Toledo, OH - Huntington Center

Authored by Admin on March 6, 2015

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March 06 - 08, 2015 - Huntington Center - Toledo, OH

 

Racing winner:

Friday 7 pm:

Saturday 2 p.m.

Saturday 7 pm:

Sunday 2pm.

 

Freestyle winner:

Friday 7 pm: Heavy Hitter

Saturday 2 p.m.: Grave Digger

Saturday 7 pm: River Rat

Sunday 2pm: Grave Digger

 

Trucks:

Monster Jam® Trucks: Grave Digger® driven by Pablo Huffaker, Backwards Bob® driven by Bryan Wright, Heavy Hitter driven by Derek Anson, River Rat  driven by Steve Snellen, Instigator driven by Paul Breaud, and Backdraft driven by Ty Cornelius!

 

Friday 7 pm

The Huntington Center was abuzz as Monster Jam returned to Toledo as the first of four shows was met with a near capacity crowd who wanted to see the action. The weekend brought new competitors with five drivers making their Toledo debuts and a track that had never been seen by the Glass City crowd.
Wheelie competition opened the action as drivers were allotted four shots at various locations on the hybrid track. Scores kept climbing as Backwards Bob impressed the judges to the tune of 34. Grave Digger had a shot and the scores came up to a 34. The all-important tiebreaker would come into play in the first competition and the tiebreaker favored Backwards Bob. The victory marked the first win for the truck in its return season.

Next up was the timed obstacle course that would see a couple of elevation changes through the quick run. The course was designed to draw on speed in some areas and precision in others. Times dipped below 14 seconds with River Rat seeking his third obstacle course win. Backwards Bob posted a 13.13, which could not be erased by Heavy Hitter. That job fell to Grave Digger, who set a new Toledo record at 12.85, which will be challenged through the rest of the weekend.
The tacky surface would provide to be a challenge for the drivers who were contesting donuts. All trucks were ready and willing to take on the surface to various degrees of success. Heavy Hitter broke into the lead with a 31. An inspired Backwards Bob went round and round as the applause got louder. The reward was a perfect 40 and a tough task for Grave Digger. The truck turned over after a few revolutions, including several on two wheels and could only muster a 28.

Backwards Bob was again a winner in Monster Jam competition.

The final element was freestyle and 28 was as low as anyone would get. A tie at the top with that score became irrelevant with River Rat’s 31. Backwards Bob lasted 59 of the 60 seconds before tumbling onto its side. The run was long enough to earn 34 and a new leader. Some big air highlighted a fast paced run for Heavy Hitter, who benefitted with a perfect score of 40. Grave Digger’s run ended with a second flip with 14 seconds to go, so a perfect score was not to be. 2014 Young Guns competitor Derick Anson and Heavy Hitter took a big step toward a return visit to the Monster Jam World Finals XVI with his win.

Wheelie:
Backwards Bob – 34
Grave Digger – 34
River Rat – 28
Instigator – 26
Heavy Hitter – 25
Backdraft – 21

Obstacle Course:
Grave Digger – 12.85
Backwards Bob – 13.13
Heavy Hitter – 13.25
River Rat – 13.90
Backdraft – 16.00
Instigator – 17.810

Donuts:
Backwards Bob – 40
Heavy Hitter – 31
Grave Digger – 28
Backdraft – 25
River Rat – 19
Instigator – 15

Freestyle:
Heavy Hitter – 40
Backwards Bob – 34
Grave Digger – 31
River Rat – 31
Backdraft – 28
Instigator - 28

By Larry Jewett

Saturday 2 p.m.

Show #2 at the Huntington Center was played with a near capacity crowd including many who attended the early afternoon pit party. Once the action got underway, the fans really saw the top of the action as the field gave it every effort to be a winner. There was no stopping Pablo Huffaker and Grave Digger, to the delight of Team Grave Digger.

Wheelie competition opened up the action and the scores grew progressively higher, leaving Grave Digger as final truck to give it a go. The trend continued as the fan judges vaulted the effort to a well deserved 34.

Obstacle course, seen for the first time in Toledo in the Friday night series opener, was yet another opportunity to test man machine against the clock. The course required drivers to climb from the track surface to a waiting tabletop, then back down onto the track to head to the finish line. Grave Digger was able to post a run six tenths of a second quicker than the nearest competitor.

Toledo fans had never seen a donut competition element in a show until this year. The drivers wanted to show why it should be a staple for any appearance and gave the crowd a nice sample of high power donuts. Once again, Grave Digger proved to be the class of the field with a winning score of 34.

The final Monster Jam element was freestyle, which gave each contestant a full 60 seconds, which everyone used. The judges were clearly put to the test, but it became academic during the Grave Digger run. Everyone thought the truck would be turned over, but driver Pablo Huffaker put up a candidate for save of the year by getting the truck back on solid ground and went on to win freestyle.

