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Grand Rapids, MI - Van Andel Arena






Thunder Nationals
Van Andel Arena
Grand Rapids, MI
March 15-17, 2013
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Racing Winner
Freestyle Winner

Friday Night: Grave Digger
Saturday Afternoon: Spider-Man
Saturday Night: Grave Digger
Sunday Afternoon: Grave Digger
Friday Night: Iron Warrior
Saturday Afternoon: Grinder
Saturday Night: Grave Digger
Sunday Afternoon: Spider-Man
Trucks: Monster Jam® Trucks: Grave Digger® driven by Chad Tingler, Spider-Man™ driven by Bari Musawwir, Advance Auto Parts Grinder℠ driven by John Seasock, El Toro Loco® (Yellow) driven by Becky McDonough, Black Stallion driven by Mike Vaters, Iron Warrior driven by Mikey Vaters and Rap Attack driven by David Rappach!!

Photos

Friday Night

Four events, four different winners. Parity in Monster Jam has never been this good. A seven truck field arrived in Grand Rapids, as the road to Vegas leads through Michigan. Grinder maybe should have won freestyle, but John Seasock was quick to point out that the Advance Auto Parts Grinder is the peoples truck and the scores don't matter as long as the fans enjoy the performance.

Wheelie Scores:
Iron Warrior 25
El Toro Loco 16
Rap Attack 19
Spider-Man 21
Black Stallion 26 **WINNER**
Grinder 24
Grave Digger 19

Racing Brackets
Round 1
Black Stallion winner of the wheelie contest earned first round bye run
Spider-Man beat Rap Attack
Grave Digger beat Grinder
Iron Warrior beat El Toro Loco

Semi Final
Black Stallion beat Spider-Man
Grave Digger beat Iron Warrior

UTI CHAMPIONSHIP ROUND
Grave Digger beat Black Stallion

Donut Scores:
Black Stallion 11
Rap Attack 12
El Toro Loco 17
Spider-Man 22
Grinder **WINNER**
Grave Digger 18

Freestyle Scores:
Iron Warrior 23 **WINNER**
El Toro Loco 18
Rap Attack 20
Spider-Man 23
Black Stallion 22
Grinder 20
Grave Digger 21

By Scott Heaton

Saturday 2 PM

Saturday started the way Friday ended, with Mikey Vaters taking a win!!! Vaters and Iron Warrior won the freestyle event last night and then came back today and won the opening competition, the wheelie contest. Kid has loads of talent, not only in a Monster Jam truck but as a freestyle motocross rider as well. John Seasock and Grinder came out with a vengeance today after being shorted in freestyle last night and became the first multiple winner of the weekend. John and Grinder were able to win Donuts and Freestyle. The donut turned into a cyclone for the win and the freestyle was vintage Seasock.

Wheelie Scores:
Iron Warrior 25 **WINNER**
El Toro Loco 15
Rap Attack 20
Spider-Man 24
Black Stallion 19
Grinder 22
Grave Digger 19

Racing Brackets
Round 1
Iron Warrior bye run sue to winning wheelies
Grave Digger beat Rap Attack
Black Stallion beat Grinder
Spider-Man beat El Toro Loco

Semi Final
Grave Digger beat Iron Warrior
Spider-Man beat Black Stallion

UTI CHAMPIONSHIP ROUND
Spider-Man beat Grave Digger

Donuts Scores:
Black Stallion 17
Rap Attack 15
Iron Warrior 16
El Toro Loco 21
Spider-Man 20
Grinder 26 **WINNER**
Grave Digger 25

Freestyle Scores:
El Toro Loco 21
Rap Attack 18
Spider-Man 23
Black Stallion 22
Grinder 24**WINNER**
Grave Digger 23

By Scott Heaton

Saturday Night

The first double down of the weekend was put in the history books by Chad Tingler and Grave Digger. After being shut out for most of the weekend, Chad and Digger came to life on Saturday night. As I always say, “there is just something about a Saturday night!!”, and tonight it proved out yet again. The crowd was off the hook loud and the drivers rose to the occasion. Mikey Vaters, driver of Iron Warrior, had some mechanical issues tonight but they just made Mikey drive that much harder in freestyle. In fact, I believe it was Mikeys run in Iron Warrior that put the bar higher for the rest of the field and made them step their game up. Good On Ya! Mikey!!! We also got to see the uber competitive John Seasock refuse to let out of the throttle during the donut competition to take the win, spending most of the time in a full on 2 wheel cyclone, and Mike Vaters in Black Stallion showed why he is a multi-time Thunder National Champion with a definitive hit in the wheelie contest to give them the win.

Wheelie Scores:
Iron Warrior 12
El Toro Loco 21
Rap Attack 22
Spider-Man 21
Black Stallion 27 **WINNER**
Grinder 20
Grave Digger 24

Racing Bracket
(Iron Warrior did not make racing due to mechanical issue, making it a 6 truck bracket. 3 winners and fast loser return to semi final)
Round 1
Grave Digger beat Black Stallion
Spider-Man beat El Toro Loco
Grinder beat Rap Attack

Semi Final
Grave Digger beat fast loser El Toro Loco
Spider-Man beat Grinder

UTI CHAMPIONSHIP ROUND
Grave Digger beat Spider-Man

Donut Scores:
Black Stallion 19
Rap Attack 14
El Toro Loco 22
Spider-Man 23
Grinder 29 **WINNER**
Grave Digger 27

Freestyle Scores:
Iron Warrior 23 (maybe should have been the winner)
El Toro Loco 21
Rap Attack 21
Spider-Man 24
Black Stallion 20
Grinder 20
Grave Digger 26 **WINNER**

By Scott Heaton

Sunday 2 PM

Inside of a week away from the Monster Jam World Finals in Las Vegas, Bari Musawwir and Spider-Man left Michigan with momentum. Spider-Man and Bari won the last freestyle event before the WF's and is hopeful that he will have a killer showing at the Big Show. Becky McDonough and El Toro Loco also got some fine tuning in this weekend as she heads out to battle for the last spot in the Finals via the young Guns Shootout. Mikey Vaters had mechanical trouble that kept him from wowing the crowd, but none the less, the young man still puts on a tremendous show. Dave Rappach and Rap Attack finally broke through in the wheelie contest and got a much deserved win. He stood the truck straight up and walked it across the stack of 5 crush cars. Loved it!!

Wheelie Scores:
Iron Warrior 27
El Toro Loco 20
Rap Attack 29 **WINNER**
Spider-Man 25
Black Stallion 24
Grinder 20
Grave Digger 22

Racing Brackets
Round 1
Rap Attack bye run from winning wheelies
Grave Digger beat Spider-Man
Black Stallion beat El Toro Loco
Iron Warrior beat Grinder

Semi Final
Rap Attack had mechanical issue, unable to return. Spider-Man moved to spot after being fast loser

Grave Digger beat Spider-Man
Iron Warrior beat Black Stallion (noteworthy: Mikey Vaters beat the old man, his Dad Mike Vaters. Gonna be a long time for the old timer to live down being beaten by the youngster. As a Dad, I know you HATE to lose to your kids, at ANYTHING)

Grave Digger beat Iron Warrior

Donut Scores:
Black Stallion 21
Iron Warrior 15
El Toro Loco 24
Spider-Man 23
Grinder 28 **WINNER**
Grave Digger 26

Freestyle Scores:
Iron Warrior 10
El Toro Loco 21
Spider-Man 25 **WINNER**
Black Stallion 12
Grinder 20
Grave Digger 22

By Scott Heaton