January 12, 2013
Saturday 7:00 p.m.: LUCAS OIL CRUSADER
Saturday 7:00 p.m.: GRAVE DIGGER
Monster Jam® Trucks: Grave Digger® driven by Dennis Anderson, Wolverine driven by Dustin Brown, Max-D℠ driven by Kreg Christensen, Captain's Curse® driven by Alex Blackwell, Advance Auto Parts Grinder℠ driven by Lupe Soza, Madusa®, Lucas Oil Crusader® driven by Linsey Weenk, Monster Mutt® Dalmatian driven by Candice Jolly, Rod Ryan driven by Dan Evans, Iron Man™ driven by Lee O'Donnell, War Wizard driven by Randy Moore, Razin' Kane driven by JR McNeal, Ice Cream Man driven by TJ Tripp, Bounty Hunter driven by Jim Creten, Scarlet Bandit driven by Dawn Creten and Gunslinger driven by Scott Hartsock!!
Saturday 7:00 p.m.
As he has done so many times in the past Grave Digger’s Dennis Anderson delivered the goods for his incredible loyal Advance Auto Parts Monster Jam fan base in Houston turning in an epic performance that won the freestyle competition after Linsey Weenk drove Lucas Oil Crusader to the racing championship victory against a stellar 16-truck line-up in Reliant Stadium on a night where more than 50,000 fans were on their feet roaring, a huge lengthy standing ovation following Grave Digger’s amazing freestyle becoming the perfect ending to the sensational night of thrills in Texas.
Grave Digger started the night by setting the fast time in qualifying; narrowly edging Lucas Oil Crusader for the number one seed in the racing bracket and it was clear from the start that Anderson and Weenk were headed on a collision course in the UTI Championship Round Race. Grave Digger got a big test from Jim Creten and Bounty Hunter in the semifinals and Anderson was up to that challenge and when Lucas Oil Crusader eliminated Alex Blackwell in his new black Captain’s Curse in the other semi the finale was set to match the Monster Jam Trucks that had been the fastest round after round.
The huge crowd was buzzing for what promised to be a close championship race considering that the times turned in by Grave Digger and Lucas Oil Crusader in those semifinal round wins were separated by only .03 of a second. Grave Digger would suffer electrical issues and lose power half way through the final circuit on the Chicago style oval however as Weenk marched Lucas Oil Crusader to the winner’s stage, taking the Championship Trophy in a building where he had won that same piece of hardware a year earlier in January of 2012.
Early on in freestyle a crowd pleasing performance from Dan Evans driving the Rod Ryan Show truck set the pace. Air Man Dan even thrilled the tens of thousands in attendance with a sweet leap over a huge obstacle in reverse and Evans spent half of the competition in the hot seat with the lead score. Finally Bounty Hunter and Lucas Oil Crusader would post scores to edge past the Rod Ryan truck, but their tie for the lead wouldn’t last long as Kreg Christensen blasted his tenth anniversary Max-D all over Reliant Stadium, his high energy performance taking the top spot, which is where Max-D was when Grave Digger roared onto the floor. Anderson filled the clock and bonus time in classic style, ending his run with an incredible crash on the nose of the truck, but then Grave Digger rolled over onto to its wheels and the night ended with Anderson’s team celebrating as the standing ovation for The Icon went on and on.
Fast Qualifier – Grave Digger 18.852
1st round – Grave Digger def. Advance Auto Parts Grinder; Gunslinger def. Monster Mutt Dalmatian; Razin Kane def. Madusa; Bounty Hunter def. War Wizard; Captain’s Curse def. Max-D; Ironman def. Scarlet Bandit; Rod Ryan Show def. Wolverine; Lucas Oil Crusader def. Ice Cream Man (Scarlett Bandit advanced to 2nd round due to Ironman’s mechanical problems)
2nd round – Grave Digger def. Gunslinger; Bounty Hunter def. Razin Kane; Captain’s Curse def. Scarlet Bandit; Lucas Oil Crusader def. Rod Ryan Show
Semifinals – Grave Digger def. Bounty Hunter; Lucas Oil Crusader def. Captain’s Curse
UTI CHAMPIONSHIP ROUND RACE – LUCAS OIL CRUSADER DEFEATED GRAVE DIGGER
GRAVE DIGGER 30 (27 + 3 bonus points)
Max-D 27 (24 + 3)
Advance Auto Parts Grinder 26 (23 + 3)
Bounty Hunter 25 (22 + 3)
Lucas Oil Crusader 25 (22 + 3)
Captain’s Curse 24 (21 + 3)
Rod Ryan Show 22 (20 + 2)
Monster Mutt Dalmatian 21 (19 + 2)
Gunslinger 19 (18 + 1)
Ironman 19 17 + 2)
Ice Cream Man 15
War Wizard 14
Razin Kane 12
Scarlett Bandit 3
By Scott Douglass