January 15, 2011
Saturday 7:30PM: El Toro Loco
Saturday 7:30PM: Grave Digger
Monster Jam® Trucks: including Grave Digger® driven by Chad Tingler, Blue Thunder®, Maximum Destruction® driven by Kreg Christensen, Batman driven by Norm Miller, El Toro Loco® driven by Marc McDonald, Monster Mutt® driven by Joe Miller, Avenger driven by Jim Koehler, Wrecking Crew driven by Steve Koehler, Brutus driven by Chris Bergeron, Spike Unleashed driven by Rich Helgendorf, Obsession driven by Jeff Jone, Obsessed driven by Rick Swanson, Time Flys driven by Kelvin Ramer, Terminator driven by Gary Schott, Shocker driven by Pat Gerber, and McGruff driven by Rod Wood!
Tonight we kicked off the first of several events in one the very best areas of the country for the high flying action of Advance Auto Parts Monster Jam. Angels Stadium of Anaheim will once again host three shows within the first two months of the year. With the incredible level of fan support here in southern California, we wanted to ensure that we had no less than sixteen trucks for the performance.
Once the trucks entered the track, we went directly to racing. Tonight’s track was a unique design that got its start right here in the stadium – no doubt the reason it’s been labeled “Anaheim Style” racing. It begins on top of a massive tabletop in the center of the track, and contains several sharp turns to bring the trucks over the same tabletop, but in the opposite direction, in order to cross the Advance Auto Parts Finish line. Marc McDonald was an early favorite based upon how effectively he’s been racing since taking over El Toro Loco. The improvement in Avenger’s racing was obvious at last year’s World Finals, and after having received his Qualifier Flag tonight for the upcoming Advance Auto Parts Monster Jam World Finals presented by NGK Spark Plugs, Jim looked to be unstoppable. We knew that Tingler in Digger would be one of the fastest, and he did not disappoint his fans. The surprise of the night in racing would be the Watsonville, CA. truck Time Flys. Kelvin took out two of the biggest names in the business en route to the semis.
Monster Jam Racing Round 1
El Toro Loco def Spike, Obsessed Advances with a Bye run (Monster Mutt unable to run), Shocker def Blue Thunder, Grave Digger def McGruff, Avenger def Obsession, Batman def Wreckng Crew, Time Flys def Brutus, Maximum Destruction def Terminator.
Monster Jam Racing Round 2
El Toro Loco def Obsessed, Grave Digger def Shocker, Avenger def Batman, Time Flys def Max D.
Monster Jam Racing Semi Finals
El Toro Loco def Grave Digger, Avenger def Time Flys.
UTI Championship Round: El Toro Loco def Avenger
In tonight’s Quad Wars, first time sponsor/participant Team Mexico was successful with an early round victory. Team USA tightened up the competition on the challenging “figure 8” style track by taking the victory in the second round. With it even going into the Finals, Team Mexico kept it close through the final turn before Team USA made a pass on the inside of the final turn to take the checkered flag.
“Service Is Our Best Part” Advance Auto Parts Monster Jam Freestyle Competition began immediately following the intermission. With sixteen trucks running a :90 second regulation plus a potential :30 Bonus period, you have to get right into it. Actually… make that eighteen trucks – with the NFL playoffs causing a rescheduling for the Atlanta show, Captain’s Curse and Madusa were both redirected to the west coast for the weekend. Each made a brief special appearance during the first half of the show, and it was determined that both would participate fully in Freestyle. This turned out to be a great decision for the Anaheim fans, as both had runs that had this crowd on its feet, and landed them in the Hot Seat.
The second year driver in Mutt, Joe Miller, came out strong to start the competition and take the Hot Seat. The huge double car stack on the first base line of the stadium claimed two of the next three trucks. If the timing was just a bit off, so too would be a few parts. Spike and Obsession both found this out the hard way, and both said goodbye to a front tire when they landed. Later in the competition, the same obstacle would claim Time Flys at the end of regulation to what had to be one of Kelvin’s best ever freestyles. Kelvin took the dangerous obstacle straight on, and put up some of the biggest air of the night before snapping off his front tire on impact.
The next driver to claim the Hot Seat was Rod Wood, with a score that earned him a tie, and a share of the seat. Joe and Rod held the seat until Madusa took the track. The bar seemed to rise as the two-time World Champion fearlessly crossed the track from every direction. From this point, the competition was an all-out war. Brutus and Avenger both brought the very best of Team Scream with high flying, nonstop action. Brutus edged his teammate due to Koehler’s deductions from losing power three different times. Up next Toro ended a great regulation run with a huge cartwheel up and over the 13’ ramp in the center of the track. The competition would end on the highest possible level as the classic rivalry was on. Max D’s strategy centered on lining up the biggest ramps, and pushing the pedal to the floor. Digger’s approach was a bit simpler… just keep the pedal to the floor at all times. Both trucks fearlessly cross-threaded the track from every angle, and both left everything on the track for the fans. In the end, it was Digger’s dramatic highlight inspiring crash ending that pushed the fans, and the scores, over the edge.
Monster Mutt: 20 + (Bonus 3) = 2
Terminator: 16 + (Bonus 2) = 18
Wrecking Crew: 14
McGruff: 19 + (Bonus 4) = 23
Blue Thunder: 12
Shocker: 15 + (Bonus 2) = 17
Time Flys: 22
Batman: 19 + (Bonus 3) = 22
Madusa: 24 + (Bonus 4) = 28
Brutus: 25 + (Bonus 4) = 29
Avenger: 20 + (Bonus 5) = 25
El Toro Loco: 25
Captain’s Curse: 27 + (Bonus 3) = 30
Maximum Destruction: 29 + (Bonus 4) = 33
Grave Digger: 30 + (Bonus 5) = 35
We’ll be back in Anaheim for the second Advance Auto Part Monster Jam of the season in two weeks. We’ll right back here January 29th!!
Announcer, Michael Williams