Monster Jam Thrills Return To Tradition Rich Hampton Coliseum

By Scott Douglass
Oct 30, 2012

There is no doubt that some of the most supportive fans ever for Advance Auto Parts Monster Jam® turn out every year, multiple times each year, at the tradition rich Hampton Coliseum. The Virginia fan base is so strong that the Hampton Coliseum hosts Monster Jam events twice annually, with the second action packed weekend of monster excitement in 2012 coming up November 9th and 10th. If past trips to Hampton are an indication of what’s to come, then get ready for a weekend full of great racing and spectacular freestyle thrills when the superstars return for this annual autumn competition.

As always you can expect thousands of Grave Digger® fans to pack into the Hampton Coliseum with legendary driver Gary Porter bringing his black and green wrecking machine back to that venue for the second time this year. Porter dominated the action when Advance Auto Parts Monster Jam rocked that building in February, powering Grave Digger to the racing championship in all three events that weekend along with taking two of the three freestyle competitions. Only Young Gun Morgan Kane fended off a Grave Digger sweep when he won the weekend’s final freestyle driving Stone Crusher. This will be the final arena event in the United States on the Grave Digger 30th Anniversary Tour and it’s fitting that the celebration takes place in the part of the country where the Grave Digger phenomenon was created some three decades ago. Porter will be a busy man for sure at the Party in the Pits that Saturday before the weekend finale where he will reunite with many fans who have supported the team from its earliest days, many of those super Grave Digger fans now bringing their children to join the legions of Grave Digger fans.

While Porter is back in Hampton for the second time in 2012 this fall event has traditionally seen Randy Brown represent for Team Grave Digger, and Brown has established a real record of excellence there. Looking at the history of this fall event over the past decade has won a combined 15 racing brackets and freestyle competitions there, so Porter will take the baton looking to extend Grave Digger’s exceptional fall record in Hampton. Grave Digger will be challenged by an all-star line-up with possibly the biggest threat to Digger® adding to those win totals coming from Virginia native Steve Sims in Stone Crusher. The World Finals veteran has excelled himself competing in his home state, Sims having 4 racing bracket wins and 4 freestyle titles in the Hampton Coliseum in recent years. As a matter of fact twice in the last three years Stone Crusher has outperformed Grave Digger in Hampton as Sims grabbed both racing victories and one of the two freestyle competition triumphs in both 2009 and 2010, so Stone Crusher certainly will be looking to get the best of Grave Digger again with a huge throng of family, friends, and fans in the home state crowd.

Another team that has seen its share of previous success there is the Advance Auto Parts GrinderSM unit and The People’s Truck will again be flying high on this return to Hampton. Last year John Seasock represented that group and had the Advance Auto Parts Grinder leaving Virginia with yet another victory after Seasock was able to power Grinder to one of the freestyle event championships. This time Frank Krmel get’s the driving assignment and he is really looking forward to thrilling so many fans when he brings his state of the art piece back to Virginia, one of the corporate homes of his sponsor. Fans of the Advance Auto Parts Grinder can get ticket information as well as details on an opportunity to see the truck up close the day before the event by checking the upcoming events section of monsterjam.com. Several trucks will be on display for fans to get an extra up close look in advance of the events.

Getting back to the history of this annual November stop for Advance Auto Parts Monster Jam in the Hampton Coliseum while Grave Digger tops the win total over the years here and Randy Brown has been the most successful driver in past fall competitions in that facility several other top name drivers have put their names on the winners list for this yearly throw down including Scott Hartsock in Gunslinger, Neil Elliott in Maximum Destruction®, and last year Ryan Anderson in Son-uva Digger®. It’s clear that the fans in Hampton have been treated to great performances each autumn by some of the biggest names in the games and the 2012 edition of Advance Auto Parts Monster Jam in the Hampton Coliseum will follow suit and will be sure to add more exciting chapters to that book of Hampton Monster Jam tradition.

One more piece of Hampton history that’s worth noting involves the aforementioned Randy Brown. Earlier I pointed out that Brown tops the winners list and has driven Grave Digger to 15 racing and freestyle wins in the history of the fall Hampton event, but Brown actually has a total of 16 wins over the years of November Monster Jam action in Hampton. You see back in 2002 Brown won one of the racing events that November weekend but then he was driving his Pure Adrenalin machine back before he joined the Grave Digger team. That weekend Brown rocked Hampton and took home one of the racing victories which actually denied a sweep for, you guessed it, Team Grave Digger. Former Digger driver Scott Pontbriand had Grave Digger taking the wins in the other race and both freestyles back in 2002. Maybe that was another reason Brown was recruited to come over to the Grave Digger side the following year.

Years of great action with incredible fans who pour into that facility on a twice a year basis make Hampton one of those special places that the superstars of Advance Auto Parts Monster Jam all love to see on their schedule and are always ready to raise the bar to try and add their names to that list of excellence, that group of winners who have come out on top in the Hampton Coliseum. This year’s line-up, which also includes the likes of Whit Tarlton in Monster Mutt®, is ready to head to Virginia to bring another incredible weekend of memorable Monster Jam thrills to some of the sport’s most incredible fans, many of whom have been packing in to Hampton to see their favorite superstars since the earliest days of the sport.

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