Advance Auto Parts Monster Jam
March 3, 2012
Saturday Night: Grave Digger The Legend
Saturday Night: Grave Digger The Legend
Monster Jam® Trucks: including Grave Digger® driven by Charlie Pauken, Grave Digger The Legend℠ driven by Adam Anderson, Metal Mulisha driven by Brian Deegan, Maximum Destruction® driven by Kreg Christensen, Advance Auto Parts Grinder℠ driven by Frank Krmel, Superman driven by Sean Duhon, Avenger driven by Jim Koehler, Wrecking Crew driven by Steve Koehler, Brutus driven by Chris Bergeron, Spike driven by Jeff Anderson, Bad Habit driven by Joe Sylvester, War Wizard driven by Randy Moore, Lil' Miss Dangerous is High Maintenance driven by Jocelyn Perrin, Aftershock driven by Bob Robbins, Wolverine driven by Alex Blackwell, and Team Hot Wheels® driven by Dan Evans!
The highly anticipated return of Advance Auto Parts Monster Jam to Ford Field was made obvious by the large and loud crowd that gathered on the first Saturday of March. A new batch of drivers, completely different from the January 14 show, got a chance to meet these fans face to face and a large pit party on the afternoon of the show provided the perfect opportunity.
Before the on-track action could get started, word spread that a qualifying flag was in the building to be awarded. That was only partially true since there were TWO flags to be handed out. NGK rep Mark Sprague did the honors with Chris Bergeron, driver of Brutus, receiving the invitation. The second flag was handed to Brian Deegan, who was on hand to drive the Metal Mulisha truck. This marks the first appearance for both the driver and the truck in the Advance Auto Parts Monster Jam World finals Presented by NGK Spark Plugs. Deegan shares driving duties with Todd LeDuc, who was also on hand for the flag presentation.
The squad of 16 monster trucks set about the business of qualifying for bracket placement. Several drivers were able to post times in the 19 second bracket, but none better than Kreg Christensen’s 19.41 in Maximum Destruction. His time was just a little less than a tenth of a second faster than Adam Anderson in Grave Digger the Legend.
With the number one seed, Maximum Destruction faced Metal Mulisha in round one after that truck was assessed a penalty in qualifying and ended up at the lower spot in the bracket. Maximum Destruction led the charge of first round winners that included War Wizard (who won when both trucks in the race were assessed penalties), Advance Auto Parts Grinder, Grave Digger, Wolverine, Brutus, Hot Wheels and Grave Digger The Legend. Round two saw some excitement when War Wizard rolled after crossing the finish line. The truck suffered a bent bar, but knocking the tire off the bead became a repair that couldn’t be fixed in time for freestyle. The roll came after a loss to Maximum Destruction. Grinder took out Grave Digger when the Bad to the Bone for 30 Years ride went off course after two jumps. Wolverine sent Brutus back to the pits with Grave Digger The Legend doing the same to Hot Wheels. The semi-finals saw fast qualifier Maximum Destruction aced out by Advance Auto Parts Grinder with Grave Digger The Legend ending Wolverine’s run. The UTI Championship Round pitted Grave Digger The Legend against Advance Auto Parts Grinder. A close race went to Grave Digger The Legend.