Wheelies:
Grave Digger – 34
Heavy Hitter – 28
Backwards Bob – 21
River Rat – 19
Backdraft – 16
Instigator – 15

Obstacle Course:
Grave Digger – 13.366
Heavy Hitter – 13.960
Backwards Bob – 14.155
River Rat – 15.611
Instigator – 16.432
Backdraft – 20.810

Donuts:
Grave Digger – 34
Backwards Bob – 31
Instigator – 31
Heavy Hitter – 30
River Rat – 28
Backdraft – 28

Freestyle:
Grave Digger – 36
Heavy Hitter – 32
Backwards Bob – 30
Instigator – 24
River Rat – 22
Backdraft - 20

By Larry Jewett

Saturday 7 pm

Toledo fans saw new competitions and a new winner as the Saturday night show drew a loud crowd ready for Monster Jam action.
Several crews were busy between shows, getting trucks prepared for the evening action. The River Rat team changed an inner axle and Backdraft’s squad spent the break fixed a burned-up wiring harness. When show time came, everyone was ready for action.
The wheelie competition opened the performance and trouble set in immediately. During the first wheelie attempt, Backdraft came down hard on the left rear and incurred some breakage that would put the truck temporarily out of competition. Instigator was only able to get one hit in before retiring the truck for an inspection. River Rat completed the run and moved into the lead with Backwards Bob overtaking the leader. The score of 34 was good, but not good enough as Grave Digger went one better for a winning 35.

The obstacle course allowed drivers to work from a fast start through the obstacle to a fast finish. Steady was the way of the day as River Rat put up the second fastest time of the weekend to take the lead. Contenders Heavy Hitter and Grave Digger lost valuable time in their pursuit with wheelstands that took time away. For the third time in 2015, River Rat claimed an obstacle course win.

The donut action was a case of good news, bad news. The good news was the return of Backdraft into the competition. The bad news came when Grave Digger wrapped up what would prove to be a winning run, but suffered some pinion damage in the process. Driver Pablo Huffaker looked over the situation, then addressed the Toledo fans. He explained what happened, bringing the broken part along to show the crowd. He thanked the Toledo fans for all of their support and encouraged them to root for their favorite drivers in the final competition.

Freestyle was everything that could be expected. The hybrid track proved to be a challenge and a blessing as drivers could get big air and hang time, but it would take a toll. The judges were watching closely and Heavy Hitter pulled into the lead with a 30. An inspired run with some heart stopping back air punctuated the run of River Rat who claimed a 35 for the lead. Backwards Bob driver Bryan Wright watched the whole thing unfold before his eyes and started an immediate assault on the obstacles. A great run ended with Backwards Bob on the tabletop and a disappointing 33 from the judges. A jubilant Stevie Snellen ran from the pit area to accept his first ever freestyle plaque, a well deserved honor.

Wheelies:
Grave Digger – 35
Backwards Bob – 34
Heavy Hitter – 27
River Rat – 19
Backdraft – 18
Instigator – 11

Obstacle Course:
River Rat – 12.957
Grave Digger – 15.347
Instigator – 16.460
Heavy Hitter – 19.350
Backwards Bob – 38.930
Backdraft – did not compete

Donuts:
Grave Digger – 36
Backwards Bob – 35
Instigator – 30
Heavy Hitter – 28
Backdraft – 25
River Rat – 23

Freestyle:
River rat – 35
Backwards Bob – 33
Heavy Hitter – 30
Instigator – 28
Backdraft – 27
Grave Digger – did not compete

By Larry Jewett

Sunday 2pm

The final show at the Huntington Center saw parity with three drivers splitting the four awards. Each driver added to a Toledo win total, hoping the effort resulted in positive steps toward the Monster Jam World Finals XVI.
Wheelie competition again opened the action for the fans as each truck was given four chances to perform. Backwards Bob held the lead with a strong 35. Heavy Hitter, who broke an axle in wheelie action last night, charged the hill and suffered rear end damage, but soldiered through the competition to complete all four hits and take the lead with a 36. Grave Digger tried to top the effort, but managed to tie for the lead. The tiebreaking mechanism was put into place with the high score put back for both trucks, but it stayed a tie. The same happened with the return of the low score, so the bonus judge was implemented and the win went to Grave Digger.

Despite the broken truck, the class of the field in Obstacle Course was Heavy Hitter, who relied on a steady run for the third fastest time of the weekend. The win marked the second victory for the 2014 Young Guns challenger, who won freestyle on Friday night.

Donuts featured the full field attempting to master the surface for the loud Toledo fans. Backwards Bob got the crowd fired up as many were still trying to figure out which way the truck was moving. He held the donut lead as Grave Digger came to floor. After a few spins, the truck hooked a rut and turned over, ending the run early and three points short of Backwards Bob, who claimed a third win to go along with a pair of Friday victories.

Freestyle was all anyone could ask for. Each driver put their trucks to the test to the delight of the fans. Saturday winner River Rat grabbed the early lead with a respectable 30, but that was erased when Backwards Bob immediately went for big air and was awarded with a 33. With transmission issues, Grave Digger could have opted out, but the dedication to the Monster Jam fans was obvious. With the masterful driving of Pablo Huffaker, no one could tell there was any kind of problem as big air and a great save were the work of the finale act. The score of 36 got the job done to allow Grave Digger to pick up another Toledo freestyle and take the unofficial lead for freestyle winners at Huntington Center.

The show also including the invasion of Reptar, vanquished by Galactron, and four BMX riders who reached down into their bag of tricks for some great stunts.

Wheelie:
Grave Digger – 36
Heavy Hitter – 36
Backwards Bob – 35
River Rat – 31
Instigator – 23
Backdraft – 21

Obstacle Course:
Heavy Hitter – 13.000
River Rat – 13.686
Grave Digger – 14.155
Backwards Bob – 14.260
Instigator – 15.752
Backdraft – 18.733

Donuts:
Backwards Bob – 36
Grave Digger – 33
Heavy Hitter – 29
Instigator – 29
Backdraft – 26
River Rat – 25

Freestyle:
Grave Digger – 36
Backwards Bob – 33
River Rat – 30
Heavy Hitter – 29
Instigator – 28
Backdraft - 27

By Larry Jewett

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