Advance Auto Parts Monster Jam Magic At Lebanon Valley Speedway

By Scott Douglass
Jul 16, 2013

This week’s column comes to you from beautiful West Lebanon, New York, following the second amazing Advance Auto Parts Monster Jam® event of the four night run at historic Lebanon Valley Speedway and after seeing not only the incredible performances of a line-up stacked with some of the sport’s biggest superstars but witnessing the excitement of the fans who have packed the grandstands it’s clear that there is something magical about this unique race track and this annual, much anticipated return of Monster Jam to West Lebanon.

There is no other venue on the annual Monster Jam® schedule anywhere in the world where there are four consecutive nights of competition, and those events are not on the weekend, with the fans filling the speedway for Monster Jam events Sunday night through Wednesday night. That unique schedule works because of the fans that have turned out in big numbers for more than two decades each summer when the 10,000 pound Monster Jam trucks roar back into West Leb.

Dennis Anderson is a popular fixture at Lebanon Valley Speedway Monster Jam each summer and he is back again in 2013 spending time with thousands who have supported him for years and who are almost like family to him. The Grave Digger® creator first appeared at this speedway in 1987 and here he is 26 years later not just still competing, but still at the top of his game, having driven Grave Digger to the racing win on Sunday night, then bringing another capacity crowd to its feet with a sensational Digger freestyle that won that part of the competition on Monday night.

Anderson talks at length about his love for this speedway, the Monster Jam history there, and of course those loyal fans, many of whom were there for his debut in ’87 and are back to see the action this year. He points out what pride he has that not only is Grave Digger still giving those fans what they want every year at the racetrack but he is still in the game at a time when his son is providing some of the stiffest competition for him this time in West Lebanon. Reigning World Racing Champion Adam Anderson has Grave Digger the Legend® rocking the house as well and it was Adam who claimed the win in the championship round race at Monday night’s West Leb showdown.

This line-up is so incredible but that’s not a surprise to the fans that make their plans each summer to make sure they are ready for the return of the monsters to Lebanon Valley Speedway. Traditionally this has been a Monster Jam that virtually every superstar wants to be a part of and a win here is special, which was really in evidence as Adam delighted in his racing triumph on Monday reliving childhood memories of being at that track watching his Dad and now there he was basking in the cheers of the crowd there.

Both current World Champions are on the roster at Lebanon Valley Speedway this year and both have shown these loyal fans, many of whom were in Las Vegas for this year’s Monster Jam World FinalsSM, their World Championship pedigree, with Adam Anderson and the Legend backing up the racing world title with Monday’s racing win in West Lebanon, and the 2013 World Freestyle Champion, Tom Meents and Max-DSM having won the opening freestyle competition in front of the standing room only crowd Sunday night there. Meents says that while it has been a few years since he has competed at Lebanon Valley Speedway his return is even more special this time as his team celebrates their 10th anniversary and a “Decade of Destruction” at a facility where he has turned in so many great runs in years past. The Max-D fans are extremely visible in the Lebanon Valley grandstands many bringing some really well done homemade signs with them and holding them in the air proudly to show their love and support for the only 11-time Monster Jam World FinalsSM Champion.

Led by Max-D and Meents’ 11 world titles the field in West Lebanon this year represents a whopping total of 19 Monster Jam World Championships as this tradition rich event has been made bigger and better than ever, not just with such a stellar line-up of superstars, but with some major additions of stadium freestyle obstacles to the track that have provided what many long time fans there have called the best freestyle competition ever at that track.

Lebanon Valley Speedway has a national reputation for excellence in the short track racing industry and track promoter Howard Commander is a respected leader throughout that industry. It’s one of the country’s most successful racing operations. So it makes sense that this racetrack and the worldwide phenomenon known as Monster Jam are such a perfect match. Monster Jam at Lebanon Valley Speedway is simply magic. It has been that way for more than two decades, and based on how awesome the action is this year and how the fans have packed the stands each night and roared their approval throughout each event it looks like that Monster Jam magic will continue to flourish each summer at Lebanon Valley Speedway.

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