The turn of events in racing gave Grave Digger The Legend the only opportunity to double down, but there were more than a dozen other trucks who wanted a say in the matter. High Maintenance and Aftershock were the first two to take the floor and each logged a 20 to tie for the early lead. Spike came crashing down in a rollover with only 44 seconds completed and walked away with a 10. Bad Habit became the new leader with an inspired run that posted a 21. Wrecking Crew became the second truck to flip in regulation time. Driver Steve Koehler knew something was wrong, but didn’t come to the hometown to pedal it down. The Olde English “D”, like that used for the Detroit Tigers, was on the roof, but soon on the ground. His score of 13 came due to not completing the time session. Superman became the new leader with a 23, only to be tied by Brutus. The Brutus score came without the benefit of a bonus score since the truck rolled late in regulation. Another truck went top side down when Dan Evans tossed Hot Wheels during bonus time. The new leader had a 25 to give the others a high mark. Metal Mulisha’s solid effort included extra time as a show of appreciation for the fans. Wolverine came out to see if the 25 would go down and flipped right at the end of the bonus time. The effort proved two points short and Dan Evans remained in the hot seat. 2011 Advance Auto Parts Monster Jam Freestyle Champion Jim Koehler and Avenger had a short run, ending up on his lid and gathering an 18. Frank Krmel brought the Advance Auto Parts Grinder out with a definite purpose. He realized that purpose, keeping the truck on all fours and throwing a solid 27 onto the scoreboard. With obvious glee, Krmel pulled off the uniform shirt to reveal a Detroit Tigers jersey, further supporting his favorite baseball and a popular choice with the crowd. Despite a flip at the end, Maximum Destruction couldn’t oust “Tiger Frank” from the top of the heap, falling short by a point. Grave Digger The Legend was thinking Double Down. During the course of the freestyle, driver Adam Anderson made a save to keep the truck moving. In the bonus time, the truck rolled completely over but Anderson kept digging, putting the truck in a position to drive off. The crowd was wowed and so were the judges, awarding a perfect 5 in the bonus time to go with the 26, giving a total of 31 and naming a new leader. Bad to the Bone for 30 Years Grave Digger was called to the floor. Shortly after the start of the run, a huge cloud of smoke indicated that the full 90 seconds would not be completed. A blown engine brought a 15 and allowed Grave Digger the Legend to record his second stadium double down of the year.
Team USA prevailed over Team Canada in Quad Wars racing.
Fast time – Maximum Destruction – 19.41
Grave Digger The Legend – 19.50
Wolverine – 19.56
Grave Digger – 19.60
Advance Auto Parts Grinder – 19.66
Brutus – 20.15
Avenger – 20.25
Superman – 20.31
War Wizard – 20.50
Hot Wheels – 20.75
Bad Habit – 21.34
Aftershock – 21.50
Wrecking Crew – 21.53
High Maintenance – 23.75
Spike – 24.72
Metal Mulisha – 25.28 (includes 5 second penalty)
Round One – Maximum Destruction eliminated Metal Mulisha, War Wizard outgunned Superman, Advance Auto Parts Grinder defeated Aftershock, Grave Digger wiped out Wrecking Crew, Wolverine slid by High Maintenance, Brutus dismissed Bad Habit, Hot Wheels charged back to defeat Avenger, Grave Digger The Legend silenced Spike
Round Two – Maximum Destruction pushed back War Wizard, Advance Auto Parts Grinder shot by Grave Digger, Wolverine topped Brutus, Grave Digger The Legend cooled Hot Wheels
Semi-finals – Advance Auto Parts Grinder upset Maximum Destruction, Grave Digger The Legend took out Wolverine
UTI Championship Round – Grave Digger The Legend won over Advance Auto Parts Grinder
Advance Auto Parts Service is our Best Part Freestyle
High Maintenance – 6-7-6-1 = 20
Aftershock – 6-6-6-2 = 20
Spike – 3-3-4 = 10
Bad Habit – 7-6-6-2 = 21
Wrecking Crew – 4-5-4 = 13
Superman – 7-7-7-2 = 23
Brutus – 7-8-8 = 23
Hot Wheels – 7-8-7-3 = 25
Metal Mulisha – 7-6-7-2 = 22
Wolverine – 7-7-7-2 = 23
Avenger – 5-6-7 = 18
Advance Auto Parts Grinder – 8-7-8-4 = 27
Maximum Destruction – 8-8-8-2 = 26
Grave Digger The Legend – 9-8-9-5 = 31
Grave Digger – 5-5-5 = 15
By Larry Jewett