USHRA ATLANTA MONSTER JAM!!
JANUARY 14TH, 2006 - GEORGIA DOME
another MONSTER BLOG coverage, the first one to be completed featuring an
event attended by our very own Tommy Lee Byrd!! You know him as our
resident Monster Truck artist, but now, get ready for the first of many
great coverages from Tommy Lee!! Without further delay, The Monster
Blog's coverage of the 2006 USHRA Atlanta Monster Jam!!
- Ross Z. Bonar, The Monster Blogger
Well, to start off, my dad and I arrived at the Georgia Dome at about 2:00PM. I went and got our photo credentials and then we went onto the floor of the Georgia Dome. The event crew was setting up for the Pit Party and some of the drivers were getting suited up. When I first walked in, I noticed the new Hot Wheels paint job and I must say that it is very nice. Let's take a look at the full lineup of trucks that would be competing in the evening's competitions!!
THE LINEUP OF MONSTER TRUCKS
GRAVE DIGGER 19 - ROD SCHMIDT
HOT WHEELS - ROB KNELL
SAFE AUTO MINIMIZER - MARK MCDONALD
SPELLCASTER - T.G. SHORT
WAR WIZARD - RANDY MOORE
GUN SLINGER - SCOTT HARTSOCK
AVENGER - JIM KOHLER
BRUTUS - CHRIS BERGERON
TRAXXAS T-MAXX - CARL VAN HORN
MAXIMUM DESTRUCTION - TOM MEENTS
COWBOY - STEVE REYNOLDS
REPTOID - JIM JACK
A stellar field of trucks ready to compete in Atlanta!! Read on for coverage of the evening's Racing!!
The night started off with Intros and luckily, this year, no one broke or rolled over. Qualifying started shortly after the introductions and Tom Meents in Maximum Destruction was absolutely flying around the Head to Head racing course. The Georgia clay seemed tacky at first, but would loosen up as the night progressed.
The night's racing produced some of the closest races I've ever seen. In Round 1, Max D had a bye run because War Wizard had mechanical problems in qualifying. Gun Slinger defeated Avenger by cutting the corners very tight and keeping a good steady pace. The next race would match up Grave Digger 19 against Brutus. Brutus was having a pretty good run and so was Grave Digger. Coming out of the corner, Rod got a little loose and when he saw he was loosing it, he just nailed the throttle and did a big donut, knocking down two turning poles in the process. Next up was Reptoid and Cowboy. Steve Reynolds had the same strategy as his teammate, as he hugged the corners and kept a good pace to take out Jim Jack in Reptoid. The final race of Round 1 had the rookie Mark McDonald in Safe Auto going against T-Maxx. They were even throughout the whole race and coming out of the last corner, Carl Van Horn floored it and almost caught McDonald. It was truly a photo finish as T-Maxx got insane air and came down hard, bounced up on the right side tires and made a good save to keep the truck from flipping. But in doing so, he didnt have much room to stop and ended up hitting the wall protection. Hot Wheels did not compete in the first round due to a flat tire suffered in Qualifying and Spell Caster also did not race.
The second round started out with Gun Slinger vs. Brutus. Gun Slinger had a great run and defeated Brutus. Next out to do battle would be Maximum Destruction and T-Maxx. CVH pushed the truck hard and made it close but Max D got him at the line. The last race of the 2nd round put Safe Auto against Cowboy. Both trucks had very good runs and it was one of the closest finishes of the night. Safe Auto barely edged Cowboy out for the win.
The Semi-Final Round got started with Maximum Destruction going up against Cowboy. Steve Reynolds came back as the fast loser. T-Maxx would have been back but could not make the call due to mechanical issues. It ended up being a pretty good race, but Maximum Destruction got the win. In the other half of the semis it was Safe Auto against Gun Slinger. Another great race with yet another photo finish. The rookie Mark McDonald in Safe Auto barely edged him out at the line.
THE FINAL ROUND
The Final Round came down to the 6-Time World Champ versus the rookie. Meents had a wild run going sliding through the turns and getting huge air. McDonald was pushing Safe Auto hard and in the final corner the truck rocked up on two wheels. This would give Meents the win for the night's racing!! My opinion on the racing is that it was the best and closest racing I've ever seen, with a lot of photo finishes. Congratulations to Tom Meents on his big win in the first half of the show here in Atlanta!!
But Freestyle was next and no one knew what to expect!! Click below to move ahead to the next page to read about the Freestyle competition!!