Toronto, ON - Rogers Centre
Authored by Admin on January 17, 2015
January 17 - 18, 2015 - Rogers Centre - Toronto, ON
Saturday 7 P.M.: El Toro Loco
Sunday 2 P.M.: Northern Nightmare
Saturday 7 P.M.: Northern Nightmare
Sunday 2 P.M.: Max-D
Monster Jam® Trucks: Grave Digger® driven by Chad Tingler, Scooby-Doo™ driven by Brianna Mahon, Northern Nightmare℠ driven by Cam McQueen, MonsterMutt® Dalmatian driven by Cynthia Gauthier, Max-D℠ driven by Tom Meents, El Toro Loco® driven by Marc McDonald, Mohawk Warrior℠ driven by George Balhan, Mega Bite driven by Brad Allen, Spike driven by Cory Rummel, Aftershock driven by Bob Robbins, Krazy Train driven by Lloyd Twitchell, BountyHunter driven by Trent Montgomery, Iron Outlaw driven by Todd Morey, and Shell Camino driven by Shelley Kujat!
(Toronto, ON) It seems appropriate that the Maple Leaf Monster Jam Tour begins in the largest city in Canada each and every year. Featuring world-class attractions including a stadium that is among the largest in the world, Rogers Centre provides a great opportunity for the Monster Jam drivers to perform on the big stage.
The night began with Thor by Parts Canada Monster Jam Racing Qualifying. The twelve-truck field was shown the fast way around the big oval by George Balhan in Mohawk Warrior in a time of 19.60 seconds. Second place went to Max-D at 19.62, while Grave Digger crossed the finish line in a time of 19.72 seconds. El Toro Loco charged to a time of 19.97, Northern Nightmare ended with 20.41, and Scooby-Doo 21.22. Remaining qualifiers were Mega Bite (22.91), Spike (24.03), Aftershock (24.63), Krazy Train (24.94), Shell Camino (25.87), and Monster Mutt Dalmatian (26.06).
Thor by Parts Canada Monster Jam Racing Round One saw George Balhan in Mohawk Warrior get the bye run due to problems with Monster Mutt Dalmatian’s sway bar. Scooby-Doo ran past Mega Bite in the second race, while El Toro Loco unplugged Aftershock in the third clash of the evening. Northern Nightmare defeated Spike, Grave Digger ran Krazy Train off the tracks, and Max-D disposed of Shell Camino.
Round Two featured three solid pairings which produced some very competitive racing. Mohawk Warrior defeated Scooby-Doo, Grave Digger sailed past El Toro Loco, and Northern Nightmare beat Max-D. El Toro Loco would emerge from this round as the Fast Loser.
In Semi Final action, El Toro Loco took full advantage of his Fast Loser status as the crazy bull returned to defeat Mohawk Warrior. The other Semi saw Northern Nightmare bury Grave Digger, much to the delight of the Canadian fans.
The Thor by Parts Canada Monster Jam Championship Round produced a fantastic race between two very capable Monster Jam drivers. Pairing Cam McQueen in Northern Nightmare against Marc McDonald in El Toro Loco, this race would come down to the final corner. Unfortunately for 2012 World Freestyle Champion Cam McQueen in Northern Nightmare, a slight bobble before the finish line cost him the win. El Toro Loco would go on to hoist the Thor by Parts Canada Monster Jam Championship trophy. Needless to say, driver Marc McDonald was ecstatic with his big win.
Maple Leaf Monster Jam Freestyle Competition continues to get wilder with each passing year in Canada, and tonight was no exception. Highlights of the competition included a huge air maneuver by Chad Tingler in Grave Digger. While the launch was fantastic, the landing was very harsh. This resulted in a broken front housing, broken axles, and much, much more. This effectively ended the Kill Devil Hills native’s night, and earned a score of just 10 points.
Enter eleven time World Champion Tom Meents in Max-D. Minutes after performing a successful backflip in his stunt truck, Meents returned to wow the crowd in Freestyle. Meents cross-threaded the massive course, creating carnage every inch of the way. While his performance was certainly worthy of his score of 39 points, Meents would soon find out that he left the door open just a little too much. And Cam McQueen would be the driver to find that slightly open door and bash right through it.
Cam McQueen in Northern Nightmare literally brought the Rogers Centre crowd to their feet with some of the highest, longest jumps ever seen in Rogers Centre history. McQueen showed no fear as he buried the throttle and did what he needed to do to get the job done. When he finally parked Northern Nightmare atop a huge obstacle at center track, the judges were already signaling that McQueen was the winner. Northern Nightmare goes down tonight as the first Maple Leaf Monster Jam Freestyle Competition winner of 2015 with a score of 41 points.
The drivers earned the following scores:
Grave Digger 10
Shell Camino 16
Krazy Train 17
Monster Mutt Dalmatian 28
Mega Bite 29
El Toro Loco 34
Mohawk Warrior 35
Northern Nightmare 41
In other motor sports action, the stars of FMX provided the fans with an incredible array of big-air tricks.
