January 19-20, 2013
Saturday 7 P.M.: Bounty Hunter
Sunday 2 P.M.: Bounty Hunter
Saturday 7 P.M.: Northern Nightmare
Sunday 2 P.M.: Grave Digger
Monster Jam® Trucks: Grave Digger® driven by Jon Zimmer, Northern Nightmare℠ driven by Cam McQueen, Max-D℠ driven by Neil Elliot, El Toro Loco® driven by Chuck Werner, Metal Mulisha driven Todd Leduc, Batman™ driven by Norm Miller, Bounty Hunter driven by Jim Creten, Scarlet Bandit driven by Dawn Creten, Avenger driven by Jim Koehler, Wrecking Crew driven by Steve Koehler, Aftershock driven by Bob Robbins, Krazy Train driven by Aaron Cromer, Instigator driven by Paul Breaud, Rap Attack driven by Dave Rappach, Storm Damage driven by Tim Mente and Hurricane Force Steven Thompson!!
Saturday 7 P.M.
(Toronto, ON) The opening night of the 2013 Maple Leaf Monster Jam Tour at Rogers Centre will forever go down as one of the most unpredictable events ever witnessed on Canadian soil. It included some unbelievable performances, plenty of wild crashing, and some extremely hard-luck stories for the drivers of the ten thousand pound Monster Jam Trucks.
With a record sixteen-truck field in Toronto that included no less than seven World Champions, there was no doubt that Ontario Monster Jam fans were in for a treat. But let’s get back to the unpredictability side of things for a moment.
The night started off very rough for Neil Elliott in Max D, as he was unable to make Monster Jam Racing Round One due to a broken camshaft suffered while moving the truck just before the show. Certainly, this was no way for the driver from Paxton, Illinois to celebrate a Decade of Maximum Destruction.
Things fared a littler better for some of the other drivers, however. Norm Miller in Batman emerged as Fast Qualifier with a blazing fast time of 22.88 seconds. Moving into Racing Round One, Aftershock defeated Northern Nightmare, Grave Digger triumphed over El Toro Loco, Avenger derailed Krazy Train, Metal Mulisha defeated Instigator, Hurricane Force stormed past Wrecking Crew, and Bounty Hunter scored victory over Rap Attack. In the final Round One race, Storm Damage took the win over Scarlet Bandit who was unable to make the call due to a qualifying crash earlier in the evening.
Racing Round Two saw Batman continue to fly high as driver Norm Miller defeated Tim Mente in Storm Damage. Grave Digger defeated Avenger, Metal Mulisha snuffed out Aftershock, and Bounty Hunter raced past Storm Damage.
In the Racing Semi-Final, two very close races emerged as Batman buried Grave Digger, while Bounty Hunter sent Metal Mulisha to the pits in a nail-biting finish.
The UTI Championship Round paired eighteen-year veteran Jimmy Creten in Bounty Hunter against red-hot Norm Miller in Batman. It would take a tremendous effort to stop Batman here tonight, but no one was more ready than the driver from Tonganoxie, Kansas. In a near photo finish race, Creten flew Bounty Hunter across the NGK Spark Plugs Finish Line in the number one spot. Creten was ecstatic with the big win.
Maple Leaf Monster Jam Freestyle Competition put many drivers in a tough position including two-time World Champion Jim Koehler in Avenger. During his parade lap, Koehler approached the far end of the track and lost the right rear wheel, effectively ending the Columbus, Michigan native’s night. Aaron Cromer in Krazy Train occupied the Hot Seat for a good amount of time, before teammate Bob Robbins in Aftershock emerged with a great performance and took the seat himself with a score of 21 points. This night, however, would belong to both Grave Digger and reigning World Champion Northern Nightmare. Drivers Jon Zimmer and Cam McQueen provided an absolute Freestyle clinic for the fans of Toronto as they sliced and diced around the massive Rogers Centre track. Both drivers earned a score of 29 points, and the Maple Leaf Monster Jam judges were forced to break the tie. In the end, it would be Canadian Sensation Cam McQueen in Northern Nightmare taking the big victory.
The drivers earned the following Freestyle scores:
Aftershock: 6, 7, 7 + 1 = 21
Batman: 4, 5, 4 + 0 = 13
Storm Damage: 6, 5, 5 + 1 = 17
Hurricane Force: 3, 3, 3 + 0 = 9
Scarlet Bandit: 7, 6, 7 + 1= 21
Bounty Hunter: 8, 8, 8 + 2 = 26
El Toro Loco: 7, 8, 7 + 2 = 24
Avenger: No Score
Instigator 4, 3, 3 + 0 = 10
Rap Attack: 4, 4, 5 + 0 = 13
Krazy Train: 5, 6, 5 + 2 = 18
Wrecking Crew: 4, 4, 4 + 0 = 12
Metal Mulisha: 8, 8, 7 + 2 = 25
Maximum Destruction: Did Not Start
Grave Digger: 9, 9, 8 + 3 = 29
Northern Nightmare: 10, 9, 10 + 0 = 29
In other motor sports action, Team Canada defeated Team USA in Quad Wars. The Demolition Derby saw Dave Tink defeat an incredible field of 25 cars to take victory in Ontario Demolition Derby Association competition.
