Colt Stephens and Tony Ochs Ready to Roar in the new ThunderROARus
Authored by Samuel Reiman on January 6, 2023
Monster Jam’s newest apex predator was unveiled to the world Thursday night – ThunderROARus.
ThunderROARus will be competing on the Stadium Championship Series Blue and Arena Championship Series Central tours during 2023. Its drivers for those tours will be Colt Stephens and Tony Ochs respectively.
For Stephens, it will be his first time behind the wheel of a methanol Monster Jam truck in four years, after spending some time behind the wheel of BroDozer and then in the broadcast booth.
“When I was in the booth doing the broadcasts, I talked about muscle memory and how that's a big deal,” Stephens explained. “What I'm dealing with right now, going back in the truck, is - I remember what to do - it's just making my muscles do it automatically without me having to think about it.”
Stephens had the chance to compete in a couple of events in Australia during Fall 2022 and he took away a racing win in Sydney. Now behind the wheel of the new ThunderROARus, he intends to come out swinging.
“I am putting a lot of pressure on myself, you know. The time that I was driving before, I was kind of like, I'm a new guy. I'm not a new guy anymore. At this point, there are no excuses. I need to go out there and perform the way I know how to perform.
“There is no doubt I feel a little bit of pressure being in that new truck. I'm going to set the precedent, if I can come out swinging in that new truck, then it's going to have a big name out of the gate.
“Going into event two, everybody knows who we are right out of the gate. And that's the way we need to do it. Debuting this truck is a huge deal.”
While Stephens will be competing this weekend out west in San Diego, Tony Ochs will be piloting the sister truck over in Greenville, SC. In 2022, Ochs competed in Soldier Fortune Black Ops in Arena Championship Series Central and finished runner-up to Krysten Anderson (Grave Digger) in the points.
“I'm feeling real good coming into the new season,” said Ochs. “It was so tight last year. Krysten Anderson – fighting her head-to-head, tooth and nail, back and forth. I think that's going to momentum's going to roll right into 2023.
“Krysten Anderson – she made a name for herself. She said it, she doesn’t have to be like Ryan Anderson, Adam Anderson, Dennis Anderson. She’s Krysten Anderson. I’m super proud of that second-place finish, and it’s something I can always look back on and be proud of.
“It's been six beautiful years driving Soldier Fortune Black Ops. And there always comes time for change. And change is a great thing. This new Monster Jam truck, this ThunderROARus, the kids are going to love it, and that's what's going to make me the happiest. Being a father of two girls, when I see their smiling faces, it just warms my heart. And to see all the Monster Jam fans, those kids, their smiling faces, I think of my little girls, you know.
“But you know what's cool, too? ThunderROARus - it's got kind of like an aircraft sheet metal riveted finish to it. And it just kind of brings me back to my Army days. When I was an aircraft mechanic, I was an Apache helicopter crew chief. So, you know, everything's tied together. There's still a little bit of my Army experience in this dinosaur, too.”
Visit MonsterJam.com/tickets to see when ThunderROARus is coming to a city near you!