Team Max-D & Meents Enjoying Their 10th Anniversary Celebration
Jul 2, 2013
Continuing my series on the tenth anniversary season of Max-DSM and a “Decade of Destruction” in Monster Jam®, this is the second piece in a three part series with 11-time Monster Jam World FinalsSM Champion Tom Meents on the past, present, and future of arguably the sport’s most accomplished and decorated Monster Jam team. Last week we looked back at the past 10 years of excellence. This week we focus on the present, on this yearlong celebration of an incredible ten years of spectacular thrills and unparalleled accomplishments that the Max-D team has provided to Monster Jam fans all over the world.
Half way through this year commemorating an incredible decade for Max-D, Meents says that for his entire team 2013 has really been a special year. “It has. Seeing the fans and their reaction,” Meents exclaimed. “I think the coolest part, more so this year than ever before, is that the fans have been bringing their photographs from ten years ago, even 20 years ago when I started my driving career. They’ve been bringing them out with them to the shows, they know it’s a “Decade of Maximum Destruction”, a yearlong celebration and it is really cool to see the fans bring all of those old photos back from when they were little kids and they got their picture made with me back then, they bring them back now and that is really special.” I’ve seen several of those moments during the Monster Jam Party in the Pits and it has been easy to see how much it has meant to Tom that his fans have kept those pictures for a decade or more and they’re still coming back to see him again and to delight in seeing him do what he loves to do - thrill those fans.
Being able to thrill those fans, to keep piling up wins, has been tougher than ever in 2013. A look at the season statistics shows that Meents has not compiled the volume of victories that we’ve seen during past years, but after some first quarter struggles there was Tom standing tall in Las Vegas after winning the World Freestyle Championship to extend his all-time record of world titles to eleven. “I say it every year; the competition is at an all time high. It’s higher now than ever,” Meents explained. “You know we have had some truck trouble this year, for instance we had to fight through some planetary issues, you know stuff was breaking at the wrong time. But I have an incredible team, by far the best team that I have ever had of guys working at the shop and working on the road. We’ve got a lot of those problems solved now. It actually took up until the Monster Jam World Finals to get the proper parts in there and when we got to Las Vegas we had them in there, and they are the same parts that are in there now. We did the Monster Jam World Finals without any issues; from there we went to Green Bay and Moline and on to the Path of Destruction without those issues coming back. You know it’s half man, half machine, and they definitely both have to show up to be successful in Monster Jam.”
This year celebrating Max-D’s 10th is a global celebration. All across the US and Canada Max-D has been rocking the house, and the same is happening outside of North America on the Monster Jam World Tour. Thousands of Max-D fans turned out to see their hero live during the historic debut of the sport in Abu Dhabi back in May and Team Max-D will be competing in several other countries throughout the rest of this year. Meents marveled about these opportunities, about driving his Monster Jam truck in Abu Dhabi, about the amazing moments that have surpassed his wildest dreams. “Driving in Monster Jam has always been my dream, since I was 10 years old,” Meents admitted. “I never thought that I would truly make that a reality. But I took that dream and rode it all the way to the top. Now I’m having to create new dreams. Even at 45 years old, I’m having to come up with a new dream because the dreams I have already realized have gone so much further than I ever could have imagined they would go.”
Always the innovator, Meents continues not just to pursue more World Championships but to also take the sport to new levels, coming up with Wow moments previously unimaginable. For the past two years that innovation has included the pursuit of the perfect double back flip, and despite not being able to accomplish that last month at Met Life Stadium in suburban New York City, Meents says that he’ll continue trying to nail the double back flip the way he dreams of it being done, and that Max-D fans will continue to experience it with him. “I think that has been the coolest part about it for the Monster Jam fans is that we are learning together, we’re learning it at the shows,” Meents pointed out. “We’re bringing that truck out at the shows. We are not practicing a double at home. We are bringing our practice to the track so that the fans get to see everything, every step of the way. To this point the one at the Monster Jam World Finals in Las Vegas was the best double back flip that I have been able to do to date, and we kept working hard at home and brought it to East Rutherford, New Jersey. And we’re not stopping with that one, there’s more to come. And again, what is so cool is that the fans are along for the ride every step of the way.”
There are still six more months of the Max-D 10th Anniversary and fans in several countries will be a part of the celebration of a “Decade of Maximum Destruction” live, so many more thrills are ahead for Max-D fans as 2013 rolls on. So where does Max-D go in 2014 and beyond? Next week Meents gives us a look ahead to what he sees in the future for Max-D, the sport of Monster Jam, and most importantly to Tom, the Monster Jam fans.