Home

Advance Auto Parts Monster Jam Rocks America's Great Short Tracks

By Scott Douglass
Aug 6, 2013







The foundation of American motorsports has always been the short track speedways that dot the landscape from ocean to ocean and border to border, and so far this summer several of the premier facilities of that type have seen their stands packed and their fans thrilled as Advance Auto Parts Monster Jam® action has roared onto those dirt and asphalt venues.

This has been an exciting summer at a variety of raceways, several where the sport has been a staple for years along with some awesome additions to the schedule, tradition rich speedways that are hosting Monster Jam® trucks for the first time. I’ve had the pleasure of being on hand for three of those thrilling weekends: at Lebanon Valley Speedway in New York and Stafford Speedway in Connecticut, a pair of long time summer staples of Monster Jam that have hosted the superstars for more than two decades, and then last weekend Advance Auto Parts Monster Jam made an amazing debut at the Tony Stewart owned Eldora Speedway in Ohio. At each stop a roster packed with the greatest drivers and most popular trucks in the game have provided non-stop thrills to the thousands and thousands of Monster Jam fans on hand for each exciting round of racing and freestyle competition.

These grass roots facilities are the backbone of American motorsports whether we’re talking NASCAR, World of Outlaws, or Advance Auto Parts Monster Jam. For so many of the greatest racers in the world their careers began on this country’s popular short tracks, be they dirt or asphalt, and for Monster Jam many longtime fans got their first taste of the unique thrills that Monster Jam provides at their local speed plant.

When you analyze these recent trips to West Lebanon, NY, Stafford Springs, CT, and New Weston, OH, the success of each Monster Jam there comes as no surprise. With the sport continuing to expand the schedule to new venues worldwide and to attract more and more fans year after year, Monster Jam is a great inclusion on the schedules of these successful short tracks. These three speedways are among the most revered in the country, each incredibly successful and these well run facilities continue to be great places for fans to enjoy their summertime Monster Jam style. Howard Commander at Lebanon Valley and the Arute family at Stafford have long been consider among the best of the best in the business of short track race promotion. Eldora was made famous under the promotional wizardry of Earl Baltes, and now that the speedway is the property of NASCAR champion Stewart his stellar team at the legendary Ohio dirt track is continuing to raise the bar, not content to rest on past laurels. It seems appropriate that as these great facilities stay at the top of their industries that at each locale this summer those fans at every stop have seen some of the greatest Monster Jam action in their history.

This recent run of short track speedway Advance Auto Parts Monster Jam events has been a big hit with the fans for sure. Just check the Monster Jam page on Facebook and other social media and you’ll see the rave reviews from so many fans who attended one or more of these amazing competitions. Many longtime fans have gushed about how this year’s racing and freestyle at Lebanon Valley and Stafford were the best they’ve ever seen there, and last weekend’s debut at Eldora received similar high praise from so many fans.

The incredible line-ups we’ve seen assembled this summer have all delivered at the Monster Jam World FinalsSM level we’ve come to expect from them, another reason for all of the high praise from fans in the grandstands. Eleven time World Champion Tom Meents has taken his 10th Anniversary Decade of Maximum Destruction® tour to each of the aforementioned race tracks and has been burning it up at each stop. Dennis Anderson wheeled Grave Digger® at West Leb and Eldora while another World Champ, Charlie Pauken rocked Stafford, so Grave Digger fans were delighted by incredible runs from their heroes all along the way. Reigning Monster Jam World Racing Champion Adam Anderson had Grave Digger the Legend® at peak performance throughout the summer, and last week at Eldora his brother Ryan was incredible behind the wheel of Son-uva Digger® and it was clear how appreciative so many fans were to see all three of the Grave Digger team trucks battling the likes of Max-DSM so intensely all weekend.

So many other World Finals caliber trucks and drivers have been at their best on this amazing summer tour with the likes of Linsey Weenk and the Lucas Oil Crusader®, Alex Blackwell and Captain’s Curse®, Damon Bradshaw in Monster Energy, Chuck Werner representing for Team El Toro Loco®, the Monster Mutt® Dalmatian team, and many others providing thrill after thrill and spending lots of time with their fans at pit parties, autograph sessions, and even joining their fans in the stands after so many amazing freestyle runs. At Stafford Speedway the inclusion of a pair of wildly popular northeast based teams, Pat Summa’s Thrasher and Greg Winchenbach’s Crushstation were big hits as well with the fans both on and off the track.

These are exciting times for Monster Jam as so many annually sold out events keep getting better and are complemented on the schedule by exciting new markets and venues coming on board. The annual return to Arnhem, Holland, is just around the corner, and this year that extravaganza will be followed by Monster Jam’s debut “down under” for the highly anticipated debut of Monster Jam in Sydney, Australia. And nestled right there on the fall schedule as well is another first time run at a great American short track, when Advance Auto Parts Monster Jam competes at the home of Knoxville Nationals, popular Knoxville Speedway in Iowa next month.

So many opportunities are still on the circuit in 2013 for fans to see the greatest superstars in Monster Jam competes across the globe, and now is the time to be getting your tickets and making your plans to bring the whole family out to catch the thrills live that only Monster Jam can provide.

Read Past Columns