Monster Jam Ready to make noise at the Sam Boyd Stadium
Date: March, 25th
Venue: The Sam Boyd Stadium
This is when and where the first Monster Jam World Finals were held.
The sport as we know it today was a different beast altogether fifteen years ago. It has evolved by a considerable margin which has resulted in the competition becoming fiercer. The trucks are more powerful, the drivers are more skillful and the Monster Jam experience has become better as a result of that.
There is one thing that connects it to its past however and that is the famous Sam Boyd Stadium. This imposing stadium in Sin City was the venue for the inaugural Monster Jam World Finals and it will serve as the stage for its fifteenth edition as well.
Monster Jam is returning to its old stomping ground for the climax of another pulsating campaign. With that now being just around the corner, this is as good a time as any to take a trip down memory lane and see how we got here.
2000: Monster Jam World Finals come steaming in
Monster Jam needed a showpiece event just like any other sport and that is when the Monster Jam World Finals came to town. It was a watershed moment in the sport’s history and there was a lot of hype surrounding it as well. The idea worked to perfection and the popularity of Monster Jam just exploded.
What made it even more thrilling was the fact that the tracks for the World Finals were the fastest on the circuit and the obstacles used were unlike any other used before. The time had come for the best freestyle and racing drivers to deliver on the grandest stage of them all and deliver they did. After an exhilarating inaugural Monster Jam World Finals, Tom Meents in the Goldberg clinched the racing title, whereas Dennis Anderson and the Grave Digger picked up the freestyle gong.
The Monster Jam World Finals were off to an adrenaline pumping start and what a start it was.
Tom Meents does it in style two years running
Tom Meents stole the show for the next two years running. Winning only the racing title in 2000 wasn’t enough for him apparently so he got into the Goldberg and steamed to the racing as well as the freestyle titles in 2001. He followed that up by repeating the trick in 2002. The truck he used that year however was Team Meents. No other driver in history has won both titles two years straight.
The competition gets stronger
Meents was the big name in the first three years but the tide turned in 2003. Wolverine, driven by Brian Barthel, won the racing title whereas Jim Koehler in his Avenger lifted the freestyle championship. For the first time ever, the name on even one of the two titles wasn’t Tom Meents.
Grave Digger and Dennis Anderson won the racing title in two of the next three years (2004 and 2006). Debra Miceli in Madusa won the 2005 racing gong.
The competition in freestyle was even tougher. Lupe Soza in El Toro Loco, Debra Miceli in Madusa and Tom Meents in Maximum Destruction all shared the freestyle championship in 2004. Jim Creten and the Bounty Hunter and Meents in Maximum Destruction lifted the freestyle titles in 2005 and 2006 respectively.
Batman with John Seasock in the driver’s seat romped to the 2007 and 2006 racing titles while Captain’s Curse with Pablo Huffaker and Taz with Adam Anderson won the freestyle competition in those two seasons.
2009-2014: Status Quo restored in racing
The next half a dozen years of the Monster Jam World Finals offered plenty of adrenaline pumping action as well. Between 2009 and 2014, Meents and Maximum Destruction won three racing (2009, 2011, 2012) championships to become the most successful team of that era. The status quo was restored in some style.
Grave Digger, the Legend with Adam Anderson as the driver, scooped the 2013 and 2014 racing awards. Grave Digger and Dennis Anderson won the only other racing title in 2010.
On the freestyle side of things, the competition was a lot tougher. The half a dozen campaigns witnessed the same number of champions. It began with the Airforce Afterburner being driven by Damon Bradshaw winning the 2010 gong followed by Monster Mutt and Charlie Pauken scooping the 2010 title. Avenger and Jim Koehler won their second freestyle title and their first till 2003 in the year 2011.
Cam McQueen then drove the Northern Nightmare to the top of the mountain in 2012 for the first time ever. Meents went to the top of the freestyle ladder for the fifth time in 2013. That was his truck, Maximum Destruction’s third freestyle world championship too. Metal Mulisha and Todd Leduc beat the field to clinch the last freestyle crown in 2014.
The current Monster Jam season has been the biggest one in history. It has been thrilling and exciting in equal measure. With this being the business end of the campaign, the action is heating up and the pressure is mounting. The finish line is not too far away now and all roads will now lead to the Sam Boyd Stadium. The iconic arena, that has been synonymous with Monster Jam, is all set to once again host the World Finals.
The Sam Boyd Stadium will shake with the noise of the engines from some of the biggest trucks in the world and its rafters will shake as over thirty five thousand fans pack into the stadium. It just doesn’t get any bigger than Monster Jam’s annual showpiece event and it will not be any different this year either.