Stafford Springs, CT
Stafford Motor Speedway
Advance Auto Parts Monster Jam
Stafford Motor Speedway
Stafford Springs, CT
July 28-29, 2012
Saturday 2 p.m.: Lucas Oil CrusaderSaturday 8 p.m.: Iron Man (Lee O'Donnell)Sunday 2p.m.: Iron Man (Lee O'Donnell)
Saturday 2 p.m.: NoneSaturday 8 p.m.: Maximum Destruction (Tom)Sunday 2p.m.: Monster Mutt (Taryn Laske)
Monster Jam® Trucks: including Grave Digger® driven by Gary Porter, Monster Mutt® driven by Taryn Laskey, Advance Auto Parts Grinder℠ driven by John Seasock, Maximum Destruction® driven by Tom Meents, El Toro Loco® driven by Chuck Werner, Iron Man driven by Lee O'Donnell, Lucas Oil Crusader℠ driven by Linsey Weenk, and Thrasher driven Pat Summa!
Saturday 2 p.m.
What began as a beautiful Saturday afternoon at Stafford Motor Speedway became a stormy, rainy afternoon that gave both competitors and fans an interesting fast moving event.
The Lucas Oil Crusader began the afternoon with a wheelie contest win earning a score of 24.
Linsey Weenk drove his Lucas Oil Crusader to a race win defeating John Seasock in the Advance Auto Parts Grinder. It was the final time for the day that the track was anyway near dry.
As the UTI race championship ended the rains began. The decision was made to have a very brief intermission and continue with Monster Jam Freestyle. As the rains continued thousands of fans, many who came equipped with rain gear and umbrellas enjoyed a freestyle demonstration.
The reason for the demonstration is that all drivers agreed, as did Monster Jam officials that the fans deserved a freestyle but conditions did not warrant a judged event. That gave the drivers a unique chance to show fans what they could do in extreme conditions. Donuts, high jumps, muddy splashes all brought fans to their feet.
The quick second half prevented Street Warriors and Quads from finishing their competition but everyone agreed the FREESTYLE part of the Advance Auto Parts Monster Jam at Stafford was something to behold.
The heavens really opened up as the event ended. Quick thinking officials, working with Stafford Motor Speedway, moved the post event autograph session to the clubhouse so fans could meet the drivers in dry conditions.
Lucas Oil Crusader over Monster Mutt
Maximum Destruction over Iron Man
Advance Auto Parts Grinder defeated Thrasher
El Toro Loco beat Grave Digger
Lucas Oil Crusader defeated Maximum Destruction
Advance Auto Parts Grinder over El Toro Loco
Lucas Oil Crusader beat Advance Auto Parts Grinder
By Joe LoweSaturday 8 p.m.
Fans braved rainy weather to see the Advance Auto Parts Monster Jam trucks run at Stafford Motor Speedway Saturday Night.
The rains of the afternoon let up a bit but continued as the gates opened for the 8 P.M. show. By show time things were manageable. Monster Jam officials working with the grounds crew from Stafford Speedway, had most of the infield drained with just a little bit of pooled water on the track.
Pat Summa, driver/owner of Thrasher said it best,” If these fans came come out on a rainy Saturday night to see us, they deserve the best event possible. I am more pumped up than ever to give them a great show”, he said right before things began.
Pat proceeded to take the win in the Wheelie Competition with a high score of 22.
The lineup of trucks and drivers was impressive. John Seacock in Advance Auto Parts Grinder, Pat Summa in Thrasher (the hometown truck from Danbury Ct.) Rookie Taryn Laske in Monster Mutt, Chuck Werner aboard El Toro Loco, Linsey Weenk driving Lucas Oil Crusader, Iron Man with Lee O’Donnell, Tom Meents driving 10 time World Champ Maximum Destruction and Gary Porter in the 30th Anniversary Grave Digger.
With a light rain on and off the event saw several surprises and a ton of action. Racing proved to be a challenge as the track went from soupy to sticky to soupy again.
Grave Digger beat Monster Mutt
Iron Man downed Lucas Oil Crusader
Advance Auto Parts Grinder over Thrasher
El Toro Loco defeated Maximum Destruction
Iron Man over Grave Digger
Advance Auto Parts Grinder beat El Toro Loco (El Toro missed the final ramp)
UTI Race Final:
Iron Man over Advance Auto Parts Grinder
After Intermission a steady drizzle continued as Monster Jam Freestyle began. As you can imagine, mud flew everywhere as the fans cheered the big Monster Jam trucks on.