Don’t forget that the Maple Leaf Monster Jam Tour returns to Rogers Centre Sunday at 2 P.M. for the second and final show of the weekend. Come down early, enjoy the Party In The Pits, and find out why the Rogers Centre is one of the most enjoyable venues on the Canadian tour.
By Darren Pallen
Sunday 2 P.M.
(Toronto, ON) Day number two of the 2015 Maple Leaf Monster Jam Tour began like it ended on Saturday night. The event boasted some incredible photo-finish races and more Freestyle carnage than ever before. Without a doubt, today’s matinee event will go down in history as one to remember. The bonus? A field of 14 Monster Jam trucks, up from 12 competitors from the Saturday night field. Joining the stellar field of competitors today at Rogers Centre were Iron Outlaw and Bounty Hunter.
Thor by Parts Canada Monster Jam Racing was the first event on the format today at Rogers Centre. Before moving into Round One, however, there would be some qualifying to do. George Balhan in Mohawk Warrior proved to be the man to beat with a blazing fast time of 20.13 seconds around the traction-filled oval. Remaining qualifiers were Northern Nightmare (20.66), Max-D (20.69), Grave Digger and Bounty Hunter (20.91), El Toro Loco (21.00), Scooby-Doo (21.31), Mega Bite (22.57), Spike (22.97), Iron Outlaw (23.84), Aftershock (24.03), Monster Mutt Dalmatian (24.15), Shell Camino (26.72), and Krazy Train at 27.25 seconds.
When Thor by Parts Canada Racing Qualifying was complete, the drivers paired off and gave the fans some of the closest races ever witnessed in Maple Leaf Monster Jam history. In fact, the finish line camera was used so often for review during Monster Jam Racing that is now likely due for replacement. Here is how the progressive rounds shaped up:
Thor by Parts Canada Round One:
Mohawk Warrior defeated Monster Mutt Dalmatian
El Toro Loco charged past Scooby-Doo
Grave Digger drove through Spike
Max-D scored victory over Iron Outlaw
Mega Bite took a chunk out of Bounty Hunter
Northern Nightmare disposed of Aftershock
Thor by Parts Canada Round Two:
Mohawk Warrior hunted down El Toro Loco
Max-D buried Grave Digger
Northern Nightmare took the teeth out of Mega Bite
Thor by Parts Canada Semi-Final:
Mohawk Warrior defeated fast loser El Toro Loco
Northern Nightmare beat Max-D
The Thor by Parts Canada Monster Jam Championship Round was not without its controversy. Pitting Cam McQueen in Northern Nightmare against George Balhan in Mohawk Warrior, this race promised to be a good one. But as they say, someone has to win and someone has to lose. And while it appeared that Mohawk Warrior crossed the finish line first and took the win, Monster Jam Technical Officials determined that the leader of Mohawk Nation did not satisfactorily navigate the finish line ramp. This resulted in a penalty for driver George Balhan and a win for Canadian sensation Cam McQueen in Northern Nightmare.
With thoughts of the coveted Double Down award dancing in his head, Canada’s Cam McQueen knew it would take an exceptional performance in Monster Jam Freestyle to take all three trophies back home to Kelowna, British Columbia. It wouldn’t be easy. After all, this event contained some of the world’s best drivers including a certain 11-time World Champion from Paxton, Illinois.
Tom Meents in Max-D clearly raised the bar in Maple Leaf Monster Jam Freestyle with a performance that was nothing less than breathtaking. When it comes to leaving a Freestyle course in an utter state of disrepair, it is hard to argue that there is anyone better on the planet than the wheelman of the world’s most decorated Monster Jam truck. Meents flew his way to a score of 41 points, putting Max-D on top and the pressure heavily on the shoulders of Northern Nightmare.
Northern Nightmare driver Cam McQueen throttled onto the Freestyle course as the fourteenth and last truck in Freestyle competition. After a series of huge long jumps which generated incredible air and some hard landings, McQueen suffered a badly broken suspension. This effectively ended the Canadian native’s day and cancelled any hopes of the Double Down award for the 2012 Freestyle World Champion.
The drivers earned the following Maple Leaf Monster Jam Freestyle scores:
Grave Digger 37
Northern Nightmare 37
El Toro Loco 36
Mega Bite 26
Mohawk Warrior 26
Krazy Train 25
Iron Outlaw 25
Monster Mutt Dalmatian 22
Shell Camino 21
Bounty Hunter 9
Much to the delight of the crowd, the high-flying group of Freestyle Motocrossers returned for some high-energy aerial acrobatics. Their last trick of the night featured a heart-stopping triple backflip in train formation.
The Maple Leaf Monster Jam now takes a couple of weeks off before heading west down the Trans Canada Highway to Edmonton, Alberta. Be sure to stay tuned to www.monsterjamcanada.ca to keep up with the entire series as we work our way towards the Monster Jam World Finals in Las Vegas in March.
See you down the road!
By Darren Pallen