Corpus Christi, TX - AmericanBank Center

Monster Jam
AmericanBank Center
Corpus Christi, TX
July 20-21, 2013
MonterJam logo
Racing Winner
Freestyle Winner

Saturday 7:30 p.m.: Grave Digger
Sunday 2 p.m.: Grave Digger

Saturday 7:30 p.m.: Advance Auto Parts Grinder
Sunday 2 p.m.: Grave Digger

Trucks: Monster Jam® Trucks: Grave Digger® driven by Pablo Huffaker, El Toro Loco® driven by Aaron Basl, El Diablo℠ driven by JP Ruggiero, Advance Auto Parts Grinder℠ driven by Lupe Soza, Fullboar driven by Ed Eckert and Strait Jacket driven by Kevin King!!


Saturday 7:30 p.m.

The return of the Advance Auto Parts Monster Jam to Corpus Christi brought the fans streaming through the doors at the American Bank Center for the Saturday night opener. An evening of thrills was met with cheering crowds rooting for their favorite Monster Jam trucks in constant competition.
The activity started with an afternoon pit party that gave the fans an opportunity to meet their heroes and talk about the show ahead. The early arriving group was able to collect autographs and pictures that will serve as memorable keepsakes for years to come.
The on-track action started with wheelie competition, giving each driver two chances to impress the judges. JP Ruggiero brought the crowd to its feet when his first wheelie ended up putting the truck on its side in the center of the floor. The effort wouldn’t get the highest score since it happened during the first wheelstand, but it sent a clear message to the fans that they were about to see the very best that Monster Jam drivers can provide. The point was emphasized by the effort of Corpus Christi native Lupe Soza, who stuck towering wheelstands in each lane to claim a victory in the opening competition by a single point over Grave Digger.
Line judges were put to the test as the opening round of Monster Jam racing resulted in numerous close finishes. Fresh from his wheelie win, Soza and Grinder polished off Strait Jacket in the first race. El Toro Loco and the repaired El Diablo squared off with the crazy bull pushing his horns by the stripe first. Grave Digger sidelined Fullboar to complete the first round. El Diablo earned the fast loser provisional, a ticket to the semi-finals.
El Diablo’s second chance led to nowhere as Grinder stopped the charge to move on. Pablo Huffaker in Grave Digger and Aaron Basl in El Toro Loco met for the 15th time this season and Huffaker gained his 80th win, beating Aaron for the 12th time this season.
The UTI Championship Round pitted drivers with plenty of experience and set up a match that had been seen many times before. Grinder and Grave Digger, both piloted by Texas drivers, came to the win intending only to win. As expected, it was close, but Grave Digger prevailed. In his victory interview, Huffaker was surprised when told that the last event was his 100th race in Grave Digger in 2013. He scored 81 wins, including many UTI titles in that span.
After a brief intermission, drivers returned to action in the Cricket Wireless Donut Competition. Scores kept climbing with El Toro Loco treating the fans to an unusual sight. While many compete in this contest by spinning in one direction, driver Aaron Basl started with a series of spins one way, then reversed course and began spinning in the other direction. It was good enough to give him the lead with a 25. Ed Eckert brought Fullboar to the floor, hanging the steering wheel out the left side window, but that couldn’t persuade the judges past 24 points. Grinder turned it loose and threw in high speed turns that got the truck moving quickly and completing several cycles. The score was similar to the wheelies, a 27, and that was top score as Grave Digger waited. Just a few seconds into the donut action, a loud noise emanated from Grave Digger and inspection reveal a rod had left go in the engine. A score of 15 was little consolation as Pablo Huffaker informed the crowd he was done for the night, but would be on hand to sign autographs after the show. The unfortunate turn of events gave Grinder a second element win.
The Advance Auto Parts Service is Our Best Part freestyle gave the remaining drivers one more chance to claim a winner’s plaque. Strait Jacket charged out, only to suffer a broken brake caliper only 20 seconds into the allotted 60. Fullboar seized the opportunity with a consistent run that brought a 15. The lead didn’t last as El Toro Loco pushed it to 21. El Diablo suffered a setback with a flat tire ending the run with 22 seconds left. The score was good enough for second, leaving only Grinder with the chance to knock off El Toro Loco. Fueled by his hometown crowd, former World Freestyle Champion Lupe Soza put everything into it, adding a few more minutes as attribute to the fans. The judges saw enough in the first 60 seconds to award a 25 and the win.
Team Houston claimed the Quad Wars preliminaries with ease, but an inspired Team Corpus Christi rallied back to win the main to the delight of the crowd. Team Corpus Christi claimed the win despite having one fewer rider.

Advance Auto Parts Grinder 9-9-9 = 27
Grave Digger 9-9-8 = 26
El Toro Loco 7-8-8 = 23
Fullboar 8-7-7 = 22
Strait Jacket 6-5-6 = 17
El Diablo 4-5-4 = 13

Round One – Grinder def. Strait Jacket, El Toro Loco def. El Diablo, Grave Digger def. Fullboar (El Diablo advanced as fast loser)
Semi-finals – Grinder def. El Diablo, Grave Digger def. El Toro Loco
UTI Championship Round – Grave Digger def. Grinder

Cricket Wireless Donuts
Advance Auto Parts Grinder 9-9-9 = 27
El Toro Loco 8-8-9 = 25
Fullboar 8-8-8 = 24
El Diablo 7-7-6 = 20
Grave Digger 5-5-5 = 15
Strait Jacket 5-5-4 = 14

Advance Auto Parts Service is Our Best Part Freestyle
Advance Auto Parts Grinder 8-9-8 = 25
El Toro Loco 7-7-7 = 21
El Diablo 6-7-6 = 19
Fullboar 5-5-5 = 15
Strait Jacket 2-2-2 = 6
Grave Digger – Did Not Compete

By Larry Jewett

Sunday 2 p.m.