The race win was costly for the Iron Man team. The truck returned to the pits with no oil pressure forcing Lee O’Donnell and his truck out for the rest of the night.
Many of the competitors went beyond the judged time limit giving fans an incredible show. It was total mayhem on the track and in the stands. Monster Jam, is seems, it better in the mud.
Advance Auto Parts Grinder 23
Monster Mutt 19
El Toro Loco 23
Lucas Oil Crusader 24
Iron Man out motor problems
Grave Digger 21
Maximum Destruction 27
With rain showers picking up in intensity fans and drivers gathered in the clubhouse for an autograph session that lasted a long long time. The Monster Jam trucks have been making the summer trip to Stafford for more than 20 years and with that much history it takes a while for the fans and drivers to “catch up”
By Joe LoweSunday 2p.m.
The third event of the weekend at historic Stafford Motor Speedway began with fans arriving at 9 A.M. for the Cumberland Farm Chill Zone Party in the Pits. The Pit Party didn’t begin until 10:30 but after Saturday’s rain many delayed going hoping for better weather on Sunday.
For the most part the weather was good. Rain clouds threatened most of the morning and afternoon but things remained dry with track condition improving so much that by the 2 P.M. start time the track was excellent.
The well attended Pit Party featured the 30 Anniversary Grave Digger ride truck. Fans flocked to get in line for the experience of a lifetime. There was nothing but smiles on the faces of those who participated.
Sunday’s Advance Auto Parts Monster Jam was filled with twists and turns. Many of the longtime favorites battled hard to give the crowd a great show. Some newcomers to Stafford brought their A game giving the veterans a run for their money.
As you would expect at such a challenging track there were several rollovers and a couple of great saves. Grave Digger, driven by Gary Porter, ended his freestyle bid 30 seconds into the run when a slap wheelie went wrong with the black and green wrecking machine ending up on it’s side with a broken 4-link bar forcing him out of competition.
Linsey Weenk in the Lucas Oil Crusader and Tom Meents in Maximum Destruction also had mechanical problems.
At the end of the day the afternoons three competitions were won by three different Monster Jam trucks. Most notable was Taryn Laske driving Monster Mutt to a freestyle win. This was the young drivers first ever freestyle win. Stafford fans understood how important this first ever win was to Taryn and rewarded her with a standing ovation.
The petite rookie driver began the weekend a bit disappointed with her performance driving the Mutt. Taryn, new to the Monster Mutt team spent most of the week in at the North Carolina shop getting a feel for the new ride. Rainy, sloppy conditions in a new truck prevented her from using many of the skills she picked up in the past week.
That all came to a screeching halt when the Mutt, adorned with a pink hair bow, roared out for freestyle. Incredible big air, wheelies and some tail chasing donuts won the hearts of fans and freestyle judges alike. Taryn then went into the crowd and gave her signature pink hair bow to a young female fan. She then stayed up in the stands sitting next to the lucky little girl to watch the next couple of freestyles.
The SuperStars were not shut out completely 10 time Monster Jam World Champion and Stafford crowd favorite Tom Meents drove Maximum Destruction to a win in the Wheelie Competition. Even with a broken shock and front end problems Max D. came in second in Freestyle before Monster Jam officials ended his run early for safety reasons.
Racing was the fastest of the weekend with Lee O’Donnell aboard Iron Man got the win over Lucas Oil Crusader driven by Linsey Weenk. Both trucks already had one win for the weekend.
As the afternoon event ended the first rain drops of the day began to fall. The drizzle continued for the next hour and a half but that didn’t stop the drivers and fans from spending time together at the post race autograph session.
Truck Wheelie Freestyle
Thrasher (Scott Porier) 15 15
Advance Auto Grinder 15 20
El Toro Loco 19 19
Monster Mutt 20 24
Lucas Oil Crusader 16 14 (broke)
Iron Man 19 21
Maximum Destruction 24 23
Grave Digger 22 12 (rolled)
Iron Man defeated Grave Digger
Advance Auto Parts Grinder over Monster Mutt
Lucas Oil Crusader beat Maximum Destruction
El Toro Loco downed Thrasher
Iron Man over Advance Auto Parts Grinder
Lucas Oil Crusader beat El Toro Loco
UTI Race Final
Iron Man defeats Lucas Oil Crusader
The Quad Wars win for the weekend was settled with a Captains Challenge. Team Ct. beat Team N.Y.
In Street Warrior Competition the win went to Karl Barns with a time of 24.72. That time gave him a quarter second victory over Bill Marshall.
By Joe Lowe