New Orleans, LA
New Orleans, LA
February 23, 2013
Saturday 7:00 p.m.: Bounty Hunter
Saturday 7:00 p.m.: Grave Digger
Monster Jam® Trucks: Grave Digger® driven by Carl Van Horn, Scooby-Doo™ driven by Nicole Johnson, Max-D℠ driven by Tom Meents, Monster Mutt® Rottweiler driven by Rod Schmidt, Iron Man™ driven by Morgan Kane, Advance Auto Parts Grinder℠ driven by Frank Krmel, Zombie℠ driven by Sean Duhon, Bounty Hunter driven by Jim Creten, Scarlet Bandit driven by Dawn Creten, Storm Damage driven by Tim Mente, Hurricane Force driven by Steve Thompson, Bad Habit driven by Joe Sylvester, Shock Therapy driven by Jeremy Brady, Ground Pounder driven by Mike Dufrene, Gunslinger driven by Scott Hartsock, and Incinerator driven by Ryan Rice!!
Saturday 7:00 p.m.
The fans in New Orleans had been waiting a long time for the return of the Advance Auto Parts Monster Jam as the traditional January show was moved to February. The highest quality performance was waiting as the capacity crowd put their all into letting the drivers know the town was ready to see the best in action.
Former New Orleans winner Jim Creten showed his knowledge of the fast race course by blistering a qualifying effort of 20.78 seconds. The 2005 World Champion has been among the hottest drivers in stadiums across the United States and Canada and the number one seed was a good way to start the night.
Monster Jam racing opened with a bye run for fast qualifier Bounty Hunter when Advance Auto Parts Grinder was sidelined from action. Monster Mutt Rottweiler took out Storm Damage in the second race. Gunslinger moved on when Scooby-Doo rolled during the competition and could not complete the course. Max-D slipped past Iron Man, Bad Habit powered past Incinerator, Zombie prevailed over Scarlet Bandit and Grave Digger knocked off Ground Pounder.
Iron Man earned the fast loser provisional to get a second chance at glory. Instead, Young Gun contestant Morgan Kane fell victim to Bounty Hunter. Gunslinger advanced with a win over Monster Mutt Rottweiler, Max-D won the matchup against Bad Habit and Grave Digger completed the round by winning the matchup with Zombie. Moving to the semi-finals, some classic matchups developed as Bounty Hunter and gunslinger renewed a rivalry. Bounty Hunter kept the winning streak going and advanced to the UTI Championship Round. The opponent would prove to be Grave Digger as a solid run proved to be enough to end the effort of Max-D.
Bounty Hunter used a strong start and steady run to power through the So-Cal style course and claim his fourth stadium racing win of the year. A joyous driver expressed his thanks to the New Orleans fans who were cheering him on his way to a return to victory, having won the 2009 event.
Before the action began in the Service is Our Best Part freestyle, the New Orleans fans were given a special treat. To celebrate the Decade of Maximum Destruction, 10-time and defending world champion Tom Meents offered to show the crowd a backflip, never seen before in Advance Auto Parts Monster Jam competition in New Orleans. Revving the crowd on the return from intermission, Meents lined up to make his attempt as the crowd was building to a frenzy. Once ready, Meents approached the special ramp and stuck the landing for a successful stunt. A jubilant Meents told the crowd he wanted to do this just for them and proceeded to make a new winner with a pair of Nuclear Cowboyz ticket to the upcoming show.
The stage was set for the Service is Our Best Part freestyle with the remaining trucks facing new obstacles and forcing drivers to plan their freestyle accordingly. Scarlet Bandit opened with a strong 19 that held the top position through several challengers. It took a great effort by Iron Man, who ended up toppled over and the proud owner of a 21 and the lead. Gunslinger took over the top spot and had to share the pinnacle with Zombie, both with 22. Bounty Hunter stood in position to double down and moved by the co-leaders to put the point at 25. Max-D went right to town to mix big air and great saves, which had the crowd thundering. The drive to take the lead was strong as an inspired Meents used the bonus score to post a solid 30. In some places, that score might be enough but as long as there is a driver ready to perform, no lead is safe. Carl Van Horn brought Grave Digger out and within seconds, the body was completed ripped away. Unfazed, Carl Van Horn kept right on rolling as the cage view gave the Monster Jam fans an inside look like never before. When the truck rolled over and ended the run, it took an extra bonus point to grab the win for Grave Digger.
Before the fans started heading for the Service is Our Best Part autograph session, Max-D decided he wanted to add more to the New Orleans experience. With the frame of Grave Digger still on the track, Max-D charged out with an encore freestyle with no timing and no judges, but a win for the fans who stayed riveted in their seats.
Ronnie Coste won the trailer race, backing up the 2012 win with democross wins for Wanda Scheel and Bryan Bensel. Corey Straight won the mini-sprint main.
Bounty Hunter – 20.78
Grave Digger – 21.81
Scooby-Doo – 22.31
Max-D – 22.90
Advance Auto Parts Grinder – 22.96
Monster Mutt Rottweiler – 23.47
Bad Habit – 23.75
Zombie – 24.03
Scarlet Bandit – 24.50
Incinerator – 24.94
Storm Damage – 27.03
Gunslinger – 27.34
Iron Man – 27.94
Ground Pounder – 28.43
Shock Therapy – did not qualify
Hurricane Force – did not qualify
Round One – Bounty Hunter bye (Advance Auto Parts Grinder failed to stage), Monster Mutt Rottweiler def Storm Damage, Gunslinger def Scooby-Doo, Max-D def Iron Man, Bad Habit def Incinerator, Zombie def Scarlet Bandit, Grave Digger def Ground Pounder (Iron Man would advance as fast loser to round two)
Round Two – Bounty Hunter def Iron Man, Gunslinger def Monster Mutt Rottweiler, Max-D def Bad Habit, Grave Digger def Zombie
Semi-finals – Bounty Hunter def Gunslinger, Grave Digger def Max-D
UTI Championship Round – Bounty Hunter def Grave Digger
Service is Our Best Part freestyle
Grave Digger 9-9-9-4 = 31
Max-D 9-9-9-3 = 30
Bounty Hunter 7-8-8-2 = 25
Zombie 7-7-8 = 22
Gunslinger 7-7-7-1 = 22
Iron Man 7-7-6-1 = 21
Scarlet Bandit 6-6-5-2 = 19
Bad Habit 6-4-5 = 15
Monster Mutt Rottweiler 5-5-5 = 15
Incinerator 4-4-5 = 13
Storm Damage 3-4-4 = 11
Advance Auto Parts Grinder – did not compete
Hurricane Force – did not compete
Ground Pounder – did not compete
Shock Therapy – did not compete
Scooby-Doo – did not compete
By Larry Jewett