Weekend Recap: 2023 Monster Jam Season Roars to Life

Authored by Larry Jewett on January 9, 2023


They say life begins at 40, but if you’re Team Grave Digger, 41 isn’t so bad.


Each member of Team Grave Digger took home an event championship in the five tours of the Monster Jam competition in the opening weekend of 2023. Three Grave Digger drivers led their tours in the initial points standings on the road to Monster Jam World Finals in Nashville, Tennessee in July.


Stadium Series Blue – A pair of events at the newly constructed Snapdragon Stadium in San Diego kicked off Stadium Series Blue with Tyler Menninga (Grave Digger) and Ryan Anderson (Son-uva Digger) prevailing in the opening weekend. Cynthia Gauthier (Lucas Stabilizer) is unbeaten in Freestyle as she captured both events on the weekend. Menninga and Anderson used their Skills championships to help them in their quest for the overall title. Menninga was able to add a Racing win on Sunday, as John Gordon (Bad Company) opened his year on the right foot with the Saturday Racing victory. The series will remain in San Diego for a return visit to Snapdragon Stadium January 14-15.



Stadium Series Red – A single event in Oakland saw Adam Anderson vault to the top of the standings to kick off his year. A near perfect 9.918 in Freestyle capped the title for the second-generation racer, who also won the Skills Challenge. Cole Venard (Black Pearl) is right on Anderson’s heels as Venard took the Racing win over Travis Mowery (Velociraptor) to open the night’s action. Former series champion Tom Meents (Max-D) was unable to compete due to mechanical issues. The series moves to Anaheim for a pair of events January 14-15.



Arena Series Central – Fans in Greenville, SC were thrilled with the debut of the new ThunderROARus truck. Brandon Vinson (Grave Digger), Coty Saucier (Dragon), and Brandan Tulachka (Just Get Er Done II) all claimed event championships on the weekend. Saucier was a two-time Freestyle winner, with Tony Ochs (ThunderROARus) preventing the sweep. Monster Jam newcomer Jamie Sullivan (Monster Mutt Dalmatian) made an immediate impact by winning two of the three Donut competitions on the weekend with Ochs spoiling the sweep there as well. Vinson was a two-time champion in 2-Wheel Skills with Brandan Tulachka recording a victory, too. Racing titles went to Saucier with the first two wins while Vinson closed off the weekend on top in the head-to-head action. Next stop is Greensboro, NC on January 14-15.



Arena Series East – Music City welcomed Monster Jam as the series stopped at Bridgestone Arena to give Nashville fans three chances to catch the action. Dalton Widner (Jurassic Attack) brought two event championships for Team Throttle Monster with Weston Anderson (Grave Digger) sandwiching his overall win between Widner’s efforts. Anderson, Linsey Read (Scooby-Doo!) and Armando Castro (El Toro Loco) shared the spotlight in the Freestyle competitions. Anderson was a two-time Donut winner, with Widner picking up the opening win. The 2-Wheel Skills competition was another area for Anderson to shine with two wins, while Castro claimed the third. Racing saw Widner use his titles as a springboard to his overall championships as he claimed two, with Castro prevailing to get on the board with one Racing title. Kansas City, here they come as the next action is a trio of battles January 14-15.



Arena Series West – Salt Lake City has been a traditional opening date for the tour and the fans were ready. Tristan England (Earth Shaker) closed the weekend with a flourish, claiming the final two event championships and carrying the points lead at the conclusion. Krysten Anderson (Grave Digger) and Elvis Lainez (El Toro Loco) brought home single event championships. Four competitors kept the balance as no one was able to get more than one Freestyle with wins going to Anderson, Lainez, England and David Olfert (Velociraptor). England grabbed a pair of Donut wins with Anderson and Olfert on top for as well. The 2-Wheel Skills titles were evenly split between England and Lainez. Racing provided opportunity for Lainez to wow the fans of the Crazy Bull as he won three times, thwarted only by England in the finals of the opening night. Lainez has a racing record of 11 wins and one loss on the year. Fans in Tacoma get their chance to see the Arena Series West stars with competitions on January 13-15.