Superstars Ready To Shine In Minneapolis This Weekend

By Scott Douglass
Nov 27, 2012

An incredible line-up of Advance Auto Parts Monster Jam® superstars heads to Minneapolis this coming Saturday for the annual fall event in the tradition rich Metrodome, a facility that has hosted some of the sport’s most spectacular action for decades. Each year this event serves as both a beginning and an end. This year, as in most years since the Monster Jam® trucks first invaded the home of the NFL’s Minnesota Vikings, this Saturday night’s event will be the final major stadium competition of the 2012 calendar year. For the huge roster competing it is one more chance to add to this year’s victory total, one more chance to thrill tens of thousands of fans live with the Speed cameras rolling to capture every action packed moment. While this extravaganza puts a wrap on Monster Jam 2012 it also serves as a preview for the busy first quarter of 2013. With just one month to go before the start of a New Year full of events packing venues all over the world this December trip to Minneapolis has been viewed by many really as the start of a new season of thrills, so even though the calendar says that this is the end of one Monster Jam year the atmosphere is more like opening day for a new season, and that excitement for the new campaign will be felt by the competitors and fans alike this weekend.

The Metrodome has normally hosted multiple Advance Auto Parts Monster Jam events yearly; still this December trek to Minneapolis has its own unique tradition, mainly due to that season opener attitude that always surrounds this particular annual stop on the circuit. When you look at the many incredible battles and sensational moments that have been a part of this battle over the years one thing that jumps off of the stat page is that the big guns bring their “A” game into this dome. A look at the winners list from past autumn throw downs in the Metrodome is dominated by Monster Jam’s biggest headliners.

Last year’s event actually upset the apple cart in that regard as then 22 year old Morgan Kane shocked some of the most accomplished racers in the game when he drove Monster Magic to the racing championship there and the youth movement continued later that night when Son-uva Digger® driver Ryan Anderson, also just 22 years old at that moment, won a freestyle competition that was full of scintillating moves and WOW moments. The history here though shows that a night when the Young Guns have broken through against the most established prime time players in the game has been the exception rather than the rule. Examining the past ten years of racing results here shows that before Kane and Monster Magic’s breakthrough performance a year ago this is a racing bracket that only three drivers have been able to win during that span. Looking at the Championship Round Racing winners over the last 10 years at this event that group is topped by Dennis Anderson and Grave Digger® with 4 championship racing trophies claimed at this competition, Grave Digger taking home the hardware in 2010, 2009, 2003 and 2002, Next up on the list, probably to no one’s surprise, is ten-time World Champion Tom Meents in Max-DSM with three Championship Round race wins that came, interestingly enough, only in even numbered years: 2008, 2006, and 2004. Looking ahead to this weekend, it seems to me that 2012 is also an even numbered year. Just saying. So that’s 7 wins in the last 10 years here claimed by Grave Digger and Max-D. The only driver other that Kane last year to break Dennis and Tom’s stranglehold on the Minneapolis racing trophy is Linsey Weenk. Now behind the wheel of the Lucas Oil Crusader, the native Canadian has 2 racing championships at this event. Weenk was standing on the winner’s stage after driving Blue Thunder to the victory here in 2007 and remember that he burst onto the scene with that eye catching winning streak he racked up in 2Xtreme Racing’s Iron Outlaw, and streak included Weenk winning the Championship Race in 2005. That’s pretty simple math: Dennis, Tom, and Linsey have accounted for 9 of the 10 racing bracket wins at this event over the past decade.

Freestyle performances have been breathtaking year after year, and again the hardware has gone back to Kill Devil Hills, North Carolina and Paxton, Illinois more often than not as Grave Digger has won freestyle here 3 times and Max-D has claimed the trophy twice. The Double Down trophy has been won three times at this event: Anderson has won it twice in Grave Digger (2010 and 2002) while Meents took the Double Down trophy in Max-D in 2006. The only other driver who has won racing and freestyle here is Weenk, but those wins came in different years.

Even though we’ve seen more of those coveted Double Down trophies taken home in 2012 than ever before this Saturday night’s Double Down is sure to be as tough to win as any all year. To claim that special trophy that can only be won if the same team wins both racing and freestyle this Saturday will require maybe the greatest effort of the year when you look at the World Finals caliber field that will compete in the Metrodome. An amazing total of 20 Advance Auto Parts Monster Jam World Championships have been won by the Monster Jam drivers in this line-up. That group includes the winningest champion of all time, Meents with 10, the only female champ Madusa, and the youngest World Champion ever, Adam Anderson. The line-up also feature the two reigning World Champions, two-time defending racing champion Meents in Max-D and current World Freestyle Champion Cam McQueen in Northern Nightmare. You can’t stack a line-up any more than this one.

When it comes to the race bracket while the competition should be wide open with this level of prime time players ready to go you have to believe that the biggest target may be on Grave Digger. Sure, Max-D is the current racing champion and everyone expects a Minny winner at some point will have to handle Max-D, but when you look at the stadium performances of the top teams in 2012 it is clear that in his 30th year driving Grave Digger Dennis Anderson has never been better. Anderson and Grave Digger’s 2012 record in stadium Chicago style oval racing is simply impressive. In rounds of racing on those tracks during this calendar year Anderson has won 39 races and lost just 4, an amazing winning percentage of 91%. Anderson has driven Grave Digger in 11 events on Chicago style stadium ovals this year and he won the racing championship trophy in 7 of them, and he was the fastest qualifier in 4 of the 8 events where the monster jam trucks qualified. It has been one of the greatest year’s ever on the race track for the Grave Digger team, and that’s saying something. As successful as Dennis’ racing season has been one thorn in his side has come from the Anderson family tree. Remember that the last time Grave Digger and Dennis raced on this type of track his 22 race oval track winning streak was snapped by his son Adam in the Legend at Met Life Stadium in East Rutherford, New Jersey, the 2nd time Adam defeated his legendary father in 2012. We’ll be watching to see if an Anderson family rubber match for the year happens in Minny since Dennis and Adam have each won twice against their family member this year.

So many stories and incredible competition are set for another awesome night of thrills that only Advance Auto parts Monster Jam can provide this Saturday night in Minneapolis.

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