The afternoon turned into matinee madness as the Advance Auto Parts Monster Jam closed off its weekend in Corpus Christi. The fans had been waited a long time for a chance to see their heroes and those who passed through the Advance Auto Parts Service is Our Best Part post-show autograph session were thrilled with the action.
Many of the crewmembers in the pit area were working on few hours’ sleep after working until trucks until after 4 a.m. following the Saturday night show. The efforts were worth it, according to the fans who loved the action. The field featured five trucks with El Toro Loco sacrificing a position in order for Grave Digger to be in the Sunday lineup. Much of the Saturday night work involved swapping the engine from the crazy bull into Grave Digger. Meanwhile, the Strait Jacket crew was fixing a troublesome brake issue while El Diablo was being fitted for a new tire.
The competition opened with wheelie action and no one was willing to back down. JP Ruggiero pulled up to the line with his sights set on beating the current leading score of 17. Unfortunately, history repeated itself as El Diablo could only complete one wheelie, crashing down on the cab in the right lane. It brought a 16 and sent the crew scurrying to get the truck back into action. Advance Auto Parts Grinder took the lead with a 25, leaving the stage to Pablo Huffaker and Grave Digger. With the replacement engine singing full song, Pablo masterfully attached the car stacks and scored the winning 28 to get things started in the right direction.
With five trucks, wheelie winner Grave Digger earned the right to complete a bye run, which was successful. El Diablo topped Fullboar and Grinder got by Strait Jacket. The effort by Strait Jacket earned the fast loser provisional for a free ticket to the second round. The provisional set up a match with Grave Digger and Digger prevailed in the semi-finals. Advance Auto Parts Grinder had a fight in taking down El Diablo, setting up a rematch from last night’s UTI Championship Round. In the closest race of the weekend, Grave Digger edged past Advance Auto Parts Grinder for the victory.
The Cricket Wireless Donut Contest greeted fans after a brief intermission. Strait Jacket stepped up the game with a fine series of spins until something went awry in the steering. El Diablo grabbed the early lead, but Ed Eckert hung the steering wheel out of the cab to the amazement of the fans. The routine ended with a big bang and plenty of smoke, but brought a leading score of 24 The diagnosis was that Fullboar blew a hole in a piston and that ended his competition. Advance Auto Parts Grinder had been shut out of victory on the day and saw an opportunity to change that. With the left front wheel seldom touching the ground, Advance Auto Parts Grinder brought the crowd to its feet in an appreciative roar and the judges liked it to the tune of 27. Grave Digger stood ready to enter the donut box, but some issues kept the truck on the sidelines as the 60-second clock ticked down. Time ran out before the truck could move and Advance Auto Parts Grinder claimed the donut title.
It’s all about quality in the Advance Auto Parts Monster Jam and though the field for the Advance Auto Parts Service is Our Best Part field would number only three, that trio gave the fans plenty to remember. El Diablo came out with the intent of leaving nothing behind and started off with a 19. Grinder followed that with a 25, a score that would have been good enough to win on several occasions in the past five years. The test of how the score was stack up was started when Grave Digger was able to fire up and roll out from the pits. Pablo Huffaker put the truck through a series of runs and then into the donut box to give the Monster Jam a little bit of the action that they thought they had been missed. A jam-packed 60 seconds was followed by additional, non-scored freestyle to show the team’s appreciation for the 31 years of support. For the first time in five years, a freestyle score higher than 26 was recorded in Corpus Christi and Grave Digger’s 27 set the new mark for future shows.
Team Corpus Christi prevailed in Quad Wars, winning a controversial second heat and claiming the main, despite losing one of the two riders. The three-on-one final was an unprecedented victory as the lone rider was never lower than second in the running order.

Grave Digger 9-9-10 = 28
Advance Auto Parts Grinder 8-8-9 = 25
Fullboar 6-6-5 = 17
El Diablo 5-5-6 = 16
Strait Jacket 5-5-4 = 14

Round one – Grave Digger bye, El Diablo def. Fullboar, Grinder def. Strait Jacket (Strait Jacket returns in fast loser provisional)
Semi-finals – Grave Digger def. Strait Jacket, Grinder def. El Diablo
UTI Championship Round – Grave Digger def. Grinder

Cricket Wireless Donuts
Advance Auto Parts Grinder 9-9-9 = 27
Fullboar 8-8-8 = 24
El Diablo 7-7-7 = 21
Strait Jacket – 5-6-5 = 16
Grave Digger – Did Not Compete

Advance Auto Parts Service is Our Best Part
Grave Digger 9-9-9 = 27
Advance Auto Parts Grinder 8-8-9 = 25
El Diablo 6-6-7 = 19
Fullboar – Did Not Compete
Strait Jacket – Did Not Compete

By Larry Jewett