With a population of 11,558 people, Oskaloosa, Iowa is the definition of small-town USA, known for being the home of the Southern Iowa Fair and an annual celebration referred to as the Sweet Corn Serenade. However, perhaps a decade from now it may be most known as the birthplace of one of the greatest drivers to ever pilot a Monster Jam truck.
His name is Tyler Menninga and years before his 30th birthday he is already a four-time Triple Threat Series Champion, Stadium Series Champion, and World Finals Champion. Since debuting in 2016 Tyler has dominated nearly every tour he’s competed on in awe-inspiring fashion.
Success comes with both triumphs and tribulations and even the most skilled athletes still have doubters and unfortunate narratives that follow their careers. Throughout his arena career, all those wins weren’t translating to the few stadium events that he competed on and there were naysayers who doubted he could win consistently on bigger tracks. That narrative was washed away with the Blue Series championship last year.
Even with five series titles to his name, the early talk in Nashville was that he couldn’t win the big one at World Finals. He silenced those critics by winning the Great Clips Skills Challenge World Championship. There were even those who proclaimed that he couldn’t win at Angel Stadium and all he did last November was sweep the Superstar Challenge.
Those same doubters are now singing his praises as the Grave Digger driver is on the run of his career. When Stadium Championship Series East rolls into The Dome at America’s Center for its 5th event of the season, Tyler will look to win his 5th consecutive Overall Event Championship and add to his series points lead.
Surprisingly there are still those who wonder if he will win another World Finals championship, but I believe the real question is just how many more will he win?
When discussing the sports all-time greatest drivers, the names Meents and Anderson always lead the conversation, but when the kid from Oskaloosa, Iowa hangs up his fire suit, Tyler Menninga will be right there with them.