Be sure to take in all the action as Maple Leaf Monster Jam returns to Rogers Centre on Sunday at 2 P.M. sharp. There are plenty of scores yet to settle this weekend, and plenty of time to get it done!
By Darren PallenSunday 2 P.M.
(Toronto, ON) Tensions were high in the Rogers Centre as the two o’clock Sunday afternoon event drew near. With an unbelievable amount of carnage happening the night before, Monster Jam crew literally worked all night to get their ten thousand pound Monster Jam Trucks ready for competition. Fortunately for the fans, the crews met their goal in a big way.
All sixteen competitors returned and were fired up and ready to go for action when called upon. Maple Leaf Monster Jam Racing Qualifying saw Jimmy Creten in Bounty Hunter storm the course on route to a fast time of 21.50 seconds.
Round One Racing saw Bounty Hunter beat Hurricane Force. El Toro Loco defeated Avenger, while Metal Mulisha destroyed Wrecking Crew. Northern Nightmare unplugged Aftershock, and Max D sent Rap Attack to the pits. Remaining Round One races saw Batman over Storm Damage, Scarlet Bandit defeat Instigator, and Grave Digger took the win over Krazy Train.
In Racing Round Two, Bounty Hunter continued to roll with a win over El Toro Loco. Metal Mulisha stormed past Northern Nightmare, while Batman defeated Max D. The last race in Round Two saw Grave Digger take out Scarlet Bandit.
In the Semi-Finals, Grave Digger looked absolutely fantastic in a big win over Batman. And as had been the case all weekend, Bounty Hunter looked simply flawless in what looked like an easy win over Metal Mulisha.
The UTI Championship Round paired Bounty Hunter against Grave Digger. As a newly minted Grave Digger driver for the 2013 season, Jon Zimmer knew he would have his hands full with the eighteen-year veteran from Tonganoxie, Kansas. Fans looked on as both trucks pulled up to the NGK Spark Plugs starting line. When the lights turned green, both drivers laid down the loud pedal. The huge course tested both drivers to the maximum, but in the end it was Jimmy Creten in Bounty Hunter taking his second racing win in as many tries. It is hard to beat a guy that combines both smoothness and aggressiveness in one package. This weekend, Jimmy Creten fit that description like no one else.
Maple Leaf Monster Jam Freestyle Competition was simply a sight to behold as the stars took their final shot of the year at the impressive Toronto track. Both El Toro Loco and Scarlet Bandit had great runs and found themselves co-occupying the Hot Seat for some time. However, racing winner Bounty Hunter came out with a huge run and sent the Hot Seat pair back to the pit area. Jim Koehler in Avenger had a strong run brewing but broke a rear shock, ending his run prematurely. Todd Leduc in Metal Mulisha, who may very well have won the entire event if not for an early rollover, gave another notable performance. But one truck did win, and that truck was Grave Digger.
Jon Zimmer in Grave Digger gave the fans a performance to remember forever. Zimmer was simply unbelievable as he wheeled his black and green wrecking machine up and over each and every obstacle on the track. Fans watched in awe as Grave Digger completed both regulation and bonus time on route to a competition winning score of 30 points.
The drivers earned the following Freestyle scores:
Batman: 6, 7, 6 + 0 = 19
Storm Damage: 5, 5, 5 + 0 = 15
Hurricane Force: 6, 7, 7 + 2 = 22
Scarlet Bandit: 7, 7, 7 + 2= 23
Bounty Hunter: 8, 8, 8 + 2 = 26
Aftershock: 6, 7, 6 + 1 = 20
El Toro Loco: 7, 7, 7 + 2 = 23
Krazy Train: 5, 6, 5 + 1 = 17
Instigator 5, 6, 6 + 1 = 18
Rap Attack: Did Not Start
Wrecking Crew: 7, 7, 7 + 0 = 21
Metal Mulisha: 8, 7, 7 + 0 = 22
Avenger: 7, 7, 7 + 0= 21
Maximum Destruction: 7, 7, 6 + 0 = 20
Northern Nightmare: 8, 8, 8 + 0 = 24
Grave Digger: 9, 9, 8 + 4 = 30
MAPLE LEAF FREESTYLE WINNER: GRAVE DIGGER!!!
In other motor sports action, Team Canada made it two-for-two as they edged out Team USA in a hotly contested Quad Wars Final. And after almost fifteen full minutes of banging and crashing, Bobby Cousineau took victory over Chris Palmer in Ontario Demo Deby Competition.
The 2013 Maple Leaf Monster Jam Tour now takes off cross-country in a westerly direction as the next event is in Vancouver, British Columbia on Saturday, January 26. But don’t forget, Ontario Monster Jam fans; we are back to both London and Hamilton this year and can’t wait for the opportunity.
See you down the road!
By Darren Pallen