Monster Jam International
September 15, 2012
EL TORO LOCO
Monster Jam® Trucks: Grave Digger® driven by Charlie Pauken, Maximum Destruction® driven by Neil Elliott, Mohawk Warrior℠ driven by George Balhan, Monster Energy driven by Damon Bradshaw, El Toro Loco® driven by Marc McDonald, Traxxas T-Maxx driven by John Seasock, Disney XD driven by Nic Granlund, Monster Mutt® driven by Taryn Laskey, Captain America driven by Chad Fortune, Spider-Man driven by Bari Musawwir, Iron Man driven by Lee O'Donnell, Wolverine driven by Alex Blackwell, Thor driven by Adam Anderson and Hulk driven by Morgan Kane
Saturday 2:00 p.m. – With a sold out Ullevi Stadium crowd roaring in delight Monster Jam returned to Gothenburg, Sweden, where Neil Elliott powered Maximum Destruction to the racing championship, knocking off Chad Fortune and Captain American in the Championship Round Race and Marc McDonald’s high flying performance earned the freestyle win for El Toro Loco allowing the El Toro Loco team to tie Grave Digger’s record of 5 wins in the history of Monster Jam Europe competition at Ullevi Stadium.
More than 10,000 Swedish fans turned out to enjoy the Party in the Pits, and then the fans filled every seat for the biggest field ever in Europe, with 14 trucks in action. The field included not only the biggest names in the sport but also a pair of new Marvel machines that made their worldwide debut in Gothenburg, with Adam Anderson bringing out the new Thor Monster Jam Truck and 22 year old phenom Morgan Kane making his first ever Monster Jam Europe appearance, debuting the brand new Hulk. Another newcomer provided one of the day’s biggest Wow moments: Taryn Laskey took a wild ride in Monster Mutt in the first round of racing when the Mutt landed off the jump heading onto the final turn on its nose and flipped end over end, then got back on all four wheels only to hike over on to two wheels. Still the rookie was able to save the brown Mutt and Taryn basked in some of the loudest cheers of the day.
When all the results were in once again Ullevi Stadium’s huge floor proved to be a playground for trucks with championship pedigree. After this weekend there have now been 15 winners of racing and freestyle trophies in that huge facility and all but one of those victories has been taken by trucks that have previously won Monster Jam World Championships.
Representing the ten-time World Championship team, Maximum Destruction, Elliott was consistently fast on a tricky Chicago style racing oval to take the race bracket in his first ever Ullevi Stadium competition. Day long rains on Friday tested the track construction crew but the best track builders in the world again proved that they could handle whatever comes their way and the surface was ready for the huge crowd to enjoy the highest level of Monster Jam thrills. Elliott showed he could handle the track as well from the start, eliminating both of the new machines, Hulk and Thor, and then defeating El Toro Loco as Maximum Destruction marched into the Championship Round race. The opposition in the finale would come from Chad Fortune, who had an outstanding racing day in his new Captain America. Fortune and Captain America raced past Spider-man, Grave Digger, and Wolverine in moving into the Championship Round. The exciting final round race had the crowd cheering its loudest for two of the fan favorites, Elliott bringing Maximum Destruction across the finish line in front of Captain America.
Kane and Hulk set the freestyle bar high right off the bat and it would take an outstanding, clock filling performance from John Seasock in Traxxas T-Maxx to take the lead away from Hulk. The next onto the track, Alex Blackwell in Wolverine, turned in a clinic in cross-threading to the delight of the crowd and it was Wolverine’s turn to move to the top of the scoring list, and the truck would stay in the spot most of the afternoon. Blackwell’s time in the hot seat ended when McDonald continued the El Toro Loco magic that the Swedes have witnessed from that team year after year. A clock filling ragged edge performance for El Toro had the crowd on its feet saluting the new leader when El Toro Loco received one more point than Wolverine from the judges. Two of the final three trucks to go into freestyle action ended up on their roofs, both Mohawk Warrior and Grave Digger thrilling the crowd but not filling the clock, and it was McDonald and El Toro Loco climaxing an incredible afternoon in Gothenburg with yet another freestyle triumph.
1st round – Captain America def. Spider-man; Wolverine def. Grave Digger; Monster Energy def. Mohawk Warrior; El Toro Loco def. Disney XD; Ironman def. Traxxas T-Maxx; Thor def. Monster Mutt; Maximum Destruction def. Hulk (Grave Digger advanced as fastest 1st round loser)
2nd round – Captain American def. Grave Digger; Wolverine def. Monster Energy; El Toro Loco def. Ironman; Maximum Destruction def. Thor
Semifinals – Captain America def. Wolverine; Maximum Destruction def. El Toro Loco
CHAMPIONSHIP ROUND RACE – MAXIMUM DESTRUCTION DEFEATED CAPTAIN AMERICA
EL TORO LOCO 28 (24 + 4 bonus points)
Wolverine 27 (23 + 4)
Thor 24 (22 + 2)
Monster Energy 24
Maximum Destruction 24 (21 + 3)
Captain America 23 (21 + 2)
Traxxas T-Maxx 22 (21 + 1)
Grave Digger 22
Hulk 21 (19 + 2)
Ironman 21 (19 + 2)
Disney XD 16
Mohawk Warrior 16
Monster Mutt 7
By Scott Douglass