Roanoke Civic Center
Roanoke Civic Center
January 27-28, 2012
Friday Night: Grave Digger
Saturday 2PM: War Wizard
Saturday 7:30pm: Superman
Friday Night: Grave Digger
Saturday 2PM: Grave Digger
Saturday 7:30pm: Grave Digger
Monster Jam® Trucks: including Grave Digger® driven by Pablo Huffaker, El Toro Loco® driven by Aaron Basl, Advance Auto Parts Grinder℠ driven by Nicole Johnson, Superman driven by Sean Duhon, Predator, Pouncer, and War Wizard driven by Randy Moore!
I would have to say that in my 14+ years of being involved with Advance Auto Parts Monster Jam, the fans here in Roanoke, VA were without a doubt the WILDEST bunch I have ever been a witness to. From the pre-show festivities all the way through the final competition, the Service Is Our Best Part Freestyle. The raucous crowd spent half the night on their feet throwing their fists in the air. Consequently, the drivers were witness to this as well and absolutely drove accordingly.
Starting in the Advance Auto Parts Monster Jam Wheelie Contest, early on leaders, Superman driven by Sean Duhon, along with War Wizard driven by Randy Moore, had control of the “hot seat.” Then the final 2 trucks were ready to hit the floor. In doing so, new driver to the Advance Auto Parts Grinder team, Nicole Johnson took the lead and found herself assuming the top spot. As usual, one truck was left and the hot seat was starting to get real warm. Pablo Huffaker & Grave Digger hit the floor, or should I say car stacks, and barely came away with the win scoring 1 more point than Nicole. Score the first win of the night for Grave Digger.
The track was now set for what could be our first “Double Down” winner of the night. Advance Auto Parts Monster Jam racing was next on the schedule. Well, that’s EXACTLY what happened. Pablo & Grave Digger worked their way through the bracket and it may not have been as easy as it appeared and even closer than he would’ve liked, but in the end it was Grave Digger with the first Double Down win of the weekend.
FINALLY FREESTYLE BABY!!! And that’s what everyone was chanting!! In a repeat of the 1st two competitions, Nicole Johnson and Grinder nailed the highest score with a 24. Of course Pablo and Grave Digger were scheduled to hit the floor next and boy did the pair! Blistering the floor and taking the (3rd) win of the night and the clean sweep, Pablo couldn’t even control his excitement during the winning interview.
With a fantastic crowd and 2 more shows remaining, theres only more fun to be had!
By Scott RehnSaturday 2PM
Saturday afternoon and once again the Roanoke crowd surprised the heck out of me with their raucous responses to the performances of this weekend’s competitors. It was very obvious early on that THIS was going to be a fun afternoon for EVERYONE fans & drivers alike.
Starting with the Advance Auto Parts Monster Jam Wheelie Contest you could just feel the excitement throughout the Roanoke Civic Center. Sean Duhon & Superman found themselves on the hot seat and happened to be relaxing there for quite some time. That was until the last truck was scheduled to come out. Pablo Huffaker & Grave Digger were able to do the unthinkable and not only win the Wheelie contest, but counting last night’s event, Pablo & Grave Digger made it 4 wins in 4 times in competition.
That streak was quickly interrupted when the Advance Auto Parts Monster Jam Racing part of the afternoon began. After Grave Digger & Pablo were defeated in the 2nd round, it was all Randy Moore & War Wizard from that point on. A very surprised Moore made it out of his monster truck for the winning interview and was all smiles and pretty much in disbelief he had made it that far and to say nothing of winning the Advance Auto Parts Monster Jam UTI Racing Championship. It was great to see what is probably the most colorful monster truck on the circuit, perched on the top spot in racing.
In a near replay of last night’s Advance Auto Parts Monster Jam Freestyle, Sean Duhon & Superman assumed the “hot seat” for some time, but the last 3 trucks all had something to say about that. Aaron Basl & El Toro Loco grabbed it away for just a moment. Next up was Nicole Johnson and Advance Auto Parts Grinder. She then took the “hot seat” away from Basl. Finally, it was Pablo & Grave Digger’s turn for their shot at the 60 second clock. With the obstacles all but flattened and the dirt jumps all but torn up, Pablo was STILL able to find a way to not only freak out the fans, but also steal away the “hot seat” and the win from Nicole Johnson & Grinder. Not a bad weekend’s effort when you consider that Pablo and Grave Digger have now won five contests out of six.
One show remaining for the weekend and what a way to end it, either with a record setting run or a monumental streak ending effort. In a few hours we’ll know either way.
By Scott RehnSaturday 7:30pm
I said it once, I’ll say it AGAIN! Roanoke Advance Auto Parts Monster Jam fans you are absolutely incredible! On the final night of competition, which also happened to be in front of a SOLD OUT crowd at the Roanoke Civic Center, the fans witnessed unbelievable racing action, fender tearing wheelies, & one awe inspiring freestyle performance after another! Even the tech crew, floor personnel, & the FELD office staff were entertained!
Coming into tonight’s event, Pablo Huffaker & Grave Digger had won 5 out of 6 different contests over the last 2 shows. He was seriously shooting for the “trifecta” tonight. He was well on his way starting with the Wheelie contest. The closest competitor was Sean Duhon & Superman with a 24. To his credit though, it just wasn’t quite enough as Grave Digger and Pablo DRILLED a 27 for another win. That made it 6 wins out of 7 chances for the weekend.
Heading into the Advance Auto Parts Monster Jam racing portion of the evening, it was rather interesting watching and kind of listening to Sean Duhon. He made a rather “quiet” statement earlier in the day that he likes to let his “right foot do the talking for him.” Well, not only did he succeed in what he meant to do, his right foot SCREAMED all the way into the Monster Jam UTI Championship Finals and ultimately the win. Believe it or not, the guy SMILED! Ya know, one of those goofy ear to ear grins that couldn’t hide his enthusiasm of what he and his Superman truck just accomplished. Not only that, but he stepped in front of Pablo Huffaker's attempt at notching another win. Score for Pablo & Grave Digger are 6 wins out of 8 chances.
It was a long weekend with 2 shows today, but you wouldn’t know it with the vitality and energy that the trucks and drivers were hitting the track with tonight. It all came down to Advance Auto Parts Monster Jam Freestyle. Will Sean Duhon & Superman “Double Down” for the first time this weekend, will Pablo Huffaker and Grave Digger pick back up from where they left off in last night’s freestyle, or even yet, will someone new come along and claim the championship in the last event of the weekend? As usual, in just a few minutes, we would find out. The competition was absolutely fierce as 3 trucks were tied for 3rd having all scored a 23. Finishing 2nd in freestyle was Randy Moore & War Wizard, but in the end and in dynamic fashion and taking his 7th win in 9 chances this weekend, was Pablo Huffaker and Grave Digger. His freestyle was, well, simply put, OFF THE HOOK! Las Vegas Advance Auto Parts Monster Jam World Finals beware, if Pablo Huffaker makes another appearance in 2012, he has to be tagged as a favorite there. Again, we’ll find that out in just a few weeks. Keep up with ALL our trucks and drivers on www.MonsterJam.com. We’ll see everyone on down the road at the next Advance Auto Parts Monster Jam event coming to a city near you.
By Scott Rehn