victories in these major stadium events only to see an arch-rival turn the tables and claim all the wins somewhere else the following week.
This bonanza of Double Down’s is indicating to me that we are heading toward the most exciting and likely the most unpredictable Advance Auto Parts Monster Jam World FinalsSM ever. When we get to Las Vegas March 23 and 24 for the 13th straight year of crowning two new World Champions at Sam Boyd Stadium the field there is likely to have more different drivers in it who have claimed Double Down victories during the season then we have ever seen before. I guess that is appropriate since the coveted trophy every driver wants to win during the season is named after the incredible Double Down event held on the Friday of each World Finals weekend.
All of this ebb and flow in racing, freestyle, and Double Down triumphs also continues to shake up the weekly Power Rankings, with again this week those Double Down wins having the biggest impact on the movers in the ratings. Last week’s Double Down winners, as expected, make the biggest moves in this week’s Power Rankings: Son-uva Digger’s® Ryan Anderson leaping into a tie for the number one spot with Maximum Destruction®’s Tom Meents, while Blackwell and Wolverine rocket up the charts from 14th last week to number 5 this week.
The others making significant moves up the Power Rankings list for this week all recorded huge wins last Saturday, including reigning World Freestyle Champion Jim Koehler, who’s epic freestyle winning performance in Tampa sees the Avenger driver up to number 7 this week and Bounty Hunter’s Jim Creten actually makes the largest leap this week, up from 17th last time to 9th this week after his victorious night of racing in St. Louis last Saturday.
New to the top 20 this week are El Toro Loco’s® Marc McDonald, who returns to list at number 19, and Monster Mutt Dalmatian’s® Candice Jolly, who claims the 20th slot off her impressive runner-up freestyle performance last Saturday when her spotted puppy finished second only to the red-hot Son-uva Digger® in British Columbia.
Another big slate of action is on tap this weekend, including Ryan’s first test head-to-head with his legendary father this year when Grave Digger® and Son-uva Digger® headline a superstar laden line-up in Miami this coming weekend, an event that will be recorded by the Speed cameras and broadcast during the 2012 Advance Auto Parts Monster Jam® on Speed series.
Click Here To See The Full Powering Rankings List