Monster Jam Fans Thrilled During Awesome Weekend In Florida

By Scott Douglass
Aug 20, 2013

Advance Auto Parts Monster Jam® did it again, as a superb line-up of Monster Jam superstars rocked the BB&T Center in Sunrise, capping a 2013 series of events in Florida that have provided some of the greatest action and excitement seen anywhere. With the fans on their feet and roaring for the incredible performances they witnessed throughout the three events held last weekend in the Ft. Lauderdale area it’s obvious that the special relationship between Monster Jam and the Sunshine State is not only at an all-time high, but the anticipation for even more incredible action coming there in 2014 is already at a zenith.

Speaking of 2014, many of the huge annual events that Monster Jam brings to Florida already have the best seats on sale, and it’s never too early for fans to lock in their tickets to make sure the whole family is ready for the spectacles that are just around the corner.

Last weekend in Sunrise had so many great stories play out and thrilling moments for the fans. To no one’s surprise Grave Digger® and driver Gary Porter rocked the house event after event garnering some of the biggest cheers from the enthusiastic crowd. Grave Digger had an excellent weekend although not the dominating type on the results list that we had seen from Team Grave Digger in recent years. Grave Digger came back to South Florida with an 18 round racing win streak in the BB&T Center, but with an all-star line-up ready to challenge the black and green wrecking machine, it was clear that every competitor looked at Grave Digger and saw a bulls-eye. It would be Monster MuttSM with Whit Tarlton behind the wheel that would end the winning streak when Monster Mutt upset Grave Digger in the racing semifinals of the Friday night event.

Overall for the weekend it was Neil Elliott in the 10th Anniversary Max-DSM paying tribute to a Decade of Maximum Destruction by racking up the most triumphs over the trio of exciting events. For the record Max-D won the Championship Round race in two of the 3 brackets in Sunrise, claimed the top freestyle score in two out of the three performances and came out on top twice in the donut contests held at all three shows. It was Porter and Grave Digger who denied Max-D a weekend sweep in both racing and donuts while 2009 Monster Jam World Freestyle Champion Damon Bradshaw and Monster Energy denied Max-D a freestyle hat trick when Monster Energy won the Friday night freestyle battle in Sunrise.

The final race of the weekend was especially fitting as the Saturday night race bracket provided the match-up so many South Florida fans were hoping for, the renewal of “The Greatest Rivalry in Motorsports”, Grave Digger vs. Max-D in the Championship Round race with Elliott and Max-D coming out on top as the fans were loudly cheering on their favorite from the huge throngs of both Grave Digger fans and Max-D supporters in the house.

The only competition category that Max-D was shut out of a win in Sunrise during the weekend was the wheelie contest because the popular new Monster Jam truck El DiabloSM with impressive rookie driver J. P. Ruggiero swept all three of those contests. Ruggiero, who would celebrate each win on the microphone speaking in both English and Spanish, had the crowd rocking right from the start with his awesome wheelies at each event.

Of course the fans were incredible which we’ve become used to at each and every Advance Auto Parts Monster Jam event. Lots of really well done homemade signs were displayed at every one of the Sunrise shows, something that the drivers really love seeing when they look up in the crowd. As excellent as they all were, no the doubt the most visible signage was supporting Florida native Scott Hartsock in Gunslinger for Saturday night’s weekend finale. Hartsock’s super fans had purchased a series of front row tickets side by side so that throughout the night when you looked up into what we began to call the Gunslinger section you would see the huge block letters on display supporting their hero, each fan holding up one huge letter:


Talking with Scott it was obvious that the support really touched him, that love and enthusiasm from his fans was as thrilling to him as any win on the track.

It was an excellent way to conclude the 2013 I Love Florida Tour, and last weekend in Sunrise has everyone already looking forward to the amazing events that the Sunshine State will have in 2014 when Monster Jam returns live in huge stadiums, awesome arenas and outdoor motorsports complexes from the Gulf Coast to the Atlantic Ocean and from the Florida-Georgia line to South Beach. Don’t wait, start making plans now to catch some of the greatest action anywhere in the Monster Jam world all across Florida in 2014 with tickets already on sale for so many of these incredible annual Monster Jam traditions at MonsterJam.com